Bugs for Dinner!

Today I am going to talk about bugs and insects as a food source! There are more than 1,400 types of edible insects. Though, I admit, I have never purposely eaten a bug, and the thought does indeed gross me out a little, I have read that eating bugs as a source of protein has many advantages, especially compared to eating more mainstream meats like beef, lamb, pork and chicken.

One of the advantages to eating insects is nutritional value. Generally, insects have more protein, less calories and less fat than equivalent amounts of beef. Some insects, such as grasshoppers, have only about 5 grams less protein than the equivalent amount of beef and about three times more calcium than beef. Other insects, like crickets, have less than half the calories of beef and about a quarter of the fat, however crickets have about half the protein of beef. The insect with the highest amount of protein is the giant water beetle, and close behind is the dung beetle.

In my opinion, the biggest advantages of insects as a food source are the environmental and economic benefits. Insects in general are much easier to raise than livestock. They have a much higher feed to meat ratio than livestock, meaning, it takes much less feed to produce insect meat. For every ten kilograms of feed you can produce between seven and nine kilograms of insect meat compared to only one kilogram of beef for the same amount of feed. This saves a lot of money and also is much more sustainable since less space is needed to produce crops to make animal feed. Raising insects also takes up much less space than raising livestock.

According to my sources, many insects are also not bad tasting and can be incorporated into food in many ways. You can even dry insects, crush them up, and make flour out of them. One source said that male bee larvae tasted similar to honey bacon and another said that Giant Water beetles have a flavor similar to scallops when fried or roasted. One of my uncle’s also once said that tiny carpenter ants, which my little cousins were feeding to him live while laughing hysterically, tasted like pepper (yes, my family is weird.)

Still grossed out? Bugs are used as a food source in many parts of the world and have been since the beginnings of our species. There are even references to eating bugs in the Bible (locusts and honey). Though the practice of eating bugs, called entomophagy, is seen as disgusting in the U.S., we have all eaten a substantial amount of bugs without knowing it. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration allows for a certain amount of insects in food, for example, tomato sauce can have 30 fly eggs per 100 grams and chocolate can have up to 60 insect parts per 100 grams. Also, during the average lifetime, a person consumes about seventy insects and ten spiders while sleeping.

Many see bugs as the food source of the future. One U.S. company, called Entom Foods, is trying to get Americans to seriously consider eating bugs and aims to introduce them into Western culture in ways that we can more easily accept them. For example they are currently trying to find a way to make processed bug meats. They intend to use bugs that are already farmed commercially to feed people’s pets, such as crickets, grasshoppers and meal worms.

If you are eager to try bugs for yourself, there are many recipes online and in some of my links below (the second link is best for recipes and preparation). As a general rule of thumb please try to avoid brightly colored bugs which are often poisonous, and play it safe and cook them before you eat them because some bugs carry diseases or contain parasites. There are always exceptions to rules so please, please, please do your research first and DO NOT just go out in your garden and start munching on bugs.

Personally, after all I have read about it, I am very intrigued and intend to try eating bugs and making some bug recipes. I will be sure to film or write about my experiences cooking bugs to let you all know how it goes. Until then bon appetit!


Sources:

http://news.discovery.com/animals/edible-insects-getting-to-the-good-stuff-111122.html

http://www.manataka.org/page160.html

http://webecoist.com/2009/07/07/eco-friendly-protein-edible-bugs/

http://adventure.howstuffworks.com/survival/wilderness/edible-bug1.htm

http://thatgirlisfunny.com/2011/03/ever-eaten-beetle-studies-show-grasshoppers-provide-more-protein-than-beef/

http://www.rusticgirls.com/animals/bug-facts.html

Munchies: Andrew Zimmern 

You might know Andrew Zimmern from his Travel Channel show Bizarre Foods in which he wolfs down unsightly things halfway across the world. Maybe you’ve wondered what eats when he’s out with friends in New York. For this episode of Munchies, Andrew chose to start at Osteria Morini, where the most bizarre food on the table was an amazing rib eye carpaccio that had been aged for 120 days. Then they headed to Marc Forgione for one of the more interesting meals we’ve ever seen. We ended up at the kitchen of Barbuto, where Zimmern made Chinese chicken drumsticks for the legendary chef Jonathan Waxman. Enjoy.

Watch the episode

it needs to be said, but i will unfollow anyone who requests for pornographic material and is underage.

i will also unfollow anyone if they try to get me to write smut with them and they are a minor.

if you lie about your age in order to do something smutty, i will block and unfollow you.
please adhere to the present laws and please be respectful towards those who don’t want to labeled a sex offender.

