Buggy Jam

The company and the tunes were great the other evening at . Thanks to Betsy and Elizabeth Podsiadlo who hosted the old time jam at the Honeybee Studio.  I think the tunes were really turbo charged by the cricket Bug Out Bars. You can read more about the founders of Bug Out Bars here. And here is the Bug Out Bars website. Michael at Bug Out Bars wrote: “New customers can get 30% off their first purchase with code ENTOTREATS30.”

There is some talk of another jam in North River Mills. I will plan to have some insect based delicacies. Musicians can see if insect protein helps them nailing those old tunes. You can order your own here  (a list of producers. If you want big order discounts or free shipping you can team up with somebody in the Bug Co-op group.

Edible Insects at the Museum

I hate Covid 19, and the challenges it places of so many aspects of our lives, but… One up side is the access we have to experts who are offering amazing classes virtually.

How many of you have been curious about eating bugs. Could it be good for you? Could it really be good for the planet? Could bugs actually taste good? But… you just aren’t ready to pop something in your mouth when you see the antennae and six egs. The good news is– you don’t have too! There are so many ways to enjoy bugs, and you wouldn’t know insects were an ingrediant unless somebody told you.

So, The Natural History Society of Maryland is hosting an event, Edible Insects: An Introduction to Entomophagy, Monday, November 23, 2020 at 7 PM. They posted:

“This Thanksgiving, why not spice up the traditional menu with some insects. Entomophagy is the consumption of insects as a human food source.

Are you ready to have crickets on your salad or mealworms in your burger? This could be the future of the human diet as insects play an increasing role in providing human protein. Join us as we explore Entomophagy. Find out what insects are eaten, their nutritional value and their role in agriculture. View some live insects used as food and learn how you can prepare them in a live cooking demo. Elizabeth Hill, Principal Agent Associate with the University of Maryland Extension, is a 4-H educator that teaches entomology to youth and adult audiences.

REGISTER HERE: https://www.marylandnature.org/get-involved/events/event/edible-insects-an-introduction-to-entomophagy/

The suggested donation for this event is $5. NHSM understands that the pandemic has adversely impacted many. It shouldn’t impact access to education. Therefore, a free option is also available.
Zoom meeting info is included in the email you get once you are registered.

Please direct any questions regarding this program to bstrong@marylandnature.org”

I’d love to hear from you if you participate in this event.

Image may contain: one or more people and people sitting

And when you need insect based products, you can find a list of producers here. If you don’t want to make a large order, but you might like to get the larger order discount, you might check out and/or join Bug Co-op.

Bug Appetit!

Cricket Crispies (and Other Taste Treats)

If you can’t harvest insects from your garden, there are many suppliers today. Here is one of my new favorite bug desserts.

Terry Lynn and I teamed up to make an apple pie. (“Can she make an apple pie, Stevie boy, Stevie boy…” By the way, there are some great apples available locally. If you want recommendations, let me know. (My former students often commented that I flitted from one topic to another. My lessons might have been compared to watching a ping pong game, but ping pong is just back and forth. Imagine a bunch of ping pong balls being smacked in every possible direction.)

So… I believe we were talking about insects and apple pie. (There is a connection. ) When the pie is done, sprinkle “cricket crispies”. If you have not tried it already, I would encourage you to do so. The crickets gave a slightly nutty flavor, but mostly, the crickets imparted a nice crunch.

There really are some great insect based products. And they often offer deals and discounts. I have many producers listed here.

And there is a Bug Co-op in case you want to try insect products, but you don’t want to spend a lot. The Coop allows you to purchase small orders at big order prices.

Happy fall and bug appetit!

Be Like John

John the Baptist that is. I don’t see much benefit in wearing the camel hair shirt, but his diet…

I was excited to receive a package from Biblical Protein. (Click the link for more information or check out their Twitter , Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn page. They sent whole locusts (hargol חרגול in Hebrew) and honey (for dipping?). They also sent energy bars made with locusts. And a new insect protein. Biblical Protein argues that COVID is not the first airborne plague– locusts 1 of the 10 plagues in the Passover story

As I child I knew of grasshoppers, and I THOUGHT I knew locusts were those bugs that came every seventeen years (properly known as perennial cicadas.) Locusts are actually grasshoppers that, like the cicadas, tend to swarm (think Biblical plague). Basically, lone hoppers are grasshoppers. Swarms are called locusts. If you want to read more click here.

