Everyday Activist - Bugs on the Menu (CIFF 2016) (Green Carpet Gala)

Posted on Friday, September 30, 2016 at 01:00 AM

Movie: Bugs on the Menu

Bugs on the Menu (CIFF 2016) (Green Carpet Gala)

Movie Review by Everyday Activist X CalgaryMovies.com

I can’t remember where I had a meal worm cookie, but I had a grasshopper popsicle at the Green Carpet Gala for environmental films on Tuesday September 27, 2016, where Bugs on the Menu screened. My beef, yes pun intended, with the Green Carpet Gala is that every year they serve meat at their after party, which is the MOST environmentally damaging diet. In other years this fact can be over looked; however, this year the message of Bugs on Menu was that eating bugs as a protein source instead of livestock is ecologically better for people and planet. Having veggie sliders and bean tacos would have been an easy substitute and probably cheaper instead of beef and pork. I would have been able to eat more than corn, chips and veggies with dip, though I will say the roasted corn was delicious.

To help promote the movie, in addition to strawberry meal worm and chocolate mint grasshopper popsicles as we waited in line, the producers handed out samples of bug protein powder and we received free grasshopper beer at the after party. As we left we got a treat bag with a bug protein bar that was featured in the movie. I don’t like regular protein bars and my friend’s negative reaction to his matcha flavored one has me thoroughly discouraged from trying the lemon ginger one I received. I have yet to use my protein powder in my oatmeal. While all this sounds adventurous or disgusting, as the producers pointed out if you’ve eaten anything with flour or had coffee, you’ve received extra protein via bugs.

I have mixed feelings about the modern practice of entomophagy or insect eating. Yes, bugs are a much better protein source from an ecological perspective than chicken, beef or pork, but the movie showed factory farms raising millions of them in hatcheries. It still feels cruel even if they consume fewer resources; however, when the film makers went to the countryside in places such as Mexico where the people ate local bug species in a sustainable manner I felt better about it. This type of harvesting isn’t meant for mass scale production. The documentary points out the environmental damage that could be caused from over harvesting in the wild, while at the same time wanting to mass produce lifeforms for human consumption.

I completely agree that we need to move away from animal proteins wherever we can; however we should use bug proteins as superfood supplements rather than staples to keep the cycle sustainable. When it comes to feeding the planet, especially in North America, we need to address the issues of the seasonal eating of local foods and food waste first as well as over consumption, before launching into huge bug breeding campaigns. People only need 40 g of protein in their diet per day. For me that’s my oatmeal with hemp hearts and sunflower seeds with some milk. Yes, done at breakfast. If you missed Bugs on the Menu at the Green Carpet Gala, it will be on the Documentary Channel October 11 at 7 pm MST and will air again on October 16th and November 21st.

n the meantime, check out their interactive website http://bugsonthemenu.com/

Calgary Showtimes: 17th Calgary International Film Festival 2016 > | Bugs on the Menu >


NOTE: The showtimes listed on CalgaryMovies.com come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to CalgaryMovies.com.