Making meat is inefficient, but insect meat uses less energy and water than other types of animal meat. Insect eating is common in some parts of the world, but largely a fail in the West. Perhaps making them acceptable and perhaps even desirable is more a function of recipe than logic.
What if it is not disgust that stops people eating insects? Disgust is linked to contamination and fear of disease. Insects are considered disgusting to eat, the theory says, because insects themselves eat 'dirty' foods. Yet many Westerners are happy to consume lobster, which scavenge from the sea floor, and pigs, which eat slops. Many insects, including some grasshoppers and ants, have the same diet as sheep.
We should think less about combating disgust and more about appealing to taste. Most of the insects eaten in the world are cooked as part of interesting preparations that make them a genuine competitor to other foods, and often a more attractive option. These insects are eaten by choice, not necessity. This obvious fact is missed by most of the current research and policies.
Taste is affected by more than the flavour and smell of food. Also important is colour, the other visual images associated with the food and the name it is presented under. The re-naming of the (rather ugly) Patagonian toothfish as Chilean sea bass, for example, led to a sharp increase in sales. In one of the few studies to have been conducted so far, Belgian consumers were shown to accept insects (mealworms and house crickets) more readily when they were prepared using familiar flavours.