An Australian man made national news recently and was dubbed “Ant Man” after surviving for almost a week in the unforgiving outback by eating ants—something he had seen survival expert Bear Grylls do on television.
While such a tale is unusual, entomophagy or the eating of insects for food goes back tens of thousands of years and continues today, said Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomologist Molly Keck for Bexar County.
“People in the United States and in other Western cultures usually find the idea of eating insects unappealing, but bugs are a normal part of the diet in many countries of the world,” Keck said.
Keck recently hosted a unique entomophagy dinner event at a private residence near San Antonio. More than 70 people paid $35 each to attend the Bug Banquet she coordinated to educate people on insects as a food source and to serve them unique foods prepared with insect ingredients.
Dinner was prepared by chef Jose Cervantes and Bexar County 4-H Food Challenge team members, with assistance from other area 4-H members and employees of the AgriLife Extension office for Bexar County. Members of the 4-H Entomology Team greeted attendees at the door and helped serve the meal.
The menu included fire ant queso dip, candied pear salad greens with roasted mealworms, goat cheese quesadillas with tortillas made with cricket flour and baked apples with cricket granola. Drinks included a cocktail made with honey produced by bees provided by AgriLife Extension to the San Antonio Food Bank to help increase pollination of the Food Bank Farm and for agency vegetable and fruit trials there.
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