It’s a bug’s world, and we’re just living in — and now eating — it.
Credit (or blame) environmentalists. Or the push for healthier diets. Or the Internet. Regardless, cooking with insects — especially crickets, mealworms and wax worms — is trendy, spawning hundreds of Pinterest boards, cookbooks and the term “entopreneurs” (as in entomology), people profiting from this six-legged fad. The business-trend magazine Fast Company recently reported that the niche industry is worth $20 million and growing.
So if we can’t beat them, can we eat them?
“At any angle you look at it, insects have the advantage,” said Daniella Martin, creator of Girl Meets Bug, a blog dedicated to encouraging the public to eat insects. “They’re ecologically sustainable, use less resources and are a high-protein option.”
“It’s also cleaner than livestock.”
Scientists have discovered that more than 1,900 species of insects are edible. Most Americans might gag at the thought, but in Asia, Africa and Latin America, insects are treats and can even be more expensive than meat, according to The Insect Cookbook. The 2012 book, written by entomologists and a chef, argues the benefits of eating insects for health — they are a good source of protein, amino acids and minerals, they say — and for the environment.
Their recipes include silkworm cookies, caterpillar stew, insect burgers and even “Hakuna Matata,” which consists of rice, veggies and a wide variety of insects.
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