I have been predicting that, within ten years, eating bugs will be mainstream. How many people that don’t hesitate to eat sushi would have been repulsed by the thought ten years ago.
A parent wrote to me, “My son goes to Slanesville Elementary and they went to Smoke Hole Caverns today. He came home with a box of crickets he has been eating on. He loves them. I don’t know you personally, but I know you eat bugs as well. Where can I buy crickets? He is so upset he ate almost all of them already.”
I was able to tell the parent how she could order more Crick-ettes from Hotlix. And there are lots of other bug food sources listed here. Many of the companies posted promo discounts or free shipping offers. Some stores and restaurants are also offering bug foods. Many people will likely want to start with “hidden bugs”. You can buy cricket flours, protein powders, and energy bars. These have little evidence that you are eating bugs. For the more adventurous, you can order live insects. They can be easily prepared. A quick stir fry or boil is all that is necessary.
The parent said, “He told me he was going to catch his own bugs. I told him he should wait until I found out if that is OK..so do you cook your bugs first or just eat them raw?”
There are many sources on line about cooking insects. I thought this one was especially good: http://www.instructables.com/id/Insects-for-Food-Prep-101/
If you are going to forage for your own insect meals, I never eat bugs unless I have researched them, and know they are safe. Bugs I have found to be safe include June bugs, cabbage worms, ants, crickets, grasshoppers, tomato or tobacco hornworms, and corn silk worms.
Maybe my first bug presentation was given at a couple years ago at Slanesville Elementary to Miranda Thorne Keplinger’s class. Miranda was a former student of mine. (I was blessed to have so many great kids in my time.) Miranda’s students were an enthusiastic audience. It made me realize, if the benefits of entomophagy were to catch on (benefits like lessening world hunger, individual health benefits, benefits for the environment) the young folks were the best target audience. Young people can be surprisingly conservative (e.g. preferring foods they have always eaten) , but they also can embrace new ideas and practices.
I have to give Nancy Hill much credit for encouraging me to explore the part insects should play in our daily diets.
If you want to follow a pioneer, Robert Nathan Allen, wrote: “What happens when you eat bugs for 30 days? We believe it will help fuel a movement to end global malnutrition. Little Herds is proud to partner with Seeds Of Action for the campaign. On May 1st, Seeds Of Action co-founder Jeremy Connor will begin his 30 day diet of eating bugs and plant based foods that can be found, or brought in through food aid programs, in areas where the 1 billion chronically hungry are struggling to live. This campaign will bring awareness to edible insects as a sustainable solution to food insecurity and produce a freely distributed, visually based, Farming Insects Guide (FIG) to empower communities across the planet to begin farming insects for food and economic security.”
This seems really exciting to me– that someone is gathering real data on the effects of eating bugs. You can learn more and watch an explanatory video here.
Bug Appetit! –Steve