I have but a little time to spare, but I must tell you, what has happen’d between Sr Egerton Leigh and me_ As I was standing in one of the Committee Rooms with a Counsellor of my Acquaintance, I discover’d the Bart. With his face turn’d towards me, a little Rapid Reasoning in my own mind, made me think proper to give him the usual Compliment of the Hat, which he did not return; Pride hinder’d me from changing my Countenance to any other than a look of Contempt and Indifference, tho I felt that spice of Mortification which I believe most People would be sensible of upon a similar occasion_ after a minute or two had pass’d and we had advanced nearer to the Scene of Business, he came up to me took off his Hat and made a very decent Apology for not knowing me, he thought it had been a Gentleman Unknown to him bowing to some other Person in the Crowd_ In effect the Sun had shone so directly into his Eyes, through a neighbouring Window_ that I suppose he could not know_ then pass’d complimentary Inquiries from each Party about Friends_ I had not then received your Letter_ The next day he paid me a Visit and was admitted before I yet heard from you, he could tell me that you were arrived_ I was much obliged to him but had received a Letter soon after I parted from him yesterday_ after some Conversation, he said he hoped I would come and see him, that Lady Leigh particularly entreated it_ I bowed and told him he was very kind, made him no Promise and turn’d the Conversation to something else_ I was booted and prepared for a Ride with Mr. Manning_ so that his Stay with me was not long_ At taking Leave, he again press’d me to come and take a Dinner with him in a friendly way and to appoint a Day for that Purpose beg’d that I would promise him_ fear’d that I had some Reason for not coming that I did not chuse to express_ ask’d me whether you would have any Objection to it_ upon the whole he was so very solicitous, that I was obliged to tell him that you did not think it proper_ he said he was sensible that there could not be on a sudden that Cordiality on our Parts_ but that he hoped you would permit it to come by degrees_ beg’d me to write on the Subject to you_ ask’d me if you would take it amiss of him if he were to write you a Letter_ I answer’d, you would be glad to hear from him_ he took his Leave in an affectionate manner_ I must confess that from my Knowledge of the People I would rather do them Service at a distance, than be within the reach of their Civilities_
—  John Laurens to Henry Laurens, in a letter dated January 20, 1775

I’ve realized over the past week that I just took a “normal” day schedule and shifted it by a few hours.  I wake up between 10 and 11 AM, have a meal at around noon.  I work/do stuff until 6-7 PM when I have another meal.  Then I work/do stuff until around 12-1 AM when I have my last meal (or glorified snack most of the time) and then I pretty much play video games or doodle until I go to bed at 2 or 3 AM.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

2

Oh the difference a workout can make!
Even after making my cheesy video earlier (which nobody has liked so its making me super selfconscious) I was just kind of pissy after that. My classes were excessively boring (although I did talk to multiple cute guys in them which is nice) and this creepy guy kept bugging me at lunch/dinner so I was just kind of grumpy.

BUT THEN I did a weight room session, an ab workout, got some good food. Then I went to what was supposed to be the first running club meeting, but they switched the time last minute so I missed it. BUT a cute runner boy (not saying I have a type or anything) also came at the wrong time so we ran together. We did 3 miles at an 8:00 pace which was decent (it was kind of embarrassing how difficult that was for me today but whatever). THEN I went to yoga class and there were cute boys in there as well, so it was a swell class.

Moral of the story, boys and girls, is that if you’re in a bad mood, endorphins and cute boys (or girls whatever floats your boat) will solve all your problems:)

The slow burning of an incense stick. 

The relentless process. 

The impermanence of everything. 

The death of all. 

The rebirth of all. 

The immortality of every moment, every being. 

Rhythm, ritual. 

Hell is a feeling, a mind-set, not a physical place, not a punishment. 

Hell’s fire licks your wounds like a compassionate dog at the end of your couch. 

The fear of nakedness.

A naked body with pubic hair and goosebumps. 

A naked soul with tears and shaky lips. 

Fear of vulnerability. 

What is fear? 

What is vulnerability? 

The shape of a dark sky at 10pm as it stares at you through tree tops. 

An “invasive” insect as it wanders across the coffee stained carpet. 

An entitled human as it smashes the tiny homes of little bugs cooking dinner for their kids and packing for trips to see Ant June and Uncle Jiminy. 

The need for control. Lack of self-control. 

The need for control. Painting “God” as a control freak. 

Putting “God” inside a Bible box. Putting a penis on “God”. 

I don’t want to talk about “God”. 

Look who came to dinner…
…we grow them big on the Marsh. This one’s an easy three inches from end to end. (That’s big here in the UK. I know you guys down in Australia are laughing…)
Now, please excuse me while I reintroduce our friend to the garden (before my wife introduces him/her to the rejuvenated Dyson).

Geoff the moose. Poor guy fell thru the ice in the winter and we found him in the bay. Nasty nasty smell. He was later cleaned by all of the fish, turtles and local birds. Nothing left but a few bones and his skull. We retrieved it, buried it for 6 months so the bugs could have dinner, then bleached him for a week. Nature is brutal, but we won’t forget this poor moose. R.I.P. Mr. Geoff.

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