We’ve contemplated those grasshopper lollipops and scorpion riddled tequila bottles, where the insects and arachnids are safe, immortalized and frozen in time. Remember Fear Factor? Well, apparently contestants shouldn’t have been so apprehensive.
The US is actually in the cultural minority when it comes to bug consumption. “Entomophagy” is the consumption of bugs as food. According to the U.N.’s 200-page report on edible insects revealed back in May, close to two million people bug-indulge in various parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America. The report also states that our arthropod friends reduce greenhouse gas emissions and livestock pollution, create jobs in developing countries, and could potentially feed millions of hungry people around the world. Three Dutch insect farms, once producing feed for animals in zoos, are now positioning production towards human consumption by raising locusts and mealworms (beetle larvae). Apparently a few restaurants in the Netherlands have already incorporated insects on their menu. If Timon and Pumba didn’t sell it for you back in 1994, maybe the below will:
Why You Should Make Those Critters Into Fritters
- Because this cookbook makes bugs look considerably tasty. Sort of. Presentation is everything.
- Because this fascinating Kickstarter that raised close to $55,000 to make more cricket flour (dry, pulverized crickets) protein bars, namely “Exo,” says you should. This bold bar packs 25 crickets into each individually packaged bar. The bar’s appeal is its ability to meet high nutritional standards while still having a pleasing taste.
- They’re cheaper than sirloin. Check out Girl Meets Bug, Daniella Martin’s pro creepy-crawly eating website. She provides a couple of websites (along with some interesting recipes) for insect purchasing.
- They have a nutty taste and aren’t nearly as strong or pungent as the taboo associated with eating insects.
- They’re an excellent choice of vitamins, minerals and proteins, and are low in fat. Crickets are excellent choices for calcium, termites are rich in iron, ants are low in carbs, and stinkbugs have anesthetic properties.
- In all seriousness, bug farming is extremely efficient and beneficial for the environment. Globally, more green house gas emissions come from livestock pollution than from automobiles. The initial thought, of course, would be to think that it would take a completely absurd amount of insects to render the amount of nutritional protein that humans acquire from agricultural meats. Comparatively, crickets, by dry weight (after water weight is removed), are 69 percent protein (over half their body mass), and are an outstanding protein source.