The story of John the Baptist who lived on locusts and honey can be found in Matthew 3:4. Locusts, the only kosher insect, are listed in Leviticus 11:22. They are also mentioned in the Iliad, the Mahabharata,  and the Quran. Locusts were generally considered a problem– a plague. But this six year old company sees grasshoppers not as a plague, but as providence.

Dror Tamir (co-founder of Hargol FoodTech which produces Biblical Protein) is the public figure, promoting the benefits of eating locusts. Hargol farm is based near Nazareth and the Golan Heights near the Jordan River. They have plans to work with a a Jordanian business, which would seem to promote peaceful cooperation between formerly warring nations.

Hargol has posted a fascinating video tour of their facility. (You can see it at 15 minutes here.) The locusts are raised on wheat grass. It seemed odd to me that the locusts thrive on being crowded– “the more the better.” Grasshoppers, katydids and crickets are the only kosher insects.

I know insects are hard for many in North America to consider as a food source, but globally locusts are the most common insect eaten.

Insects raised for food produce only 1/4 as much greenhouse gas as the conventional meat industry. I think Hargol maintains the reduce greenhouse gases by 98.8%. I often find myself skeptical of claims made by the insect protein companies. But even if some of their claims are partly true, shouldn’t we look closer at their data. In addition to decreasing greenhouse gases, insect farming requires dramatically less water and land usage. Hargol maintains grasshoppers need one thousand times less water to produce 1 kg protein than say beef production. They say grasshoppers require one thousand five hundred times less land.

I have heard people asking how insect protein fits with vegetarian or vegan concerns. Dror, of Biblical Protein, argues that a vegetarian diet often requires much heavy use of insecticides. The insects are killed with poisons and left to die. Insect farming requires no pesticides. When the insects are ready to harvest, they are simply chilled. Then they are killed humanely and processed.

I am a beef farmer. I see a great difference in the amount of food and water required, to produce protein. I see a great difference in the amount of land required. And my cows generally give me one calf each year. Grasshoppers breed and produce all year long. There is very little processing required as grasshopper are already 17% protein. When I butcher my beef, I lose more than half of the cow’s mass. Hargol can use 100% of locust.

What are the health benefits of eating locusts? “They are low in carbs and practically fat-free. They also contain a wealth of minerals: iron, zinc, folic acid – an essential for pregnant women – as well as omega-3, omega-6 and vitamins. What’s hardly there? Cholesterol and saturated fat,”

There are many challenges facing Hargol. It is the first commercial operation to domesticate locusts. Light population density, humidity, and temperature must be maintained at very exact levels.

So, are you ready to try locusts? You can order locust products from their website listed at the beginning of this article. If you are going “hard core”– eating whole locusts, Dror recommends you remove the wings. If you want to ease your way into entomophagy (eating bugs) you might start with the locust powder. Insects are typically very mild flavored, so you often taste the spices or other ingredients. Hargol is creating locust and beef sausages, and honey locust gummies.

And again, John the Baptist ate honey and locusts. Be like John.

If you want to check out other companies that supply insect protein you might check out my entotreats page.

Cricket Kale Puddin’

If you know my Terry Lynn, you know I am blessed with a patient supportive wife. My turn to cook Tuesday night. (I know. I am seeing some of you shudder.) I had a recipe for Kale Puddin’.  I asked Terry Lynn if she would mind if I threw in a 1/2 cup or so of crickets. I know she was not thrilled, but she said OK. If anybody wants the recipe, I will be glad to share it.  I may have taken a few too many liberties with the recipe. (e.g. we didn’t have rice, so I substituted 1st summer squash and then spaghetti pasta.)

