Do/would you eat insects?

By bobcat · 20 replies
Dec 10, 2010
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  1. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization is starting a campaign to get Europeans to include insects in their diet, because hey are nutritious and good for the environment. For example, grasshoppers provide 20.6% protein, as much as beef, while their farming is much cheaper.

    Entomophagy is the term used to describe the consumption of insects as a food source. Although eating insects intentionally is not yet common practice in the United States and Europe, it is popular among the peoples of many other regions of the world including Africa, Asia, Australia, Mexico and South America. These areas have developed specific recipes for certain regional insects as part of their daily diet. In general, insects provide a rich source of protein and area relatively inexpensive to purchase as compared to meat products. Though not all insects can be eaten, many can, either raw or cooked, while others are used as ingredients to produce other food items.

    In Africa, popular insects to eat include termites, grasshoppers, caterpillars, beetles, ants, and locusts.

    All over Asia, the giant waterbug, which is gathered at night near water sources, is roasted whole and eaten as a delicacy. Ants, beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, katydids, locusts, and larvae from the dragonfly are fried or boiled prior to eating.

    Australia is home to many large colonies of termites, some of which are as long as three inches in length. Australians favor these insects and prefer them fried.

    In Mexico and South America, grasshoppers are a popular food source, especially fried. Fried grasshoppers are also canned commercially and sold in supermarkets and local grocery stores. The agave worm is also a popular insect to eat, whether swallowed whole in a preserved state in a bottle of tequila or eaten cooked inside of a tortilla.

    So, do you consume, and enjoy, insects in your country?
    But if you live in Europe or USA, how would you fancy a dish of large, juicy cockroaches on your Christmas table? And would you prefer them fried, boiled or preserved in a jar?
  2. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    Sorry, but I'll take a T-bone steak, chips (fries), pepper sauce and peas instead... Sod eating insects! :haha:
  3. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,974   +2,527

    In truth, here in the US, we really shy away from anything that appears to have been alive at anytime.

    For example, a McDonald's hamburger in no way resembles a cow. Nor do "Arby's french fries," appear as if they'd ever been a potato. The potatoes are mashed then extruded through a pattern, then fried.

    Those are the natural portions of our diet. The rest is mostly chemicals, with a halogenated metal compound, (Sodium Chloride), being a large component.

    In furtherance of my theory, refined sugar certainly doesn't look like a plant, now does it?

    A Chinese "restaurant' just opened on the corner in my slum. One could speculate that natural food has finally arrived here in the ghetto. I'm going over later to check out the "Moo Goo Gui Meow":

    (Now you know I'm only funnin' witcha, dont cha Bobcat)?
  4. bobcat

    bobcat TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 688   +67

    Though the last onomatopoeia might seem, or rather sound, like a feline (cat), in fact the Chinese are known for eating dogs, not cats. However, what they might serve the Americans is not necessarily the delicacies they reserve for themselves. So, it’s more likely that the “moo etc” thing is in fact a moouse, if you forgive my slight misspelling, which would be abundant in a slummy area as mentioned. The way to test this is to observe whether cats are to be seen sniffing around the place.

    But for members about to have their dinner who might find the above off-putting, here are some more appetizing delicacies, also requiring less speculation as to their nature:

  5. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Needs more white bread and a styrofoam cup of post-mix cola syrup to appeal to the Western palate.

    In all honesty, as a chef, I've tried just about every local food on my travels. Fried grasshoppers seem to be a very common item in many countries - pan-fried w/ butter and garlic sometimes with the addition of chili and lime juice is quite a tasty snack.

    The local cuisine here in New Zealand also includes the larvae of the Huhu beetle ( a member of the Longhorn beetle family). Not exactly mainstream dining, but many people have given them a taste at the many Wild Food Festivals that abound here during the summer months.
  6. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,332   +101

    If prepared decently as divide suggests (i.e. not just a raw, live grasshopper), sure, I'd definitely chow down on some insects.
  7. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,714   +855

    Already have. If prepared properly, they're not bad at all. Kinda like frogs legs.

    And if you're hungry enough. During my 20-year military stint there were times where I was grabbing insects off of trees and eating them to keep the energy up.

    It's all in the state of mind, ya know. ;)
  8. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Frogs legs? - that implies a certain blandness. Possibly true if the grasshoppers were boiled and without seasoning I suppose.
    Generally it mostly depends on the cooking method - delicate flavoured items usually take on the flavour and aroma of the cooking medium and the aromatics (herbs, spices, oils etc.) used to season them.
    Raw, I'd say that the grasshoppers I've tasted reminded me more of slightly under ripe sweetcorn kernals- albeit with less intensity. Probably depends largely on the insects diet I would assume.
  9. Benny26

    Benny26 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,535   +51

    Hmmm...I suppose i could drink a Cockroach cocktail if it was properly blended with no big bits in it (get more in your system faster that way aswell). To eat one whole though, i'de probably have to be drunk first i think.
  10. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    I think I'd need to be dead first..... :haha:
  11. olevaiteks

    olevaiteks TS Rookie

    Same here :D
  12. Benny26

    Benny26 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,535   +51

    Awww come on, It's only a Cockroach... Won't hurt ya :haha:
  13. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,010   +18

    I did share the worm on the bottom of the tequila bottle with my best friend when I was 16.

  14. abe10tiger

    abe10tiger TechSpot Paladin Posts: 789   +16

    lolz.. I'd go with them... can't stand cockroaches! XD
  15. beauty

    beauty TS Rookie Posts: 64

    It really is sad how Americans eat. Not that we should be eating bugs with all of the pesticides that get used here, but many Americans won't even eat liver.

    For goodness gracious, if you are going to kill the animal, you need to eat it. Raising animals for food exacts a huge toll on the environment and to waste any part of it is a tragedy. Most Americans will only eat muscle meat. Sad.

    And we eat way, way, way too much meat and animal products like cheese and eggs and milk. These foods should not be foundation of your diet - whole grains, fruits, vegetables and beans should be the foundation of your diet.

    I am guilty of eating too many animal products, but at least I feel guilty about it and am trying to change. Most Americans don't.

    I understand how hard it is to change when you were raised like many of us were, but I don't see how the earth can sustain what we are doing to it much longer.
  16. Benny26

    Benny26 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,535   +51

    Ahhh, now that's definatly worth a pat on the back...
  17. Cota

    Cota TS Enthusiast Posts: 513   +8

    Im a fan of grasshoppers and crickets specially when they are dehydrated or whit sauces, i had tryed some worms and stuff like that but i keep away from cockroaches. :eek:
  18. bobcat

    bobcat TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 688   +67

    Q: What 's worse than finding a worm in the apple you are eating?

    A: Finding half a worm.
  19. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    those contributing to the V/M forum eat BUGS every day :wink:
  20. NHS2008

    NHS2008 TS Rookie

    I would If someone hypnotized me...or If I was on dilapidated island with on other sources of nutrition or if someone offered me lots of money for it!! :D
  21. Brucew0617

    Brucew0617 TS Rookie

    Hell no! I will feel so sick when I though about this scene.

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