Friday, September 28, 2012

Let's Eat Bugs!

Hungry? Lacking protein? Eat an insect, UN says

In 2008 the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization held a conference in Chiang Mai, Thailand to assess the dietary value of insects as food and discuss how to harvest more of them. Scientists from 15 countries probed the role of edible forest insects. They explored insect protein as a contributor to better nutrition, the economics of collecting edible forest insects, methods of harvesting, processing and promoting insect eating with snacks, dishes, condiments -- even recipes.

Animals that eat insects are known as Insectivores. Many humans are Insectivores because insect-eating is common in cultures in parts of the world, such as North, Central and South America; and Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Over 1,000 insects are known to be eaten in 80% of the world's nations.

Tasty and nutritious dishes of insects includes crickets, cicadas, grasshoppers, ants, various beetle grubs (such as mealworms), the larvae of beetle, various species of caterpillar, flies,wasps,scorpions and tarantulas. Add arachnids that includes shrimps, snails; slugs, lobsters and crabs.

Whether we want to or not we all eat insects. Canned and frozen fruit and vegetables, flour and rice all contain limited quantities of these harmless insects cruelly referred to by Food and Drug Administrators as insect filth. The illustrations below include a  lollipop with ants, a bowl of mealworms, a variety of deep fried assorted insects, and fried insect pupae.

Israel has recently been invaded by a plague of locusts arriving from Egypt. Moshe Basson is the chef of the popular Jerusalem restaurant Eucalyptus. He is also a food historian specializing in Biblical food traditions, and an expert on wild edibles native to the Holy Land.
So naturally, Basson has appeared on TV serving locusts with dipping sauce, according to Haaretz.
Here is another article you may want to read about eating nutritious bugs

Here are some hair raising menus from an annual event at the Waldorf Astoria. It takes courage to try these mouth watering delicacies   

You can eat insects as tasty snacks just as is or consider one of the many mouthwatering recipes;

Here is a challlenging recipe
Grasshopper Goulash
20 GRASSHOPPERS  chopped
2 handfuls of moss
6 owlets eyes
3 cups of chicken blood
2 grass snakes innards
3 cups of maggots

Fry the chopped grasshoppers with the owlets eyes and innards from the snakes. Once well cooked add the chicken  blood.  Simmer for 15 mins. Serve on a bed of pan fried maggots and garnish with the finely chopped moss
This is a friendlier recipe
Grasshopper Gumbo
    Ingredients (6 servings):
    1/2 cup lemon juice
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 teaspoon honey
    1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    2 tablespoon minced fresh herbs -- parsley, mint, thyme and/or tarragon.
    12 frozen grasshoppers, katydids, locusts, or other suitably sized Orthoptera, thawed
    1 red pepper, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
    1 small yellow onion, cut into 8 wedges
Directions: Mix all ingredients for the marinade in a  baking dish. Add the insects, cover, and marinate overnight. When ready to cook, remove the insects from the marinade. Pat them dry, for ease of handling. Assemble each kabob, alternately skewering the insects, tomatoes, and onion wedges to create a visually interesting lineup. Cook the kabobs two or three inches above the fire, turning them every two or three minutes and basting them with additional olive oil as required. The exact cooking time will vary, depending on the kind of grill and types of insects used; however, the kabobs should cook for no longer than 8 or 9 minutes.(from Utterly Outrageous Recipes)

Now Here is A Desert
Fruitcake, Desert
1 cup Cricket or Grasshopper Flour
1/4 cup Cherries, Dried, Chopped
1/4 cup Cranberries, Dried, Chopped
1/4 cup Water
This recipe is very traditional  and does not take into account advances in cooking technology -such as yeast. It is, however, a wonderful nutrition bar packed  with protein, carbohydrates, sugars, and about 2% fat (better than most
granolas). Mix all ingredients together to make a coarse dough. Pull off enough dough to make finger-sized strips and lay
these on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Bake at 350oF for 20 min or until the outside is deep tan (adjusting for the colour of
the flour) and a toothpick stuck into one comes out clean. Cool and serve as nutrition bars for snacks, hiking, or camping or store for later use.Var. - Add 1/4 c Rolled Oats and a tad more Water to make this more like a granola bar. Var. -
Substitute other Bug Flours for slightly differing taste.  From Edible Insects

Another Idea
My father late in life often placed all his is food in a blender and then drank it as a brown mush.. You may want to consider this if any of these menus displease you.

Why Should We Eat Bugs?
Well they are cheap, plentiful and everywhere. Canada's north for example is filled with them  and after the birds and fish have had their fill there are still billions of them ready to drink your blood and strip the leaves from the trees. Why not eat them instead of poisoning them and thus saving other living creatures at the same time.

They are rich in protein, and we are rapidly depleting our fish supply and polluting and despoiling our land raising cattle. .Prices are soaring and manipulated by speculators thus putting much needed protein out of the reach of billions of people. Insects are plentiful everywhere, an affordable supply that offers local employment to harvest and market. 

Global Warming is rapidly depleting coral reefs around the world. Half the coral cover of Australia's Great Barrier Reef is already gone and we can expect a similar deterioration  in he size and number of fish. We will have to start thinking about eating bugs for our protean.                                  .

Marketing Insect Eating to Westerners

Children under two will eat anything and maybe this is a place to start. Another ready consumer groups are drunken university students and entomologists. The problem is overcoming the prejudice of most others (including I confess the writer of this blog). One marketing approach that sells billions of everything is TV and print advertising about how the rich, young and beautiful celebrities  live. If they are seen happily eating insects we will all soon stampede to follow. They will be paid handsomely to claim they eat bugs and and who is to know whether they do or don't .

Then it will be up to the fast food outlets offering bug topped pizzas, bugburgers, cheese bugburgers topped with onions and lots of catsup and the market will soon take off. Our palates will adjust and bugs will become a normal item on our shopping list.

And with a thousand or more bugs to choose from, both wild and farm raised,  how interesting it will be for chefs, food writers and shoppers ( and possibly for medical specialists).