The Instigator
Pro (for)
7 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

Children in the US should be exposed and encouraged to eat insects

Do you like this debate?NoYes+2
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/17/2015 Category: Education
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 723 times Debate No: 68492
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (2)




Rules of the debate are as follows:

1. Round one is used for acceptance only.

2. Rounds two and three are good for debate.

3. Round four is for conclusions and any final comments that do not add arguments.

4. Any questions should be deferred to the comments section just for clarity.

5. Use sources to back up your points. Objective logic and deductive reasoning do not have to have sources but factual evidence needs to be linked.

6. I understand that English is not the universal first language. However, please try to break your arguments up in to paragraphs for readability.

7. There is a 10,000 character limit and 72 hour response times. You are not expected to fill the character limit but it's there if you feel the need to use longer arguments.

And that's it. Good luck to whoever takes this on, I have wanted to debate this topic for awhile.


Alright then, round 1 is a warm up and preparation round I see?
While good luck to you in this debate, and we shall see who gains the upperhand.
Debate Round No. 1



Insect - a small animal that has six legs and a body formed of three parts and that may have wings. - Merriam-Webster

Eat - to take in through the mouth as food : ingest, chew, and swallow in turn. - Merriam-Webster

Exposed - not protected or covered. - Merriam-Webster

Encourage - to make (someone) more likely to do something : to tell or advise (someone) to do something. - Merriam-Webster

Child - A person not yet of age. - Merriam-Webster

Stigma- A set of negative and often unfair beliefs that a society or group of people have about something. - Merriam-Webster

US (Short for USA) - United States of America - Oxford Dictionaries


1. Nutritional benefits.
2. Ecological benefits.
3. Conclusions
4. List of sources.

Reasoning: Due to the increasing world population, food security is an obvious issue to keep humans alive and well. However, it has become apparent that industrialized countries have seen health issues related to food safety as well as the environmental sustainability of food production. Therefore, the resolution that pro supports is a possible solution to the latter problem while maintaining ecological stability.

With over approximately 2 billion people who practice entomophagy, there have been several studies done to understand the nutritional benefits of insect consumption. A study by Rumpold and Schlüter focused on 236 edible insects. "Although significant variation was found in the data, many edible insects provide satisfactory amounts of energy and protein, meet amino acid requirements for humans, are high in monounsaturated and/or polyunsaturated fatty acids, and are rich in micro nutrients such as copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, selenium and zinc, as well as riboflavin, pantothenic acid, biotin and, in some cases, folic acid." [sic] (FAO)

Another study was done earlier than the previous one, in 1997, analysing 78 species from Oaxaca state, Mexico. The final result was a report that determined the caloric content was 293-762 kilocalories per 100g of dry matter. Xioming et al. in 2010 evaluated the protein content of 100 species. It was found that of those evaluated, content ranged from 13-77 percent. (Refer to pg. 7 of FAO section 6. Nutritional value of insects for human consumption)

In 2005, a study compared mopane caterpillars to beef when considering the needs of a 25-year-old male. It was found that the caterpillar was an excellent source of iron. Where beef is 6 mg per 100g of dry weight, the mopane caterpillar was 31-77 mg per 100g depending on their diets.

Cereal products are often key staples around the world and yet are often low in lysine and, in certain cases, tryptophan and threonin. However, in some insect species, these lacking pieces of nutrition are well represented. (FAO) Several examples are from the Saturniidae family, palm weevil larvae and aquatic insects(Crustaceans). In fact, this is seen in countries where the culture accepts entomophagy. Countries such as Papua New Guinea eat lysine/leucine-poor tubers but compensate with the consumption of palm weevil larvae. Insects are an important source of fat. For example, the Witchetty grub has a fat content of 38 percent when considering its dry weight. It's also rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acid.(FAO)

Population strain
The need to feed a growing global population inevitably places continuous pressureon crop production, which in turn contributes further to the degradation of naturalresources (FAO, 2009a). [sic] 38 percent of land on planet Earth is dedicated to Agriculture(poultry, beef, crops, etc). It takes approximately 200 m^2 to grow a single pound of beef. However, AsapScience notes that it takes only 15 m^2, or .075 percent of 200, to grow a single pound of crickets, which are comparable in protein but have many essential vitamins and minerals.

