Entomophagy: Eating Insects / Insects As Food

rynner2

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#1
Roasted crickets and toasted ants – coming to you courtesy of EU research millions
The European Union is conducting a £2.65m project to investigate the nutritional value of eating insects.
By Adam Lusher
7:15AM BST 04 Sep 2011

Fancy some scorpion soup? How about a mixed locust salad with bee crème brûlée for dessert?
It may not sound like the most appetising of prospects but the European Union thinks all these could soon be on the menu.
Experts in Brussels believe insects and other creepy crawlies could be a vital source of nutrition which will not only solve food shortages but also help save the environment.

They have launched a three million euro (£2.65 million) project to promote the eating of insects while also asking national watchdogs like the UK's Food Standards Agency to investigate the issue.
Proponents of entomophagy – insect eating – argue that bugs are a low-cholesterol, low-fat protein food source.

According to one study, small grasshoppers offer 20 per cent protein and just six per cent fat, to lean ground beef's 24 per cent protein and 18 per cent fat.
Crickets are also said to be high in calcium, termites rich in iron, and a helping of giant silkworm moth larvae apparently provides all the daily copper and riboflavin requirements. There are even claims that bees boost the libido. :roll:

Insects emit less greenhouse gases than cattle and require less feed, supposedly making them environmentally-friendly. And supporters claim they could help feed the world, because they are so abundant they provide at least 200kg of biomass for every human.

The European Commission is offering the money to the research institute with the best proposal for investigating "Insects as novel sources of proteins".
It has asked for research into quality and safety, including potential allergic reactions and the precise sort of proteins consumed.

Professor Marcel Dicke, leading a team at Wageningen University, in the Netherlands, which is applying for the research grant, said: "By 2020, you will be buying insects in supermarkets. We will be amazed that in 2011 people didn't think it was going to happen.
"We have already seen the introduction of eggplants, sushi, things people never ate here. I think it will start with ground-up insects in sauces and burgers. Grinding them up will make them look more palatable."
He said bugs were biologically similar to shellfish and that flying insects should be regarded as "shrimps of the sky".
"Old sources of protein will be insufficient to feed the growing world population," he added. "The price of regular meat will soar. The EU must invest in food security."

However, Stuart Hine, a senior entomologist at the Natural History Museum, said insects still may not solve all problems.
It would be costly to heat a British warehouse full of locusts, and insect diseases can spread rapidly enough to kill a farm's entire stock in a day.

"Insects are fantastic, but they aren't the ultimate solution if the world desperately needs food. We would turn to something more efficient – like huge vats of nematode worms." :shock:

He also cautioned that they were best eaten cooked, because of the germs they might contain.
"Surviving on insects when you can't cook them is one thing; but most cultures who eat insects, cook them," he added.

etc...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... lions.html
 

EnolaGaia

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#2
Now insect / arthropod eating is being promoted on the basis of nutritional content ...
Meet the six-legged superfoods: Grasshoppers top insect antioxidant-rich list

For the first time, a study has measured antioxidant levels in commercially available edible insects.

Sure, most of them don't have six legs -- and scorpions, spiders, and centipedes aren't even insects. But for open-minded health freaks, it's good news: crickets pack 75% the antioxidant power of fresh OJ, and silkworm fat twice that of olive oil. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/07/190715075432.htm
 

Bad Bungle

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Quote on entomophagy in Time Out this week: "I don't understand how people can be so disgusted by insects when they eat bacon, haggis, black pudding etc. It's narrow-minded" (Joonas K via Facebook). It's possible he's not from the North or a big meat eater.
 

maximus otter

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#4
Roasted crickets and toasted ants – coming to you courtesy of EU research millions

Fancy some scorpion soup? How about a mixed locust salad with bee crème brûlée for dessert?

It may not sound like the most appetising of prospects but the European Union thinks all these could soon be on the menu. They have launched a three million euro (£2.65 million) project to promote the eating of insects...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... lions.html
Hmmm... What do our lords and masters eat while discussing hosing away another £2.65M of our money? Perhaps the menu at a recent “working dinner”, discussing Brexit, might offer some clues:

“On the menu du jour: warm scallop salad, cod with shrimp and mini-mushroom arancini rice balls, followed by iced macadamia nut parfait for dessert.”

https://www.businessinsider.com/bre...ctures-details-world-leaders-2019-4?r=US&IR=T

Perhaps bugs were “off”, or the chef had lost his butterfly net, eh?

