"Hey Mom/Honey, what's for dinner?"
If you have kids or a husband you are familiar with the question,
Here in the good old USA more than likely the answer is beef, chicken or pork. In small villages in Africa one of the dietary staples is Mopane worms. After the rains cease women and children go out to the Mopane trees and pluck off the caterpillars of the Emperor Moth. They are as long as the human hand and as thick as a Cuban cigar. The worms are spread out and sun-dried before being fried or added to recipes. In the villages the Mopane Caterpillar is to the villager's as the Big Mac is to Americans. In larger urban areas, they are as much a delicacy as Russian Caviar.
Eating insects is not a new idea. Many cultures have a variety of insects or local delicacies that are unique. If you watch Survivor there is usually one challenge involving the digestion of local fare, the grosser, the better. We have all seen our imprisoned hero survive on the creepy-crawlies that run across his cell.
The art of bug cuisine is catching on in the US. There are over 23 restaurants splattered across the landscape that feature a variety of bugs, cooked in a variety of ways. You can order your crickettes fried or covered in chocolate. A lime flavored scorpion pop.
As a food source, insects have more protein than traditional meats while producing ten times less methane and nitros oxide than livestock, making them healthier for the environment.
Don't know how to cook bugs let alone know where to purchase them? Amazon has cookbooks on the fine art of preparing bugs. Creepy Crawly Cuisine and The Gourmet Guide to Edible Insects name few. Teachers looking for a way to introduce their students to the world of insect cuisine can go to one of the many web-sites that sell a variety of tasty treats for kids to try. Cheddar Cheese Larvets, a variety of fruit flavored scorpion pops and chocolate covered, fried crickettes. All insects are raised for the purpose of eating, which I'm sure will make their parents feel better.
That's all for now, until next time, when you see a creepy crawly don't say, "Oh, gross," and squish it. Say, "Yum, a few more and I'll have dinner."