Saturday, September 21, 2013

Getting Buggy




"Oh, lord"

"I'm terrified"

There were the reactions generated by a recent Facebook post of mine, a post detailing an action I was about to take - bug eating. Or more specifically, CRICKET EATING.

For twenty years I was a vegetarian. For me it was never a moral issue, I actually believe that people were meant to eat meat and that meat protein is a much better and usable source of protein for humans. (As an aside, I do think there are moral implications. I think it's important to eat good meat. And I think it's important to eat happy animals that had a good life.) For me being a vegetarian was primarily for environmental reasons - producing meat (especially the way most meat is produced in this country), takes a lot of energy and wreaks havoc the environment. When I buy meat, I make sure the production of my meat has as little impact on the environment as possible. And I think pasture raised meat actually helps/heals the environment. But, while I can get and afford this type of meat, there are a shit load of people in this world and probably not enough land to generate quality meat for everyone. I worry about these things!

So, a couple years ago I was excited to read an article in the New Yorker about eating insects. Insects are a quality source of protein and producing them has a minuscule impact on the environment. There are places in the world that eat various types of bugs as a regular part of their diet. Of course, the US is not one of those. We all get super squeamish when we think about eating bugs. And you can certainly add me to that list. The article discussed eating meal worms or cockroaches all I could think was EW  - slimy gross garbage eating.  But somehow I wasn't opposed to crickets. Crickets sounded like they might be kind of crunchy and nutty and tasty when fried up.

So, imagine how excited I was when I heard that you can buy bars made of crickets!  There is a company called Chapul and they make bars from cricket flour. There are three flavors, Chaco (peanut butter and chocolate), Aztec (dark chocolate coffee and cayenne) and Thai (coconut, ginger and lime). And guess what, they are DELICIOUS. Really, it's like eating bugs 'lite'. They are so loaded up with chocolate and nuts and other tasty things, that really who would know you were crunching on a bug. I highly recommend them.

And now that I've eaten I few bugs, I'm ready to eat more - maybe even meal worms. I think maybe ground up as flour and made into things might be necessary, but bring on the bugs (though maybe never cockroaches)!

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