Something’s Bugging Me …

10.5.2016 | 00:41

Okay, I’m taking a break from all of this deep stuff about spirituality and nutrition, and side-stepping gluten for a moment.

Don’t worry – I’ll get back to all of that next time, but now that we’ve moved back to a place where we’re surrounded by trees, and summer-like weather is here to … well, come and go for a while before it finally comes to stay, I’d like to pause for a moment and talk about something we don’t think about much.


Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) on orange garden flowers during autumn migration. Natural green background.

No, not gut bugs.  The other kind, more scientifically referred to as insects (or arachnids, depending).

(FYI, I think we don’t think about insects much because we don’t want to think about them.  They scare us.  I’m not sure if people are more afraid of snakes or bugs, but I imagine it’s close to a tie.  Although as far as I know, the phobia that affects the most people is still public speaking….  Go figure.)

So why am I bugging you about bugs?

Because I think they’re a sign of something, well, bigger.

Have you ever noticed that when you bring a head of organic lettuce home from your local Farmers’ Market, you sometimes find a creepy-crawly or two when you’re rinsing it?

And sometimes – and this happened to me just the other evening – you even see a little critter walking around on a leaf or your plate….

I don’t freak out about it.

I don’t jump on my chair, or shriek in horror.

(I try not to think too hard about whether I’ve already eaten any of its companions….  Protein, I remind myself, protein.  And many people, in cultures all over the world, eat insects as a regular part of their diet.  I’ve even used cricket flour myself a few times.)


No, instead I remind myself of an all-too-important lesson we often forget:

If the food is healthy enough for the bugs to have survived from the soil to the market to our table, it’s healthy enough for me to eat!!

There are no toxic pesticides on this food, if there are insects hanging around hours after harvest.

That means there are no nasty chemicals heading down my GI tract.

Maybe an itty-bitty bug or two, but … we won’t think about that.  Focus….

Think about it for a moment:

Have you ever noticed that when people drench their lawns with toxic chemicals the bugs start coming into your nice, clean, non-toxic home?

So many people are so busy grabbing the Raid, the fly-swatter and the “bug bombs” that they don’t stop to think about how much we need our bugs!!

Yes, as much as we need our gut bugs….


Without bees, we’d lose a huge number of crops.  We’re seeing signs of this already, with the stress on bee populations due to Colony Collapse Disorder, which is very likely linked to certain pesticides, along with other factors.

I’ve never heard it anywhere else, but I once heard David “Avocado” Wolfe say that cacao is pollinated by mosquitoes.

I can think of nothing else good to say about mosquitoes, but if they pollinate cacao they’re not all bad in my book.  I just wish they’d stick to cacao and leave me alone.  Hmm, maybe a sign that I eat too much chocolate?  Damn, wish that hadn’t just occurred to me….

Maybe it’s hard to find anything positive about roaches, ants or houseflies, but who doesn’t love ladybugs, butterflies and dragonflies?

Close-up of dragonfly on the leaf

I know I do.

I enjoy the song of the crickets in the hot summer months, although I don’t like it when they get in the house – mostly because they will still sing all night long….

Maybe we’re not bugged by bugs getting in the house because we have cats.

Cats enjoy hunting bugs.  They don’t always kill them, but they will stalk them, and sometimes even flush them out of hiding or otherwise draw attention to them so we can either kill them or usher them out of the house.

(Yeah, I know.  I hate to kill them, but ants get in the cat food, flies drive us crazy, and who wants roaches to come back, like we’re running a real Roach Motel?  Spiders we try not to kill – spiders can be very helpful housemates, since they eat lots of other, more annoying insects.  I don’t need the Bad Spider-Killing Karma….)

I’ll stop bugging you now, but I hope I’ve given you some, er, food for thought about this topic.  (Sorry, but remember:  good source of protein!!)

NOTE:  And if you really want to learn all there is to know about the various “gut bugs,” I recommend you look into the work of Steph Jackson, at


  1. Jace
    May 10, 2016 | 5:37 pm

    Sometimes I get bugged by bugs as well. I do agree they are important for our survival. Someday we will all be eating cricket powder.

    • daletchworth
      May 11, 2016 | 12:18 am

      Essential for our survival, Jace — as Brad has noted. Cricket powder and who knows what else? Debra 🙂

  2. Brad
    May 10, 2016 | 9:11 pm

    When I was two my mother caught me eating a giant worm. Yum!

    Later when I guided canoe trips in Northern Ontario in June, black flies and mosquitos were so abundant I’d breath them in through my nostrils and mouth and often swallow them.

    Like you said bugs are a sign of a healthy environment. Sure they are a nuisance but without them things would go “south” pretty quickly.

    David Suzuki says we’d have two years on the planet if the bees were all gone. I’ll deal with being bugged, if it means flowers, fruit and survival but no thanks to the GMO mosquitos. That’s asking for trouble. Bug off Big Pharma/Big Agro!

    • daletchworth
      May 11, 2016 | 12:20 am

      Two thumbs up for all of it, Brad! Glad you enjoyed that worm, lol. Definitely an ambivalent relationship between humans and insects, but nothing like seeing a lot of dead bugs to hopefully make a person stop and think. I’m reminded of a cubicle I worked in once…not good.
      Only two years? I knew it would be bad, but not that bad! Debra

  3. Catarina
    May 13, 2016 | 4:55 pm

    Cricket powder?.. The things you learn 🙂 Now, I’ll have to try that.

    And what’s worse than bitting a tomato and seeing a worm? It’s bitting it and finding half worm. It happened to me once, but I still remember, that was one, tasty, tomato!

    All of my fruit and veggies are organic, they come full of life, vibrant colours and bugs. If a food is toxic enough for bugs not to eat it, it’s toxic enough for me.

    Love your perspective Diane!

    • daletchworth
      May 14, 2016 | 12:54 am

      Honest to goodness cricket powder, Catarina. 🙂 Hmm, that tomato would have to have been tasty, if the worm was enjoying it too. I’ve always heard that story told as a joke (with apples), but I don’t remember anyone ever saying it happened to them. Totally agree with you as far as if something’s toxic for the bugs (or other animals) not to eat it, it’s probably toxic enough for people to avoid it too. Thanks! Debra

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