Buggery

If we start eating bugs now, in the future, we will look like this.

How do I maintain my alluring figure? By eating ants, of course.

The United Nations wants us to eat more bugs.  Of course, the United Nations wants us to do a lot of things, including celebrate June 1 as the Global Day of Parents (UN resolution 66/292) and recognize 2014 as the International Year of Crystallography (UN resolution 66/284), and some other stuff having to do with peace around the world, and we haven’t been doing a bang up job of that, so I don’t think they’re going to be successful with this bug eating campaign.  However, I may go along with that Global Day of Parents thing if it means I get a present.

But let’s get back to the bug-eating thing.  In order to facilitate more bug-eating, there is a fascinating (honest, I’m not joking, read it) report issued by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, Edible Insects.  If you read the report, you’ll find out that not only does the UN want us to eat bugs, they want us to cultivate bugs.  And they want us to stop calling bugs “bugs” and in an interesting bit of doublethink along the lines of how “used” cars are now “preowned” cars and “war” is now “peace,” the UN wants us to call bugs “minilivestock.”

The report makes convincing arguments, including the fact that we already put all sorts of disgusting things* in our mouths like snails, and oysters, and tofu, and penis (albeit we don’t literally eat that last one), so why not locusts?  There’s a bumper crop of cicadas expected to swarm into the East Coast of the United States any day now.  A couple of years ago, we were worried about swarming stink bugs minilivestock.  And when I was growing up, I remember how everyone was afraid of “killer bees.”  Oh, wait, I think I mean Africanized bees  Africanized minilivestock.  My point is that we’re always being threatened by some swarm herd of minilivestock, so instead of being filled with dread, why not tie a napkin around our neck and just wait at the dinner table for them?

Ignore the fact that I just landed on a pile of poop before going into your mouth.

Eat me.

While I was considering serving my family a great big pile of writhing maggots for dinner, our cat, Noodles, spent the better part of a day (a whole day!) stalking a wayward housefly that had become trapped in our home.  She finally grew bored and gave up, and the fly died of natural causes, eventually dropping dead in the windowsill over the kitchen sink where I made my husband come and dispose of the corpse.  Now here we have a cat, a creature known for its hunting prowess, outwitted by a single Musca domestica, and yet this is how we’re going to feed the world.

If you’re interested in minilivestock recipes and can wait until its July release, check out The Eat-A-Bug Cookbook.  If you can’t wait, and want to get cooking right away, here are a couple of blogs for you to check out:

Insects Are Food

Girl Meets Bug

*Other things that I would rather not put in my mouth include lima beans, beef liver, and the Mother’s Day breakfast my daughters tried to serve me this year.

Royalty free stock photos including the image in this post can be found at Stock.XCHNG.

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17 thoughts on “Buggery

  1. Karen says:

    The theme for this month’s NaBloPoMo is “comfort” and I’m doing my best to make you feel uncomfortable by talking about eating bugs.

    Here’s a nice recipe for Mealworm French Fries from Insects Are Food. I think this recipe would be vastly improved by leaving out the mealworms.

    Ingredients:

    4 U.S. grade No. 1 fresh potatoes (Idaho potatoes)
    
2 dozen mealworms – boiled but not roasted
    
1 cup chopped scallions
    
½ teaspoon smoked salt

    Directions:

    Cut and slice potatoes into preferred style, i.e. shoestring, etc. Keep the skin on to enhance the homemade appearance and flavor. If you prefer to peel your potatoes, please keep in mind that fries made from peeled potatoes should be chilled after cutting in cold water for 10 minutes to 30 minutes before frying, to ensure maximum crispiness and to prevent them from sticking together while frying.
Deep fry potatoes, mealworms and scallions together for 3 minutes in proper temperature oil. The oil is the proper temperature when the fries don’t sink when dropped in and bubbles remain on top of the oil. Always use clean oil to fry potatoes.
Tips: A little known chef’s secret to prevent the potatoes from darkening is to add citrus acid or vinegar to the water solution. Also in order to avoid water spattering and to reduce fat absorption spin dry potatoes as much as possible before frying. In order to get really crispy and tasty fries, fry them twice.

