[QUOTE=Damiana;1036478]I think this is one authenticity aspect of paleo I am perfectly happy to forgo.[/QUOTE]
This is really interesting. I would think that a reaction against eating bugs is similar to the reaction many vegetarians have if you suggest eating meat. And in fact I once met some vegans who I offered an egg-based drink to, their reaction was a bit like if I'd offered my friends ground up beetle juice.
I've never knowingly tried by the way.
Many Americans eat bugs without realizing it. 1) Many prepared foods in the US contained colourings and flavourings that are made with insects. 2) Also all flours etc have a certain allowable % of insect parts and believe it or not, mouse droppings.
3)Chitin is the hard portion of an insects body - it is the main source of production of chitosan, which is used in a number of applications, such as a flocculating agent, a wound healing agent, a sizing and strengthening agent for paper, and a delivery vehicle for pharmaceuticals and genes.
So it not like you haven't done it. (or as if your ancestors haven't - In fact one of the persistent enzymes all humans have is one that allows you to digest chitin unlike the one all babies have to digest milk but often is lost as you age.)
The French love snails and grubs. And they are delicious cooked in garlic butter. You'll find many reciepes for them.
You can use your back-yard common variety snails and grubs, then put them in a box with a lot of cornmeal for about 2 weeks for finishing.
I can and have eaten snails, but I hate insects, and I would be averse to eating anything I can't stand to touch.
For the cost of it, and the amount calories you actually get from them, I don't think you could make it a staple.[/QUOTE]
For no good reason, this surprises and disappoints me. :(
I was expecting a proportionate 'reward' for overcoming my 'natural' aversion to creepy crawlies.
If I have to consume half a kilo of the blighters to match 200g of 'proper' meat or fish then it may be just an interesting diversion. ;)
Now that I've found an online source it'd be rude (and cowardly) not to give it a try - I'll report back in the New Year when the deed has been done. [img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/8582551/sillygrin.gif[/img]
[QUOTE=Diana Renata;1036258]Bugs are ok, but they're hardly enough of a meal for me. I raised mealworms for a while. Decent snack and fun ingredient to cookies. I found crickets to be a bit on the dry side. I have some Chinese water beetles in the freezer that I'm trying to find a good use for.
For the cost of it, and the amount calories you actually get from them, I don't think you could make it a staple.[/QUOTE]Depends on the size of your harvest I guess. In Thailand, Cambodia & surprisingly even amongst indigenous tribes in jungly India, they are a minor though important source of calories & nutrients. And some otherwise sophisticated & modern Bangkok folks casually or enthusiastically & specifically seek out bugs for regular consumption, especially w/ their evening alcoholic beverages when with family or friends.
I admit to developing a taste-preference for crickets in Thailand, they are like corn chips w/ legs, surprisingly addictive & quite easy to eat the entire bag while walking around, before doubling back to get some more. They sell out. The Thais tend to deep fry their insects in chili-laced oils, topped off w/ a bit of salt or fish sauce, it's a respectable tasting snack & healthy too. I've tried them all, except for one outlier. Bugs are rich in O6s & O9s, keratin, chitin, easily assimilated amino acids & depending on prep methods, a salty spicy crunch. What's not to love, snack-wise? Though I never could bring myself to sample the water beetles in Siam,as they are basically giant aquatic cockroaches & I have too many imbedded childhood memories of giant South American cockroaches w/ bad tempers & aggressive natures (it's a long story).
In Cambodia, they relish the largish jungle spiders, kinda like a crunchy deep fried treat w/ a gooey center. Not bad tasting, not great either, key calories & macronutrients for people who need 'em. Scorpions taste like crab meat, grubs mostly tasted like overly salted cured baby dried shrimp, ants are curiously peppery or citrusy, as other have noted. I was eating bugs experimentally as a child, as it's not that big of a leap from eating dirt or clay.
As for nutrition, bugs are quality vs quantity, as I see it. It's not something I do in my homeland, but when cleaning veggies & fruits & I find em, it does take me back to a set of times, circumstances & places when I did eat 'em w/ gusto.
[QUOTE=Betorq;1036593] I was eating bugs experimentally as a child, as it's not that big of a leap from eating dirt or clay.[/QUOTE]
I would rather eat dirt. In Germany, there is this stuff sold in their health food stores (from an old and respectable German company) called "Heilerde", roughly meaning "healing earth"; one kind is for skin treatments and the other is for ingestion. I have used both (they way they were intended). Ants are peppery, and I only know that because a black ant once found itself on my morning eggs as a kid and I spat it out once the crunch happened between my teeth, trying to figure out what was peppery-sharp and crunchy like that in my normally-soft eggs, and saw the rest of the critter. I still get the willies just thinking of it.
For the OP - there are books out there right now in English. The one I am thinking of is "Man Eating Bugs", you can pull it up on amazon.
I like watching bugs, but I will leave it to the rest of you to eat them. (Yeah, I know some ingredients and raw materials are insect-derived, but that isn't the same as having a whole one on your plate...)
When I was a kid, our church's missionaries brought back some foods from their South American tribe for us to sample. Among them was sun-dried worms. The taste was bland, with a consistency of crisp bacon.
[QUOTE=Betorq;1036593]Depends on the size of your harvest I guess.[/QUOTE]
This is absolutely true. We have the misfortune of living in a culture that doesn't eat bugs (that don't come from the ocean) and so it's a bit harder to procure. Collecting them wild is insanity, certainly. Raising them can be done, but it takes a decent amount of set up, and time. I guess if you're really committed to it, why not? I did enjoy my little mealworm farm, but knowing what my weekly harvest was, I'd need a lot more space (and feed) dedicated to them if I were going to eat them regularly. I'd say it took me about a month to gather enough to make a meal (for one, because nobody else would join me.)
I'm all about eating bugs. I do have some of the big water bugs that I'm anxious to try, but haven't figured out what to do with them exactly. If I could get them as easily as shrimp... you bet I'd make them a staple.