By 2025, an estimated 1.8 billion people will have limited access to water and yet 70 percent of our fresh water supplies are put in to agriculture. To understand where the 70 percent mainly goes, AsapSCIENCE details some of the consumers. 1 kg Standard Cattle take approximately 22,000 Liters of water to raise, 1 kg of Pork requires 3,500 Liters and and 1 kg Chicken require about 2,300 Liters. To make 1 kg of Crickets, approximately 1 Liter is required due to their ability to get much of their water from their food.

Comparing edibility, Crickets (note this is just a single example, the pro is not simply advocating the singular consumption of one type of insect) have 80 percent of their body edible. Only 50 percent of a Chicken is edible and a mere 40 percent of Beef is edible.

Having a heavily industrialized country such as the US rely on insect production instead of almost exclusively on crops and animal production would help the ecology massively.

According to the Standard American Diet, 50 percent of all Americans die from hearts attacks and strokes, however there is a less than 4 percent chance observed in American vegetarians. Due to the issues that have been observed over many years (I will find sources for con to post next round if they request it in the comments) with vegetarians failing to get a truly balanced diet as certain nutrients just don't exist in large amounts with plants, insects are a viable solution. Children would be an excellent start as they will be able to grow up with acceptance of healthier eating through their school years.

As a secondary benefit, it is commonly recognized that not just America, but many westernized countries (China is a notable exception) have a stigma against entomophagy. With the future generation being exposed to the benefits of insects, it will decrease the unreasonable thought that insects are purely unhealthy. This can standardize the acceptance of insects as they are already somewhat accepted by many in the United States. The acceptance is of the Crustaceans, aquatic insects, however. They are actually classified as an insect and yet many people I have interviewed personally have a stigma against terrestrial insects (Due to seeing flies, ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, etc.) but not aquatic insects. This is partly due to the fact that the Crustaceans are not something that we have to deal with constantly. Where flies buzz around the room, the only time most Americans see a Lobster is on a plate at the restaurant.

Therefore, pro stands in affirmation of the resolution to have Children in the US exposed and encouraged to eat insects. Pro believes and has evidence to state that this would help the environment as well has aid in such issues as heart disease. Thank you.


Standard American Diet -

AsapSCIENCE - Should We All Be Eating Insects? -
This is what will be referenced other than the FAO report due to their lacking specifics in credit, however the sources this video will be listed below and pro encourages the reading of them.

FAO report on food security(2013) -

Edible Insects in a Food Safety and Nutritional Perspective: A Critical Review

Why Insects Should Be In Your Diet -

Rub a Dub Dub, Is It Time to Eat Grubs? -



Thank you for your clear definitions on the following words, which will be a great help to me as well as the community. I shall continue with my argument.

The USA is a modern country with heavily urbanized cities, as well as farms supporting these cities. While third world countries are sadly having problems such as overpopulation as well as food shortages, it is the opposite in the US. The US has the highest percentage of obese people, which clearly shows that most of the people, if not all, have more than enough, which they could had donated to the more needy. With the vast amount of food resources existent in the US, it is not needed for the cultivation or import of worms or insects for consumption.

Secondly, while I agree that worms and insects do have a very high nutritional value, due to the high standards of food in the US, there are very few people that are willing to eat worms and insects for the sake of nutrition, as there are foods, while not as nutritious as worms or insects, they are much more considered as proper foods to the American people. If adults themselves do not even have the courage to eat worms and insects which are considered revolting to them, what would the overwhelming majority of the American children think about eating such an unaccustomed meal? Even foodstuff that have a small percentage of nutrients from worms and insects are shunned at first sight.

Unfortunately, while scientifically worms and insects are proved to have a high nutritional value, the American people are now used to foods that are both delicious whether nutritious or not, and though I too would prefer that US children would try such foods as an everyday diet, but it is not possible at all. Not in this day and age.
Debate Round No. 2


My debate will flow as follows:

1. Stigma against insect eating will make it unlikely to be popular.
2. Insects do not meet high food standards in the US.


Stima against insect eating will make it unlikely to be popular

The con takes most of their argument to speaking of the stigma that many Americans face when being told to eat insects. This is why children are the ones being indoctrinated, not the adults. In addition, much of their foods will not have to have insects visible as shown in source 1 of this round. This is merely one example, others have been "Chirp Chips" and Cricket Cookies like those found in the sixfoods source. As children consume these products, generally at lunches and teachers in the classroom explain and indoctrinate them in to this idea, they will discover the difference between "good" and "bad" insects (FAO). Even if it fails for several generations, each generation will have more experience and comfort with the idea, creating a loop of increasing effectiveness.


