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Entomophagy - Why should our pets be the only ones to eat bugs?

Discussion in 'Insects, Other Invertebrates & Arthropods' started by cacoseraph, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. cacoseraph

    cacoseraph ArachnoGod Old Timer

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    I was at a Sonoran Arthropod Study Institute conference today and saw an awesome presentation on entomophagy (human consumption of bugs). I think i would like to get involved with the movement, as it were... I think i am going to start to keep a list, per state, of all the known delectable (or even just edible) species.

    If anyone is also interested in entomophagy and would like to possibly lend a hand or even just keep abreast of my efforts, let me know here :)

    I ate some possibly surprisingly good lightly fried Zophobas morio, super worms today

    The talk i saw was given by Dave Gracer, of www.smallstockfoods.com

    One of the points he confirmed and which i have believed for a long time, is that insects can provide meat at a vastly more efficient rate than a cow or chicken... something that is becoming increasingly of a concern as more and more of the world adopts the sort of stereotypical USA diet.
     
  2. Aurelia

    Aurelia Arachnoprince

    I'm an entomophage :) Thought I get heartburn if I eat insects with thicker exoskeletons. My system doesn't like the chitin. Waxworms are my favorite.

    [YOUTUBE]abZoE_hJf-s[/YOUTUBE]
     
  3. cacoseraph

    cacoseraph ArachnoGod Old Timer

    nice! it sounds very crunchy :)
     
  4. ZephAmp

    ZephAmp Arachnobaron

    I've been thinking about separating out some hissers or maybe some Eublaberus roaches for eating; Rearing them on a chicken mash diet in pristine conditions, I think they'd be fairly tasty. :p
    I don't see anything wrong with eating bugs; I really wish more people would look into it. If I'm out in the field and I don't have any food on hand I'll grab whatever bug I don't intend on keeping as a pet to munch on (guided by the general rule that if it's brightly colored, DON'T EAT IT.)
     
  5. Aurelia

    Aurelia Arachnoprince

    Just be careful. Some insects can harbor bacteria or insecticide if they've been in a field that has been treated.
     
  6. ScarecrowGirl

    ScarecrowGirl Arachnosquire

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    What about dubia? I almost made chocolate covered fried roaches for my guests on Halloween last year. Didn't get the chance to though...
     
  7. 1Lord Of Ants1

    1Lord Of Ants1 Arachnoknight

    GROSS!

    Lol, but in all honesty, I've been interested in this for awhile. I'm sure they do taste quite good, I don't see why not, but I still can't bring myself to eat any insects. One day!
     
  8. cacoseraph

    cacoseraph ArachnoGod Old Timer

    Hissers have urea or something in their fat which makes them taste bad if eaten en toto. I bwlieve not all roaches do this. Also a lot of roaches havw repugnatorials that mifht make an otherwise decent tasting bug taste bad. One possible way around this is to harvest freshly molted specimens as they shed the repug exoskeleton invaginations

    ---------- Post added 04-14-2012 at 03:17 PM ----------

    very good points. Bugs should be treated like raw chicken in a sense, cooked fully to kill potential pathogens. And yes, i would be very careful eating wc stuff and in fact would not suggest it
     
  9. Huh, that would explain why my tarantulas find freshly shed bugs so tasty. X-D

    I do feed fresh-shed often because they are so soft. I am curious about insect consumption but don't have the nerve. I've heard crickets have a nutty flavor but I won't be dining on my own supply. They are so dirty even in that huge bin I got for them!

    After raising waxworms, I could see why they might taste good. They have such a sweet diet. When I had them, I even went out and got them honey with the comb and pollen capsules from a health food store.
     
