My wife eats weird food and I am okay with it. The issue is, my family isn’t. Shortly after we married three years ago, she became an entomophage or insectivore, which means she eats insects. She doesn’t eat meat, she rarely consumes dairy, and she eats veggies-but usually with insects in them. I don’t practice this, but I love her, so it’s no big deal to me.
The issue comes when we go to my parents’ houses (they’re divorced) for holidays and she brings her own food because she doesn’t eat meat. Everyone at the table is usually grossed out and they’ve all started to ask me to request that my wife leave the bugs at home, but I don’t know if that’s the right thing to do. I understand it’s not a health issue like celiac disease or a religious issue, but how do I tell her she can’t eat the foods that she wants to eat? Do I tell her or do I just tell my relatives to tough it out?
It’s a toughy here anonymous. As much as she enjoys it, this isn’t something that is as widely accepted as being a vegan or a vegetarian because it’s not a matter of only eating certain foods, it’s a matter of eating things that the vast majority of people don’t even consider food. On one hand, I’d say since your wife eats veggies and the occasional dairy food, it’d be acceptable to ask her to leave the bugs at home for a day and eat some veggies (does she eat dessert??) for the day since there is no health or religious issue at risk here. On the other hand, why not compromise and have her prepare her own dish where there are no visible bugs and bring that to see if the issue was perhaps visible insects at the table. I found several recipes for insect dishes that use ground or sliced insects and from the pictures, you can’t even tell you’re eating bugs. If she doesn’t have recipes like this, I can send you a few, just ask. If that fails (or it turns out that ANY bugs at the table are not permitted), you can always ask your relatives to tough it out if all else fails, but this seems to be more of an issue that is the result of a conscious eating choice and not a health or religious concern, so I’d say the burden falls on you and your wife. Whether that burden is a different method of preparing the food or leaving the bugs at home for a day is up to you.