Got a lot of blackberries? Then check out this recipe for Blackberry Mojito Fruit Leather.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit leathers, but this turned out super good! And, really, you can't go wrong with blackberries, mint and rum.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Eco friendly protein - eat your bugs

Greenopia has an article about the best sources of protein for you. Well, if bugs are your thang.

Apparently, the 8 best bugs to eat for protein include grasshoppers, edible stinkbugs, scorpions, hornet larvae, giant silkworms, witchetty grubs, casu marzu and tarantulas.

Even if the future doesn't look like Cormac McCarthy's The Road, we should probably start thinking of eating bugs as a source of protein, since "it takes 869 gallons of water to produce a third of a pound of beef, about enough for a large hamburger. By contrast, you supply a pretty minimal amount of water to a quarter pound of crickets. The rest of the world has long eaten up insects – in Thailand, food markets are stocked with commercially-raised water beetles and bamboo worms."

So, if you feel like limiting your carbon footprint when it comes to your protein needs, sink your teeth into some insects. Roasted grasshoppers with gray sea salt and olive oil anyone? No? What about yummy fried tarantulas with a paprika aioli? Mmmm. Crunchy.

24 comments:

Carla said...

Tell you what, you go for it! I eagerly await your best recipe.

Crunchy Chicken said...

I hear that the fried tarantulas taste just like crispy potato chips. The only preparation required is that you need to remove their teeth.

And, I'm sure they all taste just like chicken.

I suspect no one will be coming to my next dinner party?

Robj98168 said...

I ain't eatting spaghetti at your house~

Fond of Bugs said...

I once did a web project on entomophagy (the eating of bugs) for a class on entomology. I lost the web project, but I'm gratified to see you posting about this subject! One of the things I learned is that a lot of people think most bugs take either like seafood (which makes sense-- crabs are big bugs, sort of) or pork. Oh, and there are a bunch of books about it-- the one I remember is Man Eating Bugs.

Hmm, I used to have a good recipe for chocolate chirpy chip cookies somewhere, with crickets. Wonder if it's still available on the Web.

YogaforCynics said...

Might help if somebody came up with some new names for them. In particular, the "edible" in "edible stinkbugs" doesn't exactly cancel out the "stink" part...

Crunchy Chicken said...

Yoga4Cynics - Perhaps "malodorous bug" has a more appealing ring to it?

Sandy said...

So I don't have to worry too much about the cabbage worms on my collard greens? Bonus!

owlfan said...

My kids have both eaten bugs (and at an age where they knew what they were doing, like 8 yo) - chocolate covered crickets and something with worms. One of them even copied down a recipe and brought it home to me. Unfortunately, I think I lost the recipe (oops, file 13).

Greenpa said...

lol. I'm going to stick with running the bugs through guineas and chickens first. The eggs are rather dramatically more tasty.

And actually, the pure physical work of finding, capturing, cleaning (heck you wouldn't want to eat dirt, would you?) all thousands of buggies would make a big dent in any carbon footprint reduction.

The birds find and process them all by themselves. What a concept!

Mimi said...

One of my favorite blogs, Bug Girl's Blog, has lots of posts relating to entomophagy. It's not that unusual. Really.

Anonymous said...

Greenpa- why would you have to do the pure physical work of finding, capturing, cleaning? If the bugs were raised like livestock I'm sure they would be easier to find and clean. Just like cultured veggies and animals.

Sonja and Chris said...

I've had cookies with crickets before. They were crunchy. I also tried a few termites once; they tasted exactly like carrots, strange as that is.

Greenpa said...

Anon 7:40- I've actually grown bulk bugs; I had my own huge mealworm colony for years, to grow food for my research critter. I'm now allergic to mealworm frass.

Anyway- if you DID start growing bugs for food- you'll have all the problems we already have. You have to feed them- which means logistics, storage, etc. You'll have huge waste disposal problems. Disease. Etc. Some of the advantages may disappear.

It would take some figuring. :-)

Segwyne said...

I know that ours is one of the rare ones that does not eat insects, but I really don't think I can try it. Sorry, Crunchy, I don't think I can participate in a challenge like this. I will happily pee on my garden, I am even willing to save the blood from my Diva Cup for the garden, but I draw the line at eating bugs.

Carla said...

LOL, many years ago I read about a contest for recipes using earthworms. The winner: Applesauce Surprise Cake.

Susan Och said...

Greenpa's right. Letting the yard birds eat the bugs and then eating the eggs and meat from the birds makes so much more sense.

We had a setting hen that raised a brood after the time when anyone was selling chuck start feed locally. I combed the compost pile for grubs and bugs for a few days. After that the momma hen was taking them out to forage every day and they grew up fine. It saved me about $15 in special feed, and I've had a summer with no squash bugs, rose chafers, or grasshoppers.

Crunchy Chicken said...

Greenpipe - I would argue that eating bugs is a whole lot more efficient than larger, hooved animals. Comparing farm raised bugs to your birds probably isn't a fair comparison. But I don't know much about bug husbandry.

Segwyne - I wasn't planning on making this into a challenge, but now that you mention it...

equa yona(Big Bear) said...

Grey sea salt? That sounds yucky. Mmmmm, bugs.

Crunchy Chicken said...

Equa Yona - You damn midwesterners and your limited palates! Would you prefer a pink Hawaiian sea salt or just plain ole' Morton table salt?

Olivia said...

Had a bf in university who once ate a tin of fried grasshoppers preserved in oil. Inadvertently fed kids broccoli worms once when I failed to adequately soak my organically grown broccoli. Older kids took one look and refused to eat; youngest calmly remarked. "It's just more protein." Last thought - ever seriously contemplated the shape of shrimp and lobsters . . . love to eat 'em but they remind me of larger versions of some insects.

Erika said...

I'm going to pull the long-term vegetarian card here and agree with Greenpa - I'll give the bugs to the chickens and eat the eggs! Kudos to anyone who goes for it!

--Erika

Anonymous said...

Here's someone who's actually tried feeding maggots to chickens:
http://www.themodernhomestead.us/article/Feeding-Chickens-Maggots.html

Cave-Woman said...

I've eaten several types of edible insects---and most of them are quite good.
I particularly liked scorpion.
It reminds me of shrimp.

There is a cookbook out there...

Eat-a-bug Cookbook: 33 ways to cook grasshoppers, ants, water bugs, spiders, centipedes, and their kin (Paperback)

that's fairly good.

The chef came to the museum I worked at, at the time, and did several demonstration dishes.

I tried all of them.
The Orthopteran Orzo was particularly good---but it was a little tough on my stomache. Not used to digesting chiton, I guess. (:


Since insects reproduce at a faster rate than most larger animals---it may be worth looking into finding a provider of your favorite insect dishes.

I would recommend visiting the "Insectarium" in New Orleans if you want to sample lots of yummy creepy crawly cuisine. Then you'll know what you'll want insects you'll want to cultivate, or order from a certified grower.

Spencer Nagle said...

Cool Blog.

I've been wanting to try Chiton for a while. I just don't know how to prepare it.

LinkWithin