  10. The Snark

    The Snark Abby Normal Old Timer

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    There is a ... ?cultural? delicacy here among many people in S.E. Asia, not the just hilltribes, which exemplifies alternative munching. They take small frogs and baby freshwater crabs and mash them up with a mortar and pestle, adding just about any insect and arach that can be found. The resulting paste is spiced. Sometimes it is steamed, sometimes fried, sometimes eaten raw. We are talking the entire animal here, rinsed clean but... :eek::o_O:

    To me this is a constant source of aggravation. Every year when the fields are flooded you see thousands of people out with their triangular dip nets methodically clearing the paddys of frogs, our first line of defense from mosquitoes. So you have an alternative food source, but it is a specialty item rather than a main staple, and severe depredation of the environment. :mad:

    Of course, this is utterly trivial compared to the damage done world wide by cattle farming. A balance needs to be found. My suggestion is cannibalism, starting with members of the American Cattlemans Association. Use the above paste for unique flavoring. :sarcasm:
     
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  11. zonbonzovi

    zonbonzovi Creeping beneath you Staff Member

    Heck yeah. Thanks for the link. I've been keen on this since eating some of D.G. Gordon's stirfry and browsing the "Man Eating Bugs" book. The two biggest issues seem to be changing our perception of bugs as food and developing a supply without it turning into some godawful gourmet niche. Revelations about the safety aspect of entomophagy may help sway open minded folk and is the main reason why I haven't tried to seriously incorporate arthros in the diet. Where to begin with cooking methods and where to get food without losing your shirt?

    I don't know what I can offer outside of locating research works, compiling data & spreading the word, but I'd be glad to assist if I can.
     
  12. The Snark

    The Snark Abby Normal Old Timer

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    By far, the greatest quantity of insects eaten in S.E. Asia are larvae. They can be farmed and produced in prodigious quantities. Palm beetle and bamboo beetle are very common and usually found for sale in most of the larger local markets.
     
  13. Hornets inverts

    Hornets inverts Arachnobaron

    i got bored afew weeks back, i shallow fried mealworms, drained them and salted them. Very very tasty, tastes much like pork crackling, even my 18month old loved it
     
  14. Aurelia

    Aurelia Arachnoprince

    From my experience, most insects have very little flavor. They're like nature's tofu-they take on the flavor of whatever they're cooked in.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. cacoseraph

    cacoseraph ArachnoGod Old Timer

    this thread is going much better than i expected and as good as i hoped


    The Snark, i would dearly love to read as much as you are willing type about local habits, most especially farming.

    @Horn & Aur, my limited experiences so far have borne out the fairly neutral, easy to adapt flavor... but i can't really even tell pork from beef unless i can see the meat so i am not a good judge of such things


    @Zerg, i have definite reservations about just munching upon hobby crickets... but stir fry just about anything up with some tasty vegetable matter and i will probably be game. now, if we could generate some protocols for "healthy crickets" we might very well revolutionize the damned global paradigm. hobby crickets have a lot going for them, in a sense... they mature quickly and will eat just about anything... both those aspects are important to like, stable/staple entomophage species


    One thing that occurs to me... this could be a very real way to save a fair chunk of the human species... or at least markedly improve their quality of life or decrease their global footprint. people in the USA can moderately easily achieve a globally cushy way of life but we all leave HUGE footprints compared to the average global citizen. folks in some of the like, up and coming countries have admirably small footprints... but maybe could probably benefit from increased nutrition. the possible local and global benefits are staggering when one contemplates them!

    I am excited about this like i have been excited about few things in my life!
     
  16. Galapoheros

    Galapoheros ArachnoGod Old Timer

    I like the idea because I gravitate to being independent. It's not a discipline, it's more like my nature, it just feels good. I'd rather not depend on other people for food, water and electricity, it's something that bothers me a little all the time. I like the idea of conservation but I've read so much about "their" plans for "us". The whole footprint thing and "them" manipulating and herding us into the cities and keeping us off of nature's property, imo they are going overboard and apparently indoctrinating the younger people in school. I'm not saying that a lot of it doesn't make sense, it's just that they seem to go the manipulation route instead of encouraging a free society. There's a lot of info about that. These big redheaded crickets I have seem like they would be tasty fried up. They're pretty big also and easy to raise. They don't die-off and they don't smell bad either. With a garden, you could feed the the left-over composting stuff to the crickets, and get some of your protein from the crickets.
     