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  2. Charles Yallowitz says:

    I’ll play Devil’s Asshole here, but if eating minilivestock is so great, why aren’t the starving nations of the world doing that? Mini . . . screw it, I’m lazy . . . bugs are everywhere, so their mere existence would solve world hunger. Unless only special bugs could be eaten according to the UN, so we now have to cultivate these bugs to send to the starving nations that will look at us like we’re idiots. Seriously, they have their own flies. They want a damn steak (tofu steak for the vegetarian nations) and we know it.

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    • Karen says:

      Yes, the UN is attempting to address world hunger with this initiative, and also as a response to the environmental damage caused world wide by raising cattle.

      The report suggests that indigenous people have been discouraged from eating bugs by Western attitudes, and certainly colonialists and missionaries forbade the practice. I need to do a bit more research on this, but I’m pretty sure there has never been a human society anywhere that has relied on insects for much of their diet. Sure, they eat insects as a “delicacy” or as a last resort, but despite their abundance and ubiquity, insects don’t seem to find their way onto many dinner plates, even in times of famine.

      The question, of course, is, why not? The UN is trying to answer that question and hopefully solve a bit of world hunger problem by encouraging insect farming.

      I’m with you, though. After I had written this post, I was in the supermarket standing by the refrigerated meat cases (wondering what one does with “carne picada”). Next to me was a family trying to choose what to make for dinner. The little boy with them must have been all of four years old and he started chanting “Steak! Steak! Steak!” He’s probably only been eating solid food for two years, maybe, and yet, here he is, demanding meat. So did he acquire a taste for steak in his two years of chewing, or is his desire for meat something primal and innate that won’t be satisfied by crunching on a handful of crickets?

      I think this response to your comment was longer than the original post. 😉

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    • Karen says:

      1. Show some initiative and get our there and start wrangling on your own. 2. I don’t think you’ll need to lasso them. These are worms and beetles, not bucking broncos.

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  3. Joyce says:

    Well things are heating up here in Florida, and I have a whole crop of minilivestock outside my front door, literally. My son opened the door last night and Mothra flew in and terrorized me for about ten minutes until the guys made mincemeat of him. Seriously, this moth was just a bit smaller than a hummingbird.

    I’m not really interested in eating, but I sure would love to sell them. I could earn enough to retire early just by turning on my porch light.

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  4. Eden says:

    I don’t know… What I don’t know won’t gross me out? The potato recipe would probably not bother me as long as I didn’t know what was actually in the food. It’s the knowing that kills it all.

    And yeah, there are people who eat penis… at least cow penis.

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    • Karen says:

      Well, um, I was making a joke about human penis (imagine that! Another BJ joke on this blog!), and I’m familiar with Rocky Mountain Oysters, which are beef testicles, usually sliced thin and fried. Yum-oh, right? Anyway, haven’t heard of a recipe for beef penis, yet, but I’m sure Google will provide one.

      The funny thing about that recipe for the Mealworm French Fries is that all you’re doing is adding mealworms to potatoes. It’s not like mealworms make a great, high protein substitute for potatoes, you just toss them into the frying vat along with the potatoes. Could it be possible that any recipe can be improved by the addition of mealworms? I think not.

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      • Eden says:

        I figured the joke, but thought you’d have a bit of fun with the other detail. And like you said… “Prairie Oysters” are a delicacy. (I can’t really imagine what cooked penis would be like… stringy maybe? a bit like tripe?)

        Reminds me of a section in At Least We Have Paris where the writer is describing a sausage he is trying from a street vendor… find out it rolled up assholes. *shudders*

        I think the idea of the mealworms, if I have a sense of what this recipe should do, is to give the potatoes a crispy coating of sorts. I saw a recipe for mealworm chocolate chip cookies once. Never tried it… but the worms were ground into flour and mixed half and half with the wheat. Supposedly they were very high in protein.

        I’m not that brave. Though I was willing to buy my son a cricket lollipop once when he was looking at them. There is something about the novelty.

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