Wednesday night I got a chance to listen to author David George Gordon talk about eating bugs. After the talk, I joined the bug buffet and ate some bugs myself. I’ve owned the 1998 edition of his Eat-A-Bug Cookbook for a few years now. At the event, I learned a new and expanded 2013 edition was released.
The Eat-a-Bug Cookbook, Revised: 40 Ways to Cook Crickets, Grasshoppers, Ants, Water Bugs, Spiders, Centipedes, and Their Kin by David George Gordon
I didn’t buy the new version. Although I have zero issues with eating bugs, sourcing them has always been a challenge. With the exception of silkworm larvae (aka “ground cucumber”), which is sold in the Vietnamese grocery stores, I have not seen any insects sold anywhere near Seattle. For the record, I’ve been up and down the aisles of most Asian grocery stores from Lynnwood to Federal Way.
The 2 on the stick tasted like sauce. The locust (upper left) had no flavor. The mealworms (upper right) were the best. They did have a slight crunch. The real little ones in the flan (bottom left) were so small and covered with sugar that I couldn’t taste them. None were as good as my bug soup.
My hunch is to make this way of eating sustainable and affordable, one would have to start home ranching. Even the package of silkworm larvae costs $3.50. Considering how few calories a package has, it really isn’t worth buying for anything more than a novelty in the United States.
Sep 23, 2013 — 12:04 pm
I think they are slowly (VERY SLOWLY) making their way into the main stream. There is one company selling cricket flour bars and another one about to start. I also heard an NPR story on Friday about fly larva (ie maggots) being bred to make food for pigs and chickens and such. Bug bars are tasty, but pricey.
Sep 23, 2013 — 12:11 pm
@Roberta – The author mentioned the Aztec bars in his presentation and confirmed they used (I think) 6 full bugs in each bar.
Sep 23, 2013 — 12:51 pm
MAS – Have you tried Petco? You can buy meal worms there. We feed and breed them for our chickens. No reason why you can’t nibble on them, yourself?
Sep 23, 2013 — 12:54 pm
@Mark – Great idea! Thanks. I’ll check them out.
Sep 23, 2013 — 4:27 pm
I also have zero issues with you eating bugs… as for myself I would have to be really really hungry or drunk. probably both… yikes!
J. Scott Shipman
Sep 23, 2013 — 5:29 pm
Michael, I’ve been with you on lots of “out-of-the-mainstream” diet ideas; will have to take a pass on bugs.
But thanks for the post!
Sep 25, 2013 — 10:09 am
MAS – One more thing…No telling what Petco feeds the critters – most definitely not organic…What I would do is use the mealworms that you buy at Petco as ‘seed stock’..You can raise them and subsequent generations on an organic wheat bran substrate…There are resources on the web that explain the how-tos. I’d poke around on ‘backyardchickens.com’ for more info on raising your ‘herd’.
Cheers – Mark
Sep 25, 2013 — 10:33 am
@Mark – Also good to know. Thanks for the info.