Or perhaps they didn’t want to soil their new £2M “Imperial style dinner service” with bug guts?

maximus otter
 

EnolaGaia

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#5
In case you're in Cape Town and want to try something different ...
South African restaurant only serves food made from insects

A South African company is promoting sustainable protein alternatives with a pop-up restaurant serving only foods derived from insects.

The Insect Experience, a pop-up located at the GoodFood hall in Cape Town, features only menu items that use various edible insects as sources of protein.

The pop-up is operated by Gourmet Grubb, a company founded by food scientist Leah Bessa and her partners. The company offers EntoMilk, a milk alternative made from the black soldier fly, as well as dairy-free ice cream made from the milk.

"We sort of wanted to try and create a viable protein alternative that is sustainable and ethical and could really create quite a positive change going into the future," Bessa told CNN.

The Insect Experience is billed as South Africa's first restaurant to use insects as the exclusive source of protein.

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization recognizes more than 1,900 insect species as edible for humans.

The Insect Experience is aiming to remain open through the middle of 2020. ...
SOURCE: https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2019/0...-serves-food-made-from-insects/9911565623317/
 

hunck

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#6
Insects are reported as being in steep decline in some parts of the world. We really are fucked. Get 'em while you can.
 

GNC

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#9
Insects are reported as being in steep decline in some parts of the world. We really are fucked. Get 'em while you can.
The bees certainly are, but I don't know if anyone eats those. But yes, a lot of insects are losing their habitats thanks to climate change.
 

mikfez

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#11
I joined my first ship in Naples (first time out of the UK) and we sailed to Djibouti - we were advised to stay within the dockside if we wanted to go ashore.
There was very little to see but there was, rather incongruously, a shop selling top end electronic equipment - as we were window-shopping a small kid came up and grabbed a large locust off the window and ate it. I looked around and there were quite a few people chasing down locusts and eating them - certainly opened my eyes.
I've since eaten most foods around the world and insects are no different from any other source of nutrition - just a matter of opening your mind to new experiences.
 

Mythopoeika

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#12
I joined my first ship in Naples (first time out of the UK) and we sailed to Djibouti - we were advised to stay within the dockside if we wanted to go ashore.
There was very little to see but there was, rather incongruously, a shop selling top end electronic equipment - as we were window-shopping a small kid came up and grabbed a large locust off the window and ate it. I looked around and there were quite a few people chasing down locusts and eating them - certainly opened my eyes.
I've since eaten most foods around the world and insects are no different from any other source of nutrition - just a matter of opening your mind to new experiences.
An ancient Biblical recipe was locusts and honey.
Those people there just continued eating them, as food is hard to find.
 

hunck

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#13
If you were brought up in a culture where people ate insects, it would be entirely normal to you. It seems odd/unappetising/disgusting to Westerners because we don't, generally.

Some African tribes eat termites I think, sometimes pressed into patties or cakes.
 

Sid

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#17
"I've since eaten most foods around the world and insects are no different from any other source of nutrition - just a matter of opening your mind to new experiences."
Don't you mean "just a matter of opening your mouth to new experiences?" :dinner:
 
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James_H

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#20
OK then. In London, I used to work for a small food business, of the 'meal kit' type. For one reason or another, the company crashed and burned (I swear it was nothing to do with me). The boss, in throes of desperation, trying to bail out a sinking ship, tried various wacky ideas. One was edible insects to be sold as a novelty christmas present from a website. Our chef took one look and said 'I'm not touching those' and so it fell to me by default to develop the recipes, cook and test all of the mealworms and crickets until they were just right.

Insects taste just OK, but nothing beyond that. I really wouldn't bother unless you do find yourself in one of these post-apocalyptic scenarios and you're all out of canned fish and pet cats.
 

Mythopoeika

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#21
OK then. In London, I used to work for a small food business, of the 'meal kit' type. For one reason or another, the company crashed and burned (I swear it was nothing to do with me). The boss, in throes of desperation, trying to bail out a sinking ship, tried various wacky ideas. One was edible insects to be sold as a novelty christmas present from a website. Our chef took one look and said 'I'm not touching those' and so it fell to me by default to develop the recipes, cook and test all of the mealworms and crickets until they were just right.

