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.