Slate probes questions about eating insects, climate, and the future of food through fiction

As extreme weather events continue to disrupt agriculture as we know it, a new question is emerging: What happens when our climate-altered food options clash with what we actually want to eat? In a new short story published by Slate, writer Joeann Hart probes the hypothetical through fiction. The tale weaves together themes of ecological collapse, artificial intelligence, and what it means to cultivate food ethically. The story also pays particular attention to the potential of crickets as a food source. “You wouldn’t eat cricket now, would you?” one character asks another. It’s a pertinent question for our real world, too: Insects have gained prominent boosters for their potential as an environmentally sustainable alternative to livestock-based protein, even getting splashy treatment in The New York Times last week. Yes, the Slate story is fiction, but it’s a compelling and unique take on the questions we may have to ask of our food futures. —Jessica Fu

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