An Arlington, VA classmate Peter Gundelfinger wrote: “The Whole Earth Catalogue had an entry in the ‘70s with insect recipes. It said, in the war on insects, if we can’t beat ‘em, we’ll eat ‘em!”

Just add the crickets or mealworms with the kale in the food processor.

Bug Appetit!

Mystery Bug Berry Sludge Pie

IMG_0320I’m worried.  I know there are plenty of reasons to worry.  (1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”)  But IF I was going to worry, I think I would worry about my eldest granddaughter.  IF I was going to worry, I would worry that she inherited the “crazy gene” from her mom and my sweet wife, bless her heart.  (Hint: you can get away with saying lots of things if you add “sweet” and “bless her heart.”)

Back to my granddaughter…  many of us are finding the need to phone those we love.  So during the phone chat, I told my granddaughter, Pipes,  This is the granddaughter who helped me serve bugs to the  The Gateway Bug screening at ACFF (w/ special tasting) in 2017 at Shepherd University (Click here if you want to read more about that.)  One of Pipes’ aspirations was to become a baker.  So I thought I would share my newest baking adventure.

  • I began with the directions, “Start with a jar of mystery berry sludge…”  Now at this point normal people are supposed to exclaim something like, “That’s gross!”  But Pipes interrupted me with, “Wait a minute.  I need to write this down.”  So I continued with directions as follows:
  • (I am NOT a baker, so I pulled a double pie crust dough out of the freezer.)
  • Preheat the the oven to 425 F.
  • Bring 2 1/2 C. of the mystery berry sludge to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer.  (I really don’t know what it was.  It looked like blackberry, but it had no seeds.  I probably ran berries through a Squeezo.  But they were more tart than I would expect of blackberries.)
  • Add 1/4 cup of sugar.  (I found out it needs more sweetener.  You can add a dollop of ice cream when it is served.)
  • Make a thick paste with 2 Tbs. of corn starch.  Add that to boiling sludge.  (I REALLY think I need another term if this is to be socially acceptable, but synonyms don’t sound any better: muck, mire, ooze, silt, alluvium, slime, viscous mixture.)
  • Add 2 C. dried apples from an unknown archaeological era.
  • Add a couple pinches of salt.
  • I smear Crisco on a 9 ” pie pan.
  • Melt 2 Tbs. of butter.  Coat the top of the bottom pie crust (to prevent the sludge from soaking into the crust.)
  • Pour the mystery berry sludge and the dried apples into the pie crust.
  • Add another 2 Tbs. of butter.
  • Add the top crust.
  • Brush on an additional 2 Tbs. of butter and sprinkle sugar on top.
  • Bake at 425 F for 15 min.  Reduce the heat the 350 F and bake for an additional 30 min.

Finally!  I know this is what you were waiting for.  (This is a bug blog after all.)  Sprinkle your favorite bug garnish on top for a nice nutty kick. The photo shows Entomo Farms dried crickets and Livin Farms mealworms.  My web host migrated my website, and now my bug page is (temporarily?) unavailable.  Here is a site that listsento-companies.

As a bonus, I added photos of Terry Lynn’s muffin with bug toppings.

So, in conclusion, I will admit I am not really worried about Pipes or any of the other crazy ladies in my life.  They are indeed crazy, but I love them just the way they are.

Stay safe, wash your hands, keep your distance– and try not to worry.  Bug appetit!





La Cucaracha Puff Pastry

IMG_0225I toyed with the idea of calling this ento treat Blattodea Puff Pastry, using the scientific name for the main ingredient, cockroaches. Then Terry Lynn suggested the Spanish name. I liked it.

A former student and his wife, Erik and Noel invited me to a party.  Then somebody asked if I was bringing bugs.  That’s almost a challenge, and Erik indicated it was OK for me to bring my ento treats.  His cute young daughter was not at all turned off by the Hotlix lollipop I gave her.  Hotlix is a lot like Tootsie Roll Pops, in that they have a surprise inside.  But their surprise is a mealworm, a cricket, or a scorpion.

