Twitter Is Alarmed By José Andrés' Ukrainian Bee Dish

In the U.S., you're more likely to see someone eating insects on a reality TV show like "Fear Factor," rather than around the dinner table. Other countries around the world look at insects as a source of protein or even a delicacy, and it all comes down to cultural differences and traditions. According to The New York Times, European settlers in North America never dined on insects, so it wasn't passed down through history. Also, modern Americans often view bugs as dirty and associated with disease, which doesn't normally jibe with a tasty meal. However, as Atlas Obscura notes, both Native Americans and early colonial settlers were known to partake in fried cicadas and grasshopper flour.

On the flip side, in rural Ghana, insects are a means of survival, as they account for 60% of dietary protein (via Terminix). Other countries view insects as a delicacy, like in Brazil, where there is a celebration in the fall when queen ants (içás) come out of the ground (via U.S. News). Insect larvae are considered a delicacy in China, particularly silkworm moth larvae and bee larvae. Bee larvae are a bit of a controversial ingredient since the bee population is declining at an "unsustainable," rate, per CBS News. Despite the controversy, José Andrés shared a dish on Twitter that centered around bees, and fans were a bit alarmed.

'Don't we need more bees?'

Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine in February of this year, José Andrés headed over there with his World Central Kitchen team to feed those in need. Since then, World Central Kitchen has served a whopping 16 million meals and delivered 35 million pounds of food across Ukraine. Apart from World Central Kitchen, Andrés still has to run his 20-plus restaurants, so he travels back and forth to Ukraine often (via CBS News). On his latest trip, he shared a few photos of a dish that featured bees on Twitter. From the photos, it is hard to tell what exactly is happening on the plate (a piece of honeycomb appears to be involved), but the chef claimed it was tasty.

"Don't we need more bees? Not to eat but to help with pollination, and bees are in decline. Curious," replied @orbe01. This Twitter user has a good point, because according to ABC News, the bee population declined by 40% from 2018 to 2019, and then declined again by the same amount from 2019 to 2020. "I love you, Chef, but this dish looks like my worst nightmare," replied another fan "I used to be so afraid of bees, until I worked in my garden for years. This is a hard 'no' from me!" One fan was less thrown off by the insect-filled dish and replied "Thank you for beeing you, Chef."