Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Opinion

July 8, 2013

Bug cuisine

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) issued a report in May which provides a comprehensive assessment of insects as food for humans and livestock. In case you didn’t know it, “entomophagy” refers to the consumption of insects by humans. Animals that eat insects are referred to as “insectivores.”

The title of the FAO report is “Edible Insects: Future Prospects for Food and Feed Security.” The report estimates that, by 2050, there will be nine billion people on the planet and makes the understatement “...We need to find new ways of growing food.” In addition to researching new ways to induce humans to eat more crickets and such, they are exploring new ways of using insect protein to feed livestock, farmed fish, and poultry. I guess this means that, in the future, even strict carnivores will be getting the benefit of bugs.

The report also states that among other benefits, “...insects take up little space, can be raised on waste, and research indicates they emit few greenhouse gases...they can be nutritious, with high fat, protein, vitamin, fiber and mineral content...” Gee, the more you read about bugs, the more appealing they become, right?

A noted entomologist (bug scientist) at the American Museum of Natural Science named Louis Sorkin is a proponent of bug-eating and he says, “You have to get people to, I guess, swallow it here in the Western part of the world.” (Pun intended, I’m sure.)

He continues, “I think most people here probably don’t like insects, because they look like insects. But if you cook the insects, dry the insects, and grind them into flour, more people would consume it.” Beetles account for the most commonly eaten group of insects and Sorkin says, “I happen to like more the immature beetles, the grubs. They’re softer. They don’t have the exoskeleton and they are more flavorful, but to each his own.”

Mr. Wikipedia informs that, Entomophagy can be divided into two categories: insects as a source of nutrients and insects as condiments.” Well, who knew? Reminds me of that old gag where a diner asks the waiter what are flies doing in his soup and the smart-aleck waiter replies, “It looks like the breaststroke to me, Sir.” In Mr. Sorkin’s world the answer would probably be, “Why, they are the condiments, Sir.”

Believe it or not, about two billion people around the world consume insects as part of their traditional diets but I guess it is fair to say the fad has not quite caught on in the Western World. There are about 1,400 known species of arthropods, including arachnids, that are edible to humans. Some of the most popular varieties eaten around the world are slugs, crickets, cicadas, grasshoppers, ants, various beetle grubs and larvae, caterpillars, scorpions, and tarantulas.

So where am I going with this semi-disgusting rant? You will never catch me dining on insects and arthropods — no matter how much pressure to do so comes from the United Nations, noted entomologists, and the two billion bug-eaters around me!

Wait a minute — come to think of it, I already am a bug-eater of sorts and perhaps you are also. Did you know that the arthropod family not only contains arachnids (spiders, scorpions, mites, and ticks) and myriapods (centipedes and millipedes), but also various crustaceans? That’s right crustaceans — as in crab, lobster, and shrimp. How I love those critters! In fact, I made The Little Woman (she does not like that name) and I a big pot of arthropod bisque just last night. And I don’t care if you call them crayfish, crawdads, or mudbugs, you can’t beat a big old crawfish boil dinner.

Another of my favorites from the creepy-crawly genre is escargots. These are just plain old snails with a fancy French name. Whatever — when you scampi them up in tons of garlic butter and mushroom caps and then sop up the juice with garlic toast, you have got some mighty fine eating.

Talking about eating this stuff reminds me of my dear-departed sister-in-law, CeCe. She just would not eat any kind of fish or seafood, and the thought of eating crawfish or snails absolutely disgusted her. “I’m not eating anything that leaves a snotty trail across the driveway or lives in the drainage ditch out back!”

I’ll now close this slimy rant with a few silly bug riddles. What do you get when you cross a centipede with a parrot? A walkie-talkie! Why are frogs so happy? Because they eat what bugs them! What did one frog say to the other frog? Time is sure fun when you’re having flies!

See ya...

—————

Dick Platt is a Daily Sun columnist. His column appears on Tuesdays. Want to “Soundoff” on this column? Email: soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com

 

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Dr Don Newbury 2014.jpg When 'breaking news' was fragile

    The lesson, hammered by countless journalism teachers for century(s), was intended to be cattle-branded into minds of aspiring writers who would go forth to inform readers about what’s going on in the world. And it was emphasized that “getting it right” was preferable to “getting it first.”

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dick Platt 2014.jpg Highly questionable

    As you have probably surmised, I am just about addicted to my TV, and especially to jock shows throughout the day. I usually start my day with a couple hours of “Imus in the Morning,” just to broaden my horizons in the areas of politics, investments, current events, show business, and a plethora of other topics

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Janet Jacobs Technology versus common sense

    The gadgets of the future will include an internet-assisted backyard grill, according to news accounts this past week.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Belcher, Bob.jpg Salute to 'Mr. Derrick Days'

    I can’t help but think back to the “near-death experience” that Derrick Days had 14 years ago, and how one man’s determination brought it back.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bill Tinsley Resurrection

    I was 29-years-old when my father died of multiple myeloma, cancer of the bone marrow.  He was 53 years of age. Only hours before his death, I spoke with him. Our eyes met during that final visit, the same eye contact we had shared from my birth.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dr Don Newbury 2014.jpg It’s about time

    Some aspect of time steals quietly into our psyche in all conscious moments, and our use or abuse of it is central to much poetry, lyrics, scripts, conversations — you name it.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dick Platt 2014.jpg The Wonderlic Test

    Did you hear the one about Texas A&M’s “Johnny Football” Manziel testing better than all the other quarterbacks in this year’s NFL Scouting Combine? No, this is not the start of an Aggie joke.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • deannakirk.jpg Work Out? Bite your tongue!

    I've shared this before, but it bears repeating. I'm a lot like my late, dear Daddy … whose idea of “working out” was a good, brisk sit.
    Amen, Daddy. Me too.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Letters to the Editor for Saturday, April 12, 2014

    Thanks for service
    To the Editor: The Blooming Grove Elementary School would like to express appreciation to several individuals and businesses that for three years have provided a “free” vision exam and eyeglasses for many of our students.

    April 11, 2014

  • Dr Don Newbury 2014.jpg Uncle Mort: For the Birds

    Personal experiences racked up across three-quarters of a century — including yips and yaps at lecterns spanning five decades — offer positive proof that many times, utter silence is preferable to spoken words.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
Featured Ads
Twitter Updates