Entomophagy is defined simply as the practice of eating insects, and it’s definitely not a new concept. Here’s a quick Q&A to convince you why maybe you should try it:
Q: I have access to meat, nuts, and seeds, so why would I eat bugs?
A: According to Girl Meets Bug, most edible insect species are just as nutritious as meat, yet it is up to 20 times more efficient to raise insect protein than beef. It also takes up to 1000 times less water to raise insects than the same amount of meat. If insects themselves were deemed a food crop, we could cut down on pesticide use, and its associated environmental damage. Insects can be a great way to provide nutrition to the masses, and can be very affordable and sustainable.
Q: Nobody else eats bugs, why should I?
A: Actually, 80% of the people in the world currently include bugs as a part of their diets. Marcel Dicke, an ecological entomologist, makes an appetizing case for adding insects to everyone’s diet in this Ted Talk. His message to squeamish chefs and foodies: delicacies like locusts and caterpillars compete with meat in flavor, nutrition and eco-friendliness.
Q: Are bugs safe to eat?
A: For most people, it is completely safe and healthy to consume one of the hundreds of species of insects that are edible for humans. It is not advisable to consume bugs if you have a shellfish allergy, however.
Q: How are they prepared?
A: Like most foods, they can be fried, roasted, candied, pickled, or pretty much prepared in whatever way you desire. The boundaries are limitless. If you’re not a big fan of the idea of seeing the bugs, but want the nutritional benefits they provide, they can be ground up and mixed into pretty much anything.
Q: Which ones can we eat?
A: Over 1000 different species of insects are currently consumed throughout the world. Most people start with mealworms or crickets, but there are so many different kinds that you can try. They can even be Kosher! Ask your Rabbi about locusts.
Q: Where can I get bugs?
This lovely article has a plethora of great resources in helping you find your next meal of worms. Additionally, think locally: I know Ox and Stone in Rochester sells fried crickets as an appetizer. It could be a really fun way of trying a new and interesting experience with friends on a night out.
Written by Mariah Greico, Class of 2018
Photo thanks to Pixabay