Insects taste just OK, but nothing beyond that. I really wouldn't bother unless you do find yourself in one of these post-apocalyptic scenarios and you're all out of canned fish and pet cats.
Amazing! So you actually have experience with this.
I do think there are future possibilities for insects as food, but they really need to be heavily processed before they'll end up everywhere (I think, anyway).
 

James_H

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#23
There's a great story I heard once about an island tribe who suffered famine because it never occurred to them that fish could be used as food. Wish I could trace that.

Anyway, insects are at least nutritionally adequate and are even a delicacy in some places, but in the UK it probably wouldn't cross most of our minds to eat maggots and beetles if other food ran out.
 
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#24
When first I visited Oaxaca, Mexico, I had read that one of the local specialties was chapulines, or fried grasshoppers. The native Mexican folks have been eating them since before anyone remembers.Being an intrepid eater for whom regional cuisine is one of the best parts of travelling, I resolved to try some the first chance I got.

Well, the afternoon we got to Oaxaca, that chance came up before we'd even settled properly at our outdoors table in the central plaza. These two older ladies, Mixtec Indians in their traditional outfits, came to our table with a half dozen baskets of different sized chapulines, from little ones not much bigger than puffed rice up to these 3-inch monsters that reminded me of the Martian mummies from Quatermas And The Pit. I figured I'd start small and bought a paper parcel of the little ones. The Mixtec ladies wandered off to other tables and other tourists, so, with my travelling companions watching expectantly, I tossed a small handful in my mouth and munched.

Talk about an anticlimax...they didn't taste like much of anything. I could taste the oil they'd been cooked in and a faint smack of chili powder, and that was it. Not only did they look like puffed rice, they had the same (lack of) flavor, too. After eating a couple more handsful just to give them a go, I totally lost interest and gave my chapulines to the first beggar who came up to us.

Then a few nights later my friends and me went out drinking. Another couple of chapuline ladies came in with their eschulent insect treats to sell to the drinkers. My nerve and appetite being sharpened by cerveza and mescal, I bought a parcel of the big ones.

Taste-wise, they were the same as the little ones. A crunch in the mouth, a hint of chili and cooking oil; otherwise nada. Blandness, thy name is Chapuline. I chivvied my comrade into eating one too, and he concurred--these were some seriously flavorless grasshoppers. When we left that cantina, the chapulines remained at our table

I can see why some local folks ate them right gladly--hunger is the best sauce in the world, and there were probably times when nice fat chapulines were a real blessing. But to my jaded, First World-shaped palate, there were a thousand better things to be eaten in Mexico.
 
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#25
Oh, and PS: I just now noticed that tomorrow, Wednesday September 25th, is the second anniversary of my joining up with this fine forum of Fortean phenomena.

It's been a pretty excellent ride this far, so I believe I'll probably stick around a while longer.

[Edited to correct the date]
 
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bugmum

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#27
I was working for a company that sells insect larvae, and one of their proposed sidelines was enriching their good fat content to make them even more nutritious for human consumption.
 

James_H

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I was working for a company that sells insect larvae, and one of their proposed sidelines was enriching their good fat content to make them even more nutritious for human consumption.
Is this the story behind your username?
 
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#30
I was backpacking with a friend in Thailand in 1984. We were off the tourist track a bit and landed for the night in a small town. The local hotel had a restaurant where we spent a few hours that evening. We were befriended by some Thais. They offered us some fried grasshoppers/crickets - can't remember which - and to my shame, while my travelling companion ventured a taste, I could not bring myself to put one of those insects into my mouth. She said they tasted a bit nutty.

Then there was Turkey in the mid-70s. The food was absolutely terrific there. (Now that Turkey is a major tourist destination, the food has really gone downhill.) Anyway, one unintentionally did, I am sure, eat some insects there, notably cockroaches. The same travelling companion as in Thailand, my sister, and I were eating a particularly delicious stew served with rice. When about to put a forkful of stew in her mouth, my sister suddenly stopped dead and examined the forkful of food more closely. There she saw two beady little black eyes in a white body staring up at her. On closer inspection the eyes belonged to a well stewed cockroach. My sister put the cockroach onto the side of her plate and continued eating. When the waiter removed the plates he said nothing, apparently not noticing the insect. However, we knew he had in fact noticed when a few moments later, with our coffees, he brought a side plate upon which lay a pill, something for an upset stomach, along with a couple of cubes of delicious Turkish delight. Neither of us had stomach problems after that meal, but it makes me think that we probably ate a lot more cockroaches than we were aware of on that trip to Turkey.
 
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