Bo Wagner is pastor of the Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro, NC, a widely traveled evangelist, and the author of several books. His books are available on Amazon and at www.wordofhismouth.com

As I stare at the bug in front of me, he very much appears to be staring back. It is a standoff, really, and is perhaps caused by my contemplation of possibly eating him and his seeming awareness of that culinary musing from the look on my face.

To date, I have not yet in my lifetime willingly eaten a bug. I say willingly because there was that unfortunate time when a flying insect of some kind chose to whir right by my mouth when I was taking a deep breath during a sermon, preparing to launch into a powerful point of the message. My big launch thus turned into a bug lunch instead, and I have not quite gotten over the feeling of him buzzing and flapping and struggling all the way down my throat, only to join my Cheerios from the morning in my stomach.

But it appears that I may have to put that horrid memory behind me and put bugs firmly and forever on the menu.

This realization comes from a compilation of different news items and videos over the past few months. It began with word from John Kerry, in a Reuters News story of May 10 last year, that slashing farm emissions is “critical to fighting climate change” and that “agriculture generates 10%-12% of greenhouse gas emissions globally.” (https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSL 1N3771SC/). That belief, I suppose, is what led to a viral video exchange in which a college-age chap in a lovely British accent opined, “Farming needs to stop; that’s the single biggest driver of climate change.”

The second stage in my looming Phasmatodea and Plecoptera Pizza dinner, though, was the news that gardening is now apparently deemed an even worse solution than farming. This word came from The Telegraph in a January 22, 2024 column, “Carbon footprint of homegrown food five times greater than those grown conventionally.” Five times. So, if farming is destroying the planet, and individual gardening is really really really really really destroying the planet, it seems that greens are, so to speak, off the table.

But for me, that still does not get me to the level of bug buffet. You see, I am a devout consumer of protein, and by protein, I mean chicken, steak, eggs, bacon, tuna, cheese, and the like. And yet, no sooner had I comforted myself with that thought I ran across a column from Sentient Media titled “Why Is Eating Meat Bad For the Environment and Climate Change?” (https://sentientmedia.org/why-is-eating-meat-bad-for-the-environment/#:~:text=Meat%20production%20accounts%20for%2057,significantly%20contributes%20to%20climate%20change.)

We are almost to my bug standoff now. I have been assured by reliable sources that farming is bad, told by a youngster with a British accent that it needs to be stopped entirely, learned that growing my own food is even worse, and assured that eating animals will destroy us all. All that is left for me is a gentle nudge that bugs are indeed the solution to this all. Thankfully, no one would ever think to punk us like that, amiright?

Enter a column from Outrider. “Cricket Chow is one of nine-year-old Ella Schlafly’s favorite breakfasts, and if the Missouri native could have it daily, she would. Cricket Chow is just what it sounds like – a crunchy cereal coated with protein made from bugs.” The column goes on to say, “Scientists are looking for other dietary solutions to reduce carbon emissions, and eating insects may be part of this solution. Adapting foods such as insect-based products into our diets could cut the environmental impacts of global food systems by up to 80%, according to a Finish study released last year.” (https://outrider.org/climate-change/articles/would-you-eat-bugs-save-planet# :~:text=Scientists%20are%20looking%20for%20other,Finish%20study%20released%20last%20year.)

And there you have it. Fortunately, I have a few other things as well, namely Scripture, history, and common sense. As to Scripture, the very first thing God ever gave mankind was a garden from which they ate, Genesis 2. He went on from there to give man both fish and beasts to freely eat in Genesis 9. As to history, I have lived long enough now to see fifty-plus years of climate hysteria proclamations achieve an impressive 100% failure rate, a truly remarkable feat that even the Washington Generals basketball team was unable to accomplish. As to common sense, literally nothing on earth is more natural than growing food out of the ground and eating it and eating animals who eat other animals and who eat things that grow out of the ground. It is, as Mufasa explained to Simba, the circle of life.

So, I will continue to grow my garden each year, and I will continue to support farmers and farming. And once the British chap wises up enough to learn that groceries do not originate from grocery stores (which may take a while if he is in college), he will doubtless change his tune as well.

Jesus himself, by the way, a pretty decent expert on his own creation, participated in all of this farming and gardening and fishing and animal eating stuff. We know for certain that he ate lamb, fish, honeycomb, bread, herbs, beans, olives, dates, and figs. To be fair, John the Baptist did also eat locusts, but to quote my eloquent children, “Imma hafta pass on that one.”

I am also going to have to pass on the stinkbug that started the column.

Pastor Wagner can be contacted by email at 2knowhim@cbc-web.org, and his books are available by clicking the “Store” link above.

Feature photo of Kevin the Stinkbug by Pastor Bo Wagner