Entomophagy: Please Pass the Crickets

August 9, 2014 | 10 comment(s)

Entomophagy: Please Pass the Crickets

A few months ago, I was introduced to a company called Chapul on a popular television show. They were trying to get financial backing for a new type of  energy bar that they claim offers more iron than spinach, more protein than beef, and as much B12 as salmon through  entomophagy...

Which means eating bugs. For real.

The pitchmen for the company touted the health benefits of the cricket flour they use for their bars, along with the sustainability of insect harvesting, and the fact that North America and Europe are basically the only places on the globe where eating bugs is not routine. I was unconvinced. And then I saw this headline, from the NY Daily News:

“California hiker survives on bugs and snow for 6 days after breaking leg on mountain”

Apparently Gregg Hein was solo hiking (moral of the story: never hike alone, unless bugs are your cup of tea) when a falling boulder broke his leg and stranded him on the side of a mountain. Miles from anyone, with no way to call for help, and two days away from his scheduled return, Hein waited it out the only way he knew how.

Survival nuts like Bear Grylls have been telling us for ages that it can be done (watch here as he eats an enormous wood grub!), but how many of us would voluntarily choke down a creepy-crawly, in or out of a survival situation?

Lots of us, it turns out.

Over the last couple of years, such credible outlets as The New Yorker, The National Journal, and slate.com have all published articles on the benefits of entomophagy. Slate even offers this handy nutritional chart, comparing chicken, beef, and fish to worms, flies, and cockroaches.

 

 Entomophagy: Please Pass the Crickets

A bizarrely compelling How Stuff Works article, titled “How Entomophagy Works,” cautions us against scrounging for snacks in our backyard (pesticides are a problem in residential areas), but does offer some helpful guidelines for bug eating in survival situations.

 

What do you think? Are you up for adding dehydrated worms or cricket meal to your food storage? Could you eat something with lots of legs if your life depended on it?

 

-Stacey

This post was posted in Uncategorized and was tagged with Preparedness In The News, Current Events

10 thoughts on “Entomophagy: Please Pass the Crickets”

  • Methane Creator
    Methane Creator August 12, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    Got me hooked! I'll try anything once. They have a big bug eating contest in Austin, TX every year.

    Reply
    • beprepared

      Methane Creator,
      Really?! What are the contests like? Are they similar to pie eating contests? (so, how many bugs can you stick in your mouth at once, haha). If you can, I think you should go to the contest and then tell us what it's like!
      Angela

      Reply
  • Jennie

    I have had many species of bugs on many different occasions and have not noticed the texture or an "off" taste from any that I have ever tired. Stir fry is a good way to experiment.

    My first bug was in a class for horticulture and the guest speaker brought "chocolate chip chripies" for everyone. Ground crickets in a chocolate chip cookie recipie. Very good! They taste like nuts. You can feed crickets lemons or oranges for two weeks and they will take on the taste of what they are feeding from.

    You just have to get over the yuck factor !

    Reply
    • beprepared

      Jennie,
      That's a pretty cool tip about feeding crickets lemons or oranges. I think that's a great way to get over the fear of eating bugs. Would you ever consider eating freeze-dried bugs during an emergency? Or even stocking up on the energy bars we talk about in the post?
      Angela

      Reply
  • Arrowroot

    Actually, we all are already eating insects, and other critter parts. The FDA regulations allow for a certain amount of them in our food and they deem it safe.

    Reply
  • e. scott

    I saw the same program (Shark Tank) and the guy had a good pitch but I'm with Mr. Wonderful!! I wouldn't eat insects "unless" my life depended on it. I'll get my protein from peanut butter.

    Another thought: You could snag the folks, in Montana, that line up for treats at the "Testicle Festival." I'd bet they would be game to a bug after that....

    Reply
  • Judy

    I started my own cricket farm in my barn. They are easy and cheap to raise, and are incredible nutritious. I lightly roast them and then grind them into a meal. Smells and tastes like pistachios! The meal can be added to soups, chili, muffins, cookies, tacos, meatless spaghetti, etc. At the price of beef, it makes sense to have an alternate protein source. If I ever get tired of the project, I can just feed them to the chickens!

    Reply
    • beprepared

      Judy, I'm completely fascinated by this!
      I'd love to see pictures, if you're willing to share.
      Just let me know, and I can send you my contact info. It would make a great guest post for the blog (and you'd get a gift card for your efforts).
      Sarah

      Reply
  • Jennie

    I am considering crickets and meal worms as a live prep as well as fish. I would like to try the energy bar they are talking about. Like I said , it is all about getting over the "ick" and it will surprise people how good a meal out of bugs can taste . I like that they use cricket " flour" as I don't think people are ready for realism yet.

    Reply
    • beprepared

      Jennie,
      I totally agree about the cricket flour. It's much more of a psychological barrier than anything else. Have you tried any insects before? Anything that was particularly interesting (for good or bad)?
      Sarah

      Reply

Post a Comment