Insects do not meet high food standards in the US

Insects are not banned for consumption by the Food and Drug Administration. Therefore, all insects sold for the purposes of consumption are legal so long as they fit the rules imposed by the FDA. You will find MarxFoods to be an example of this. Their place of business is in Seattle, Washington. They also sell various insects there. As they label these insects for human consumption, the full extent of US policy in relation to food safety is applied to MarxFoods. Because they are still selling insect products, it is obvious that insects can and do meet the high food standards of Americans.

- Lastly, the con has failed to address my point on population strain so that extends to this argument.



To put insects into children's food, whether visible or not, is the same thing as putting meat in a vegetarian, it may not be illegal, but it is highly immoral. It can actually hurt the child's mental health after discovering what was placed into his lunch, or dinner. And to fail for several generations is a very long time, if you would realize, by then it would be reasonable for people to eat such foods due to perhaps new technology or very serious overpopulation, including the US. Who knows? Perhaps you are right about that one, but as you had clarified, "Several generations", not immediately.

As much as insects are not banned from consumption, I must once again say that there are many people who are still unwillingly to try it. Imagine if the US government do allow teachers to teach the students on eating insects, but ironically the teacher himself/herself doesn't dare, so what about the students?

I decided to check the store MarxFoods that you referred to. What I found was this video of the company's staff trying their own insect foods. While they managed to pull themselves to eat it, their expressions are nonetheless disgusted, and quite laughable. For that, thanks for it.

Clearly, this debate is now not about it's high nutritional value, but instead the mentality of the American people for or against having insects as foods part of their diet.
Debate Round No. 3


To reiterate, as this is the conclusive round, no new arguments may be placed here.

In conclusion, the pro will explain why con failed to win this debate. Pro covered the nutritional value of insects, con conceded that these were true. Pro pointed out that population strain necessitates the use of efficient food production. Con responded by saying that because many Americans are obese, they do not need nutritious food. Con has fallen back on everything except the social stigma against insects. They claim that it is immoral (no sources on this or reason why) and can hurt their mental health (again no sources or logic as to why this would be true). Con also claims that taking generations to invoke change is too long. The topic of this debate was never to make Americans eat insects in one generation. The topic is that "Children in the US should be exposed and encouraged to eat insects" [sic]. Under that topic, the cons argument has proved inconsequential and does not mean anything in this debate. The final argument that the con has been pushing is that Americans in general will not be keen on consuming insects. This is why we are pushing children to do it. Then the multiple generation build-up to acceptance begins. This was never stated to be a quick and easy solution but rather a necessity to provide for the population of the future.

I thank the Con for engaging in this debate, it has been educational and allowed me to discover even more about this topic.



In my conclusion, con explained that as the US has enough food for its people, there is no need for food such as insects. con also said that in order to teach the children, the adults must lead by example. However, the adults do not have the courage to do so, thus it is impossible for most children to do so.

I thank the instigator for starting this debate, and I wish the best for the both of us in the voting round.
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by RealCS 1 year ago
I've checked the links, sorry for the misunderstanding.
Posted by christopher1006 1 year ago
Really? Can you tell me which places you think I plagarized? It's possible I forgot to link them as a source.
Posted by RealCS 1 year ago
Hey guys, I'm not sure but I suspect the instigator has just unknowingly plagiarized from other sources, even though he had pasted the links which he had obtained from.
Posted by RealCS 1 year ago
Lol It's my first debate on this site and I already start mouthing trash.
Posted by Paleophyte 1 year ago
Good topic
Posted by Asburnu 1 year ago
As you can see by my image, I am in favor of this.
Posted by Asburnu 1 year ago
Not as outrageous and disgusting as it sounds. Aside from extreme nutritional value, especially grasshoppers and locusts, adding this to a person's diet early can make them a real survivor in a true crisis. I always tell my sons, "Don't be squeamish, how else do you expect to lead the resistance against the machines one day?"
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Paleophyte 1 year ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro didn't make a solid enough case for the resolution, Con rebutted well. Con failed to cite any opposing sources. Good conduct on both sides.
Vote Placed by bsh1 1 year ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Many of Pro's arguments (including nutrition) go unaddressed. Con's argument really comes down to the idea that kids won't eat insects, but that doesn't mean that they shouldn't eat insects. Pro also used sources, unlike Con.