- My Chilean Rose-Haired Tarantula and Tailless Whip-scorpion Molted in the Same Week!
- Say hello to my leetle friend
- My book is available for pre-order!
- My Facebook Page Gets All The Attention
- Guest Post: Oatmealworm Cookies
- Death – By Eating Too Many False Death’s Head Roaches? The Truth About This Species
- Whip Scorpion, Master Hunter
- Girl Meets BOOK!
- Bug Dinner Menu from 1885 – Entomophagy in History
- Baby Got Bugs — Bug rap video!
- Don Bugito
- Earthworm/Snail Ranch Telluris-Medin
- Green is Sexy.org
- Hotlix: The Original Candy That Bugs
- Ken The Bug Guy Bug Shop
- Native American Edible Insects Page
- Our Future Food? by Nina Munteanu
- San Diego Wax Worms
- Small Stock – Your Source for Sustainable Nutrition
- Thailand Unique Imported Edible Insects
- The Bug Chef David George Gordon
- The Bug Chicks
- The Food Insects Newsletter
- The Insect News Network
- Treehugger Radio
- World Entomophagy
This is my tailless whip scorpion, Freddy. He’s a big sweetie, unless you’re an insect. In that case, he’s your worst nightmare.
P.S. I actually don’t know if Freddy is a boy or a girl (I figure the name Freddy can go both ways). If anyone can tell me what he/she is, I’d love to know! For now, I’m not imposing binary gender expectations on him/her.
This fabulous new infographic is by Adam Frost and Paulo Estriga for the Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/picture/2013/sep/13/eating-insects-infographic-flies-entomophagy#zoomed-picture
(Dig the fancy vanity URL, y’all.)
It’s an easy-to-read primer on entomophagy: the history, science, and culture behind this fascinating tradition. It’s also a travelogue of my journey around the US and to Europe and Asia to meet some of the biggest proponents – and consumers – of edible insects on the planet. There are also delicious recipes, a how-to guide for raising insects, and an updated list of edible bugs.
If you’re interested in entomophagy, I believe I’ve done a pretty good job of explaining the subject in a way that’s both entertaining and informative. I also ate, and described my experience of eating, some pretty wild species, so there’s that, too.
The book officially comes out in February 2014. I can’t wait!
I have no excuse for this, except that I get the instant gratification of immediate feedback, and posting just a photo is totally legit. Ok, that’s a couple of excuses.
Anyway, c’mon over and see what I’m up to – lots of opportunity for discussions, commentary, etc. And I keep you up to date with breaking bug news, jokes, and cool pictures. Like this one of me eating Oo-suzumebachi, or Japanese Giant Hornet, and The Oatmeal saying I give him nightmares.
Today’s post is by Kim C., a pesca-vegetarian who wrote in to say she’d tweaked a family recipe – with mealworms! Read on for the whole story, and recipe.
I grew up in the Midwest where just being vegetarian was considered pretty adventurous. So you can imagine the reaction I got after 15 years of being vegetarian/pescatarian when I described the bug-eating party that I was hosting.
The party was inspired by a TEDTalk given by Marcel Dicke a few years back called “Why Not Eat Insects?” I couldn’t think of a reason why my friends and I shouldn’t at least try it out.
“What does that make you?” my mom asked, totally confused.
I understand; I mean it’s not like there are a whole lot of “entomophagous pescatarians” running around out there. But sometimes you just have to shrug and go with it, especially when going with it leads to discovering a surprisingly delicious chocolate cookie recipe.
Our party provided a variety of edible insect options, including: chocolate-covered crickets, salted queen ants, scorpion lollies, mealworm trail mix, and even a dehydrated giant water scorpion. But the favorite had to be these no-bake mealworm drop cookies. These rich and comforting cookies have a peanut butter & chocolate smoothness with a Rice Krispie-like crunch. It is a super-easy holiday recipe that my family has enjoyed for years (well, we’ve enjoyed it sans bugs). This version has been mealworm-ified a bit.
½ cup butter
2 cups sugar
½ cup milk
4 tablespoons of cocoa powder (I used
½ cup of creamy peanut butter
2 cups dry quick-cook oatmeal
1 cup dry roasted mealworms
1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. In a large saucepan, bring to a boil: butter, sugar, milk, and cocoa, and boil for 1 min
2. Remove from heat
3. Stir in peanut butter and vanilla
4. Stir in oats and mealworms
5. Drop into cookie sized heaps on wax paper and let cool until set
Los Gatos, CA
Last week, I took this photo of a family of discoid cockroaches at the Audubon Insectarium in New Orleans. Yesterday, a man in Florida died, apparently after eating too many of them.
In response to the disaster, Six Flags Great America is now reviewing their plans to hold a similar event on Friday.
The question is, was it the bugs’ fault? We won’t know for certain until the coroner’s results come back in a week or two. In the meantime, here are a few things about discoid cockroaches you may not have known.
These roaches, ironically enough, are also known as False Death’s Head cockroaches because they so closely resemble actual Death’s Head roaches - minus the sinister smiley face on their upper thorax:
Despite the creepy name, there is nothing inherently deadly about either Death’s Head or False Death’s Head cockroaches. And in spite of their large wings, they don’t generally fly, so you can release those visions of careening Palmetto bugs that might be flitting through your mind.
Discoid roaches, unlike true Death’s Heads, are good breeders, and are quite productive in captivity. Think of the difference between big cats and housecats – it’s much easier to coax a litter from the latter. The term “litter” holds true in this case: like mammals, female discoid roaches are viviparous, which means they give birth to live young.
Because of their speedy breeding, discoids are a popular feeder insect for reptiles and large arachnids. Their inexpensive availability likely led to their inclusion in the Florida eating contest.
They are also relatively easy to keep. They have almost no odor (unless they are really afraid of something) and keep their enclosures tidy, requiring less cleaning than a goldfish tank. They eat a vegetarian diet of mostly raw fruits and vegetables. It’s likely the roaches in the contest had a better overall diet than the eaters themselves – indeed, better than most of the meat we eat.
Nevertheless, eating a large quantity of an unknown food is inadvisable, especially if the food is alive and kicking as you do so. Since cockroach and shellfish allergies can apply, it’s better to start with, oh, I don’t know, just one? And for goodness sake, always cook your bugs. It’s safer and they taste better.
For more information about the inner lives of roaches, check out David George Gordon‘s The Compleat Cockroach, and for a roach recipe, should you want to try them for yourself, check his Eat-A-Bug Cookbook (soon to be re-released!).