Erik and Noel had a nice selection of beer, wine and spirits. Erik introduced me to a really nice sour PA beer- Victory’s Sour Monkey.  I have long noticed that people are much more open to enjoying ento treats after they have enjoyed some beer, wine and spirits.

So here is a recipe and description of the ento treat I took to Erik’s party. It was a really fun crowd which makes sharing bug teats much easier.

Thanks to Aaron Pauling, the Texas cockroach farmer, who provided the cockroach nymphs.

The puff pastries are a derivation of the theme of baklava (bugluvAH).

Ingredients include:

6 Pepperidge Farm puff pastries. (I meant to pull fillo [φύλλο]  dough out of the the freezer the night before, then the next morning I realized you defrosted 6 puff pastries.)IMG_0217

1 cup frozen cockroach nymphs

½ cup pecans

2 Tablespoons orange zest. I had some orange peels in the freezer. It was super easy to shave the orange zest, the dark outside, with a carrot peeler.

2 Tablespoons honey  (Hampshire County has some great local apiaries)

2 teaspoons cinnamon

4 squares Dove dark chocolate


Bake the puff pastries as per directions. (400 degrees F in an ungreased pan)

Puree in blender 1 cup frozen cockroaches.

Fry the frozen cockroaches for 2 minutes. No oil necessary.IMG_0224

Puree ½ cup pecans with 2 Tablespoons orange zest. IMG_0223

Mix cockroaches, pecans with honey and cinnamon. I didn’t measure the orange zest, honey or cinnamon so don’t trust the measurements above.

Melt and drizzle dark chocolate on top.IMG_0226

Bug Appetit!

Tenebrio Molitor Falafel

Elisabeth Herndler came to Capon Bridge Middle School in 2002 to share her Austrian homeland at our International Festival.  ‘2002MultCultFestHendler

She recently made this post:

A slightly different falafel’ Project (or ‘Testing my friends’ tolerance’ Project – it’s all in the worm)

Main ingredients for the falafel…1ingredients

The special ingredient – mealworms…2mealworms

Half of the worms ground into flour…3MealormsGround

Tahini should not be missing in a good falafel4Tahini

Mix in some parsley and shallots, some spices, too…

The other half of the worms are added whole – so we can actually see what we are eating…8mealwormGarnish
into the frying pan they go until golden brown..9FalafelFry
and last but not least – it is all about the presentation!10FalafelWithSauce
(Steve takes over here.)
Dankeschön, Elisabeth.  I’m anxious to try this.
If anybody else wants to make this falafel dish, there are many sources for mealworms.  Rainbow Mealworm is one of the listed producers I list on my bug page.
Maybe you see the health benefits, and the benefits for our planet of using insects as food… but you just don’t want to SEE them.  You will find products like cricket powder.  You can mix the cricket powder with whatever flour you normally use.  NextMilleniumFarms (EntomoFarms) and  Aspire Food Group (Exo Protein bars) sell cricket powder.
If you want a substitute for butter, check out how Belgian Researchers Are Using Insect Fat in Baked Goods
If you’d like to try some other insect protein packed foods, everybody is welcome to join us Thurs. May 14, 2020, 4:30-7 pm, International Fiesta, Hope Christian Church Augusta, WV.  The emphasis is world cultures, not bugs.  But they let me bring my insect-as-food treats, savory and sweet.  Visit & experience cultures from all over the world– right here in Hampshire County. Open to anyone who would like to present a country. Stephanie Pryor started this great event many years ago.  If you would consider participating,  please contact the Hampshire County Public Library [302-822-3185], or Nancy Meade at the Capon Bridge Public Library (304 856 3777). Let them know if you need a table. Ethnic cuisine is welcome. Share a favorite piece of the world or just come.  This is a cooperative effort of Romney and Capon Bridge Libraries.
I hope to see you at the International Fiesta.
Until then, I wish you many wonderful taste experiences in the expanding world of Entomophagy.


You Win Some…

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. 

National Park Service C&O Canal Volunteer Appreciation Dinner

Steve reliving his youth (60 years past). The bumper cars at Glen Echo were a favorite.

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.






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.