  17. pitbulllady

    pitbulllady Arachnoking Old Timer

    'Bout time someone started this thread! We could really solve a lot of our food problems by eating bugs. I've eaten mealworms, Superworms, ants and crickets myself, prepared in various ways, but spicy stir-friend Superworms are top of the taste list for me! Many cultures around the globe have been eating insects for thousands of years, and it's mainly our culture's associating insects with things that are nasty or unhealthy that has prevented it from becoming more accepted.
    I agree about the flavor thing, but is that a bad thing? I don't think so. I prefer a food which can adapt itself to whatever taste craving I have at the moment, actually. Most of the food we eat now gets its flavor primarily from what we put in it as it cooks, and few of us have tasted food that was prepared and cooked with absolutely no added flavorings, like salt, at all. I can distinguish between Superworms and regular mealworms, though, when it's just them stir-fried in a bit of olive oil with a dash of salt. Superworms have a much more "peanutty" flavor.
    Once in awhile, there'll be someone at a reptile show selling cooked bugs, and those actually sell quite well. I've gotten more than one person to try the mealworms, and no one really has said that they were "gross" or "yucky" or spit them out after trying them. It's that first try that is most difficult, but like with a person petting a snake for the first time, expecting it to be slimy and disgusting and finding it soft, silky and dry, people seem rather surprised that they actually like the taste of cooked bugs. It's just the getting over the cultural notion of bugs being nasty that's the hard part.

    pitbulllady
     
  18. Boatman

    Boatman Arachnosquire

    My mouth is starting to water as I read this thread!... LOL. I haven't tried bugs, but I would if the opportunity presented itself, and it was prepared in an appetizing fashion. I should be OK as long as I don't find the texture repelling (prickly, mushy, etc.), and it's flavored well. I've seen some things on Bizarre Foods that I would try. When I say that to someone and they say it's gross I say "Hey...Do cows and chickens look all that appetizing to you when they're running around the farm"?. Besides, I think if everyone had to slaughter their own food, there would be a lot more vegetarians.
     
  19. The Snark

    The Snark Abby Normal Old Timer

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    The broader view of things. As long as food is viewed first and foremost as mouth entertainment, our longevity will suffer, diseases that were once rarities will become more and more commonplace (as arteriosclerosis and diabetes), junk food marketers will continue to make obscene amounts of profit, the environment will eventually be irreparably damaged, and millions of people, especially children, will continue to starve to death.

    Eat bugs or whatever? How about just looking at things sensibly? What 'fuel' will let me live a long healthy life? Why not bugs? Millions of pounds of pink slime goes down that hole every year. Pink slime, aka offal, aka animal based filler material, aka hot dogs etc.
    Offal: The parts of a butchered animal that are, or once were, considered inedible by human beings. Eyeballs, entrails, carcinomas, bone shavings etc. Sure seems like the modern diet is already including far weirder crud than a few insects or spiders.
     
  20. SamuraiSid

    SamuraiSid Arachnodemon

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    On NetFlix, I saw an episode of TedTALKS where the speaker, whos name eludes me, was saying what your saying cacoseraph. I've never before eaten a bug, but I've started to wonder if I could eat one of my morio larvae reserved for the T's.

    My mother is fillipino, and in her youth before moving to the states, has consumed such a varied diet of insects I was always amazed. Havnt talked much about it since I was a kid, but maybe Ill see if she can remember any recipes or give me an idea with the larvae.

    I also have serious digestive illness, which has unfortunately led to an uncomfortable state of anorexia. I find the options in the "health food" ailse of my local grocer to be of poor quality and strife with propaganda. Bugs could be the key to health.

    I for one will keep reading this post:)