Are questions about entomophagy (insect-eating) on topic? Here are the questions:

Here's a quick summary of past discussions and related precedent to guide discussion.

1 Answer 1


Questions about insect-eating must be comparative, not instructive.

Or as Zanna would say...

when people start asking for insect recipes I might start voting to close them

Insects are part of the animal kingdom, and are part of the phylum arthropoda which also includes crustaceans (crab, shrimp, lobster). We should treat questions about insect-eating the same as other questions about animal-eating, so let's take a look at that.

This aligns with our current stance on questions about meat-eating. It's fine within the scope of the site to ask questions which compare meat-eating with vegetarianism and we have some examples of that already.

However, it is not acceptable to ask questions which invite answers that provide instruction about eating meat. Those questions would be more suitable for Cooking.SE.

In fact, we should accept comparative questions even when it seems like there is a chance that the answer may not reflect positively on vegetarianism. People come to Stack Exchange for accuracy, not propaganda, and it's essential that we provide an accurate picture of vegetarianism.

Analysis of Specific Questions

What do you call an almost vegetarian diet that includes honey and insects, but excludes milk and eggs?

This is a terminology question that overlaps with taxonomy and taxonomy is entirely about comparing entities for similarities and differences. The question does not ask for instruction about eating insects. This question is acceptable.

Can those who eat insects be considered vegetarians?

This is a question about establishing what is/isn't vegetarian, and we don't yet have a community consensus about whether to allow questions defining what is/isn't vegetarian. It might be off-topic for that reason, but it's not off-topic just because it mentions eating insects for the same reason as above.

Are insects a feasible source of proteins for the new millennium?

This question seeks to compare vegan diets against vegan+insect diets on the basis of sustainability. Sustainability is a motivating factor for a subset of vegans and this is on-topic because it establishes a comparison against veganism.

Are insects a better source of any nutrients than plant-based foods?

This is a direct comparison of insect-based foods against plant-based foods on a nutritional basis. However, this question skirts the line about being instructive by providing a link to a specific provider of insect-based food. That's just a little bit too helpful for people who are thinking about eating insects, and should probably be discouraged.

  • Based on this rationale, I think this question about how to start eating meat should be closed.
    – Nic Mod
    May 15, 2018 at 15:48

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