Now, I love sausage as much as the next guy. You invite me to a sausage party and I'm there with bells on. I can take a lot of sausage, is what I'm saying. But I'm also a sausage realist. Even if you made sausage out of guinea hen, scallions, and the fanciest of Bavarian mustards, it's still a salty, greasy pseudo-dong. This isn't the food trend of 2016; it's the shameful fatty secret you're going to be munching in between chest pains on a Sunday afternoon watching football.
The people who eat artisanal anything don't want a chubby meat wang. At best they want little niblets served on the fancy equivalent of Triscuits and garnished with a sprig of fresh mint. That's what sustains the artisanal crowd.
Incidentally, if artisanal anything needs to be crafted by an artisan of some kind, how many food items qualify as artisanal these days, anyway? Sandwiches? Pigs in a blanket? Sketti?
Some wahoo in a tweed jacket with an untamed beard has been claiming for years that bugs are the next big trend in food. Crickets have been touted as the greatest source of protein in the world. Of course, it's also been said that the study on crickets as a protein source is flawed and that the quality of the protein is vastly dependent upon the quality of the feed the crickets are given and, in fact, chickens can be a better source. A lot of it depends on circumstances. And your willingness to eat bugs.
And thus we break down the essential problem with bugs as a food source for the world -- most people don't want them. And why bother even trying to introduce them in North America in the first place? It's no small task to enact a cultural shift from "eew, gross" to "better than Olive Garden, I guess." We live in a country where cows flow like water and chickens hang from treetops. We don't need cricket burgers. We don't need Padma Lakshmi delicately chewing a deep-fried cricket and unconvincingly telling us it tastes vaguely nutty. No shit it tastes vaguely like nuts; you may as well be eating balls.
I'll have a porterhouse, if you please.
Now, this isn't to say cricket protein couldn't be a big deal on a global scale, but I feel like there's a notable difference between "food trend" and "method of staving off death by malnutrition." Food trends are new ways to stuff dumplings or fantastic new berries we can juice to make exotic, hipster sodas. So a cricket food trend would be something like cricket burritos or cricket and chervil ice cream, both of which can suck my mud flaps.
You can make all the artisanal sausage out of crickets that you want, or protein bars, energy drinks, Krusty burgers, and whatever else -- it doesn't matter when I can just as easily go buy a ham. Good, sweet, nourishing ham, just waiting for me around any corner. Fuck you, bugs; I have a date with a salty angel.
Which Sci-Fi Trope Would You Bring To The Real World, And Why? Every summer, we're treated to the same buffet of three or four science fiction movies with the same basic conceits. There's man vs. aliens, man vs. robots, man vs. army of clones, and man vs. complicated time travel rules. With virtual reality and self-driving cars fast approaching, it's time to consider what type of sci-fi movie we want to be living in for the rest of our lives. Co-hosts Jack O'Brien and Adam Tod Brown are joined by Cracked's Tom Reimann and Josh Sargent and comedians David Huntsberger, Adam Newman, and Caitlin Gill to figure out which sci-fi trope would be the best to make a reality. Get your tickets to this live podcast here!
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