Insects as food are not yet mainstream in American culture. Not ready for prime time as appetizers or deserts, eating crickets got honorable mention in a joke told by commediene Cecily Strong at the 2015 White House Correspondent’s Dinner.
When new foods are introduced to a culture, the rate of acceptance is typically low at first. There are a few early adapters, but the majority stick within their culinary comfort zone. Stories about the cuisine of other cultures are often treated by media as news of the bizarre and get ratings by triggering an emotional “yuk” factor. Media figures, such as Anthony Bourdain who respect and embrace foreign cuisine are interpreted by many as straight men to a visual joke.
Comedy allows people to talk about issues that are otherwise taboo. Increasing mention of a subject often indicates a move to mainstream acceptance. After all, over half the world population knowingly includes insects in their food cultures and diet. One hundred percent of the world population consumes insects unknowingly.