Don't Bug Me


With entrepreneurs and academics leading the way, we may all soon be enjoying the benefits of edible insects.

Before you know it, entomophagy, or insect eating, will be a familiar media topic. Fancy Paris restaurants already feature insects as novelty food items. High-end chefs in New York prepare dishes of scorpions and tarantulas that cost upwards of $100. Bloggers, like Daniella Martin of Girl Meets Bug, share their experiences and expertise with preparing insect meals. Seattle chef David George Gordon promotes insects-as-food at food fairs along with his Eat-A-Bug Cookbook. Don Bugito is a San Francisco food truck business serving you-know-what.

Semi-retired University of Arizona entomologist Carl Olson, known as the Bugman, used to regularly dish up insects to his students as part of his courses. Changing public perception of this class of creatures has been a lifelong pursuit for a man who still works the temporary entomology job he took 38 years ago. “They are animals. They have tiny hearts, a respiratory system, a digestive system. They are like us.”

It’s a hard sell, even for someone so knowledgeable and passionate about his subject. “We have,” he says, “been conditioned to get out the insecticide at the sight of a bug.” How do crawlies like crickets or mealy worms get rebranded as dinner fare? Olson starts with the facts. “Insects are a healthy source of protein, low in fat, low in cholesterol.





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