You Win Some…

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Bug LaVA (baklava) in preparation. (It really looked much better when it was finished.

Last week Terry Lynn and I attended a National Park Service C&O Canal Volunteer Appreciation event at Glen Echo.  (I am a volunteer with the Canal Classroom Corps.)  We enjoyed the delicious catered dinner.  Attendees were encouraged to bring a dessert.  Attendees could then vote for their favorite dinner.  Terry Lynn and I made desserts with insect ingredients.  More about that later.

Around 1956 my family went to Glen Echo.  It was the King’ Dominion or Six Flags of it’s Day.  I was terrified/traumatized by  the roller coaster, and don’t like them to this day.  I loved the bumper cars.  (I think that prepared me for riding with my sweet wife.)  Sadly, little is left of the amusement park.  The carousel is still there and many of the buildings.  It is now an artsy community.  The Park Service has a nice visitor center with stories and photos from the glory days.  You can see more photos of Glen Echo here.

I was surprised to read Glen Echo was the site of an early race riot– 1966.  The amusement park usually didn’t allow Blacks.  On the day it was open to Blacks, the rides “suspiciously” were not working, and a riot broke out.

Back to the desserts– Terry Lynn made brownies with EntomoFarms cricket flour.  I made Bug La VA (as in baklava, but with my own “farm raised” mealworms, originally from Rainbow Mealworm.)  Sadly, neither dessert won the contest, but I did hear positive reviews from folks who tried it.  And I got to tell some folks where they could purchase insect protein ingredients.  (Here’s a list.)

Some folks might recognize the health benefits and the benefits for our environment by moving toward insect protein.  But they just can’t yet “stomach” eating bugs.  Fear not!  Their are R&D folks pioneering in marketing black soldier fly larva, and feeding those larva to fish, chickens and pigs.  Here is a videoEnterra is a hatchery in Vancouver.  They posted this video.  Beef can produce less than 200 lbs. of protein on an acre. The larvae can produce 1 or 2 million lbs. Innovafeed claims 1 insect protein factory could keep 25,000 lbs of CO2 out of the atmosphere– that’s like taking 14,000 cars off the highway.  Read more here.  Be sure to check out the info graphic. 

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National Park Service C&O Canal Volunteer Appreciation Dinner
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Steve reliving his youth (60 years past). The bumper cars at Glen Echo were a favorite.
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Terry Lynn joined me for this trip down memory lane,

Chapulines South of the Border (or Leesburg)

 

2019July17CocinaOnMkt4I took Terry Lynn out to lunch at Cocina on Market (facebook) in Leesburg, VA.  We were greeted by Trevor Gregory Morgen-Westrick, the general manager.  I had emailed Rebecca Dudley, the proprietor, before our visit. They had me when I opened the menu and saw a quote from my hero, Shawnee chief Tecumseh.  “Give thanks for the food and the joy of living.  If you see no reason to give thanks the fault lies in yourself.”

 

I think the restaurant is only two years old.  We really enjoyed the chapulines, grasshopper tacos.  Terry Lynn and I felt we were back in Samoa receiving an alofa gift.  In Samoa we were surprised to receive the “love” gift AFTER purchasing something.  We paid for our dinner and prepared to leave, but Trevor told us he had a couple fresh chirros.  Terry Lynn is not yet as excited about eating insects, but I knew she was very appreciative of the chirros drizzled with dark chocolate.2019July17CocinaOnMkt8

It was too early in the day for me, but I need to go back for another reason.  Trevor is apparently a tequila/mezcal guru.

Hope you can visit Cocina on Market.  Buen provecho!

I’m pretty sure Trevor became a fan of big ass ants in Oxaca.  Kent Moreno took this photo when he was back in Colombia.  Kent wrote: “This guy wanted 2000 pesos for me to take this picture.”BigAssAntsFromKent

James Rolin, of Cowboy Cricket Farms,   posted a new video, How to Farm Crickets Q & A #4.  He has quite a large selection of informative videos here.

Robert Roy Britt wrote a interesting article on, “The Benefits of Eating Bugs.”

If you are in Portland, OR, Freakybuttrue Peculiarium is serving scorpions, mealworms, and crickets on their famous ice cream sundae.  You can read more here.

