(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


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.


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.


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.

“Sing for Your Dinner”, or “Your Singing Dinner”

I would encourage you to read this thoughtful article (featured in Entomofago) by cricket farmer, Adam Brody, of Cricket Farm New York.  He apparently hosted a cricket  concert  at the Dixon Place theater.  You might go to dinner theater and enjoy a steak, fish, chicken, etc. , but I bet you won’t hear your dinner (cows, fish, chickens, etc.) sing for you.  As you have herd, schools, flocks a group of crickets are called an orchestra.

Here is a cricket song slowed down.  Snopes says this video‘s claim to be crickets slowed down is unproven– but the possibility is fascinating.

Friends often tease me about eating bugs, facetiously saying I can have all the stink bugs I want.  I was surprised to find people actually do eat stink bugs.  I have not tried them yet, but here’s a related video (also in Entomofago).  And you might notice what many of the insects-as-food pioneers have realized.  Names are important.  Ask me if I want to eat a stink bug, I am turned off.  Ask me if I’d be willing to try a jumile (a stink bug), and I am less resistant.

Stars continue give support to entomophagy. Dawn O’Porter  tried some ants and gave a positive review.  You can read about it here.

There’s not a lot new information, but Crickstart posted a concise list of benefits of entomophagy.  One of the seldom mentioned benefits is the frass (cricket poop).  It apparently is in high demand.

Laura Shine (Twitter @shineonlaura) wrote a cautionary article: “Opinion: Edible insects are one hop closer to our plates“.

Here’s one more excellent article, What Happens to Your Body if You Start Eating Bugs. It explores how insects potentially could help people keep their blood pressure down, fight anemia, and supply b12, and other vitamins and minerals.

Bug Co-op

If anybody is interested in giving insect-as-food a try, check this out:  A friend was ordering cricket flour, and she was disappointed that so much of the cost was shipping rather than the product. She knew free shipping was an option if you ordered a sufficient quantity, but she didn’t want that much. I jokingly said we should form a co-op. Then I thought (I do that occasionally), “Why not?” A co-op would allow folks to order larger quantities and reduce shipping charges. So that is the 1st purpose of the Bug Co-op group.

James Rolin wrote on the Bug Co-op page, “Okay folks.. Cowboy Cricket Farms here ready to make a chirp! Let me know if we can be of any assistance to anyone.”  Maybe you want to check out the products on their website.

And you can find lots of other insect-as-food products here.




Buggy Braninfood

Thank you to Chirps, Entomo Farms – The Future of Food, Exo, Hotlix Candy, and Merci Mercado. Insect based snacks they provided were served at the Hampshire County Homeschool’s National Geography Bee at the Capon Bridge Public Library. Jiminy’s even provided snacks for “man’s best friend. “Runners and bikers have sung the praise of insect protein, claiming it helps them take seconds off their race time. But how do we explore the effect on our brain power of insects in our diet.

With or without bugs in their diet, these young folks did very well at the competition. Congratulations to Bryson (3rd place) and JD Loughry, Mason (2nd place) and Conner Wolford (champion), and Lilli Loughry. We appreciated the attendance of the Hampshire Review (thankyou, Ed Maurer for the photo.), Ed Morgan and Debra Ann Champ — Board of Education members, the library for hosting, and all the other folks who attended to cheer on our young geographers.  (www.facebook.com/steve.bailes2/posts/2268706313141869)

USA Today featured this article: From crickets to scorpions, why people are eating insects for fun.

Ento Nation posted a new audio program: Cooking with Critters: Silkworm Pupae Fudge Mallows

Bailes’ Buggy Bodega

Actually I’m not intending to open a store or restaurant, but this was suggested by a friend,  I did like the alliteration.

Back in December I got to take my bug show to Romney Elementary— Carrie Leigh’s 5th grade.  Milly Mullins, reporter for the Hampshire Review, covered the event.  Carrie is a former colleague, and I always enjoy visiting her classroom.  And I really enjoy preaching the virtues of entomophagy to young folks.  I tell them projections for the year 2050.  I know 2050 is a lifetime (three more of THEIR lifetimes.)  But us oldsters know 2050 will be here in the blink of an eye.  A U.N. report projected the world will population will rise to 9.2 billion.  3 billion will be living in urban slums.  There will be 1/3 less “farmable” land.  And a billion will not have sufficient water.  I encourage them to begin thinking of solutions.  I do believe insects could well be part of those solutions.  Insects require drastically less feed and water input to produce the same amount of edible nutritious protein.  And insects require drastically less space to produce that same amount of  protein.

But unfortunately we may not be evolutionarily designed to be forward thinking.  This is an interesting article that argues we should promote the good taste of insects , rather than appealing to the benefits to the planet.  I would encourage you to read this article featuring Kathy Rolin of Cowboy Cricket Farms:  www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2019/01/10/677826823/should-hyping-edible-bugs-focus-on-the-experience-instead-of-the-environment?sc=tw

Reporter Mullins voiced personal interest in entomophagy,  She had recently watched the award winning documentary , The Gateway Bug.  If you have a Hampshire County library card you can watch the documentary for free.  Ask your librarian.

Some of the pioneers in the insect protein industry generously sent some of their products.  Entomo Farms, Exo Protein, Chirps, and Merci MercadoJiminy’s sent samples of their pet products.  (Humans shouldn’t be the only ones to enjoy cricket protein products.  I have mentioned previously, if you want to give insect products a try, and you’d like to give a big order price without making a big order, you might check out this local group: the Bug Co-op.  Maybe someone would split a bigger order with you.

Principal, Patty Lipps was a good sport and tried some of the bug products. The students were so attentive and polite.  I hope some of them will be the pioneering scientists and entrepreneurs to solve the many challenges of feeding the world’s population in the future.


Hexapods Help Food Pantry

In Dec. 2018 the American Legion Post 137 hosted a benefit for the local food pantry.  Many people would be shocked to learn how many families in our community don’t have enough food for their family.

Shawn Ashton headed up this great event, with the community gathering to rock and roll, enjoy each others company, and support the much needed local organization.

One of the highlights of the evening is the auction run by Sherard Auction Company.  Many businesses and individuals donated quality items.  $8,000.00 was raised for the pantry.

And some insect product companies made generous contributions. Insect products were combined in a basket Exo Protein, Chirps, Merci Mercado, Entomo Farms and Jiminy’s.  Sincere thanks to these generous folks.