I hope everyone that loves food enjoys my rants about it. Food to me is an adventure. At present I’m reading a book about insects and which ones to eat. The book is more about insects as a sustainable source of protein as the world’s population continues to escalate than how to bake bread with locust flour.
The world adds about 70 million people each year to the population so insects, which are easy and cheap to grow, are the answer. Some believe we’ll all be eating them in 50 years. I think about the younger population who won’t touch broccoli and I’m seeing death by starvation a more realistic scenario.
One of the recipes in the book is brownies made with ground up crickets (I say that with a uneasy giggle). The recipe is an adaptation from a Betty Crocker recipe. The author of the cricket-laced brownie says the brownies are an easy way to sneak some extra protein, calcium and iron into a kid’s dessert. He says to make enough to share. I make brownies quite often so I’ll have to think about that one.
Another recipe is wax moth tacos. People in the book claim it tastes like chicken and even fought over them. Have you ever noticed when presented with a strange edible it’s almost always described as tasting like chicken? The recipe calls for freezing a cup of live wax worms overnight then sauté them in oil, as you would with any other taco meat. I wonder if my daughter, who is a huge fan of tacos would jump on that?
Besides the cookbook, I’m into deeper research and I learned a lot, such as there’s this stuff called insect flour. The flour comes in a variety of ground up, pulverized insects such as cricket, silk moth pupae and even scorpion. I promise I am not making this up.
When I went to Hawaii the first time as a child (some 50 years ago) I distinctly recall munching on chocolate covered ants. They were good and I ate the entire tin. Maybe that’s why I was given the nickname “Mikey.” Anyway, I dug a little deeper into the world of edible insects and found lots of snacks. I can order chocolate covered silkworms (I wonder if they’re soft and gooey on the inside?), or how about a bag of chocolate covered arachnids or scorpions? The descriptions make me believe I’m ordering regular candy but these are roasted, toasted, crunchy critters.
You might not want to know this tidbit of info but here goes: Practically all processed food has a lot of ground-up bugs in it. The FDA provides a list of food defect levels, levels of natural or unavoidable defects in foods that present no health hazards for humans. I eat chocolate on a daily basis, but I might have to rethink that. Chocolate and chocolate liquor can contain an average of 60 or more insect fragments per 100 grams when six, 100-gram samples are examined. Plus, on average, one or more rodent hairs were found. I can’t complain. I pluck wild berries and in doing so, have digested my share of six-legged supplements.
Believe it or not, turns out two billion people eat bugs on a regular basis. I don’t know if I’m ready to crunch on fried mealy worms just yet and I know I won’t be around in 50 years to watch youngins’ crying in the streets cause they can’t find a candy bar. But if this is the way we’re going to end up, Bug Appétit!