National Public Radio, Fresh Air is interviewing an entomologist, Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson. She points our that insects were the 1st and only fliers for 140 million years. I will be buying her book.  You can read more about the interview here.
Yahoo Business posted, “Pet owners urged to put their cats and dogs on ‘healthier’ insect-based diet.”  We hope you are not keeping all the insect goodness just for yourself.
Apropos of nothing,  did you know “La Cucaracha” means the cockroach.  You can read more here. And you can get your cockroaches here: AaronPauling.com

Bugs for Dinner Around the World

 

I really want to praise our two public libraries.  Hampshire County Public Library in Romney and the Capon Bridge Public Library collaborated to host an International Culture Fiesta.  It was a huge success.  It was held May 9, 2019, 5 – 7:30 PM at the Hope Christian Church in , Augusta, WV.  It was great to see these two great libraries from the east and west ends of the county working together to bring such a great event to our area.  (Quite a few folks came from outside the county.)
Stephanie Prior, the Romney librarian and Nancy Meade and Emily Brill were hosts.  There were lots of volunteers to help with the set up and clean up afterward.

Here were some of the presentations:

Italia- Rita Landtrachtinger-Hott & the Italian Exchange Club from the Hampshire High School. The Italian Students will actually be here, too. We are excited about this..
Peru- Milda Mullins Scout troop/pack
Spain- Josh and Kerri Haza and family
Czech Republic- Kelli Smith Allen an family
Ireland & Mexico- Kent Wagoner Awana & Scout Pack/troop
Morocco- Ethan Ferris
Burkina Faso- Amanda Elliott
Steve Bailes – Bugs around the world
Terry Bailes- fa’a Samoa
a Micronesian country- Keller Family
Paul and Sandy Binotto- Kenya
Henry Lorrie Krautwurst- of the the Wardensville Lions Club, West Virginia- foreign exchange program info.

There was so much good food.  Kelli Smith Allen wrote: “… the Czech Republic table will have samples of Chicken and Pork Schnitzel, Kolac, and Cherry tea. There will also be Czech eggs that have been hand decorated.”

OK, I do have one complaint.  The library displayed related books by each kiosk.  One of the books supposedly related to my topic (world entomophagy) was, Disgusting Foods.  The Italians helped to kick off the bug dining.  Students and a teacher from Genova, Italy who are being hosted by families in Hampshire County sought me out to try the bug dishes.  I had prepared a sushi-ish roll made with Bug Eater Foods brown cricket rice and meal worms from Rainbow Mealworm.  I also prepared “una dolce”– a sweet treat made with Bug Eater Foods black cricket rice.  The sweet balls also contained peanut butter, oats, finely chopped raisins and confectioners sugar.  Most people thought they were tasting chocolate, but there was none.  I gave away HOTLIX Candy Store lollipops with crickets and meal worms.  The Exo Protein bars were a h it, as were the Chirps chips.  For hard core bug snacking we had siracha roasted crickets from NextMilleniumFarms.  We dispensed pet treats from Jiminys and Chloe’s Treats.  Thank to the generous pioneer producers of these insect based foods.

If you would like to order your own bug teats you might check out this list of producers: http://stevebailes.org/blogs/entotreats/ .  You might coordinate with someone to purchase smaller amounts at large order prices here: at the Bug Co-op.

There were songs from Spain, Cuba, Mexico, and others.  The Capon Bridge library wrote: “…the Italian Exchange students were there with their host families. They [beautifully] sang Italian songs and ended the night by singing the “Star Spangled Banner”. Very touching. Looking forward to next year!”

Here are some links with photos from others.

www.facebook.com/nancy.meade.10/posts/2454359144796946  

www.facebook.com/CaponBridgePublicLibrary/posts/10156870019426210

www.facebook.com/CaponBridgePublicLibrary/posts/10156869061106210

www.facebook.com/nancy.meade.10/posts/2454370134795847

 

4-H Bugs and Autour du Monde

In February 2019, my daughter, Stephanie, invited  Terry Lynn and I to bring the Bug Show to W. M. Irvin Elementary in Concord, NC. 

On April 10, 2019, the Soaring Arrows 4-H club of Round Hill invited me to share my passion for eating insects.  The 4-H motto lists head, heart, hands, and health.  I do sincerely believe insects in our diet would lead to better health. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations stated that Eating Bugs Could Combat Obesity.  You can check out the related Entonation podcast.

Check out the cool bug apparel.  Exo Protein bars, Chirps, Merci Mercado, Entomo Farms, Jiminys.  If you’d like a bug T-shirt or baseball cap, you can click their link and order your own.

Many companies donated their products generously to help present these and other educational programs. Exo Protein bars, Chirps, Merci Mercado, Entomo Farms, Jiminys, AaronPauling.com, Bug Eater Foods, Chloe’s Treats, Cricket Flours, Entomarket, HOTLIX Candy Store, Jurassic Snacks Inc. , Rainbow Mealworm.  If you want to order your own insect based foods, you can click the link, or check this page.  Or if you would like to try take advantage of cheaper prices and shipping you might join the Bug Co-op. 

Kim or Ethan Ferris provided the photos.

On Thursday May 9, 5 – 7:30 pm, The Hampshire County Public Library in Romney and the Capon Bridge Public Library will host International Culture Fiesta  at the Hope Christian Church15338 NORTHWESTERN Pike , Augusta WV 26704. Here is the Facebook event page).  The emphasis of this yearly event is to present cultures from around the world.  I will be presenting the roll insects play in many cultures around the world.  And I will have samples of insect products and insect based dishes.  I hope you will join us– and invite others,

Here are photos from the 2017 event and photos from the 2016 event.

(Bug) Farms for Orphans, Podcasts and Losers.

Bug Banquet to Benefit Farms for Orphans  Sun., Feb. 24, 2019 at 5-8 PM MST.  The Welsh Rabbit Bistro & Cheese Shop, 200B Walnut St / 216 Pine St, Fort Collins, CO. Hosted by The Welsh Rabbit Bistro & Cheese ShopFarms for Orphans, Inc and Rocky Mountain Micro Ranch

Farms for Orphans wrote”Our mission is to ensure orphaned and underprivileged children in developing countries have a sustainable source of nourishment and access to education by building the agricultural infrastructure needed to produce food and provide training in environmentally sound agricultural practices.”  Image result for Farms for Orphans

Here is a great podcast: Entomophagy Anthropology (EATING BUGS) with Dr. Julie Lesnik (1 1/2 hr. )  Check it out.  If it’s too long for you, you know how to X out.

Males who have been branded “losers” can take heart from recent cricket research described in this article: “Cricket females choose male losers“.

 

 

Love Bug

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Happy Valentines Day!  Think of how many insects terms are used as terms of endearment.  I can think of many nicknames (usually girls)– that are insect references (e.g. Judy Bug, or just bug.)

Sadly, when we receive unwanted attention, we say someone is bugging us.  And an unpleasant or angry person can be described as waspish.

Like all living things, insects could use some love.  Many entomologists (insect scientists have been raising concern about a drastic decline in insect populations.  Here is one related article from Germany.  I’m aware none of us enjoy ants getting into our picnic food, or mosquito bites, or insects damaging our garden crops.  But when you think about how foundational insects are in our world’s food chain, it’s a little spooky to think what our world would look like if insect populations were indeed diminishing.  Is that one of the reasons bird watchers have been raising concern about decreasing bird populations (because their insect food source has decreased)?  I try not to overact and be alarmist, but doesn’t this issue bare serious investigation?

OK, enough gloom and doom.  Has anybody enjoyed (or not) eating bees or wasps.  I would really like to try the Japanese rice cookie with wasps, jibachi senbei.  I have enjoyed wax worm larvae.  These were the bane of my existence, wreaking havoc in weak hives when I was an apiarist.  I didn’t realize at the time, the larvae are really very tasty and nutritious.  I would like to find a hymenoptera nest (yellow jackets, wasps, hornets) and confiscate the nest (without getting stung, hopefully).  Reverting to the gloom and doom above, I would like to discuss hymenoptera population health before I start eating them.  I am aware that my eating yellow jackets does nothing good for THAT particular nest.

I just came across another “insect farmer” or “bug factory,”  Best Bait.  Here is their Facebook page.  In the “bad old days”, some of the early entomophogists depended on pet food or bait suppliers for their insect dining pleasure.  I have found such suppliers are candid about whether or not their insects of human food grade or not.

I am pleased to find there are more entomophagy resources all the time.  My daughter, Stephanie gave me, “Eat Grub: the Ultimate Insect Cookbook, by Shami Radia and Neil Whippey, with recipes by Sebastian Holmes.  The authors were the founders of Eat Grub in the UK.

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I hope this isn’t too racey.  I know my readers (reader?  there is at least somebody out there reading this?) are mature and responsible individuals so I will share this BUGS IN LOVE: LOVEBUGS, KISSING BUGS, AND OTHER INSECTS ENGAGED IN INTIMATE ACTIVITIES.

In case you are NOT feeling the love, be aware that bugs can help you express YOUR feelings too.  Click this link to DC Zoo and other zoos have a similar program.

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If you are interested in entomophagy, in addition to this blog, you might check out this page, which lists insects-as-food suppliers, events, resources such as informational videos, and cookbooks.

And we have formed a Bug co-op, for someone who wants to give entomophagy a try and likes the big order prices, but isn’t ready to fill their pantry with a big order.

So on this Valentines Day, I think the world would be a better place if we just let our bug love light shine.