Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Edible Insects

Welcome to the 100th Food Blog post. Today I want to start a strand of the blog dedicated to edible insects. I worked for many years as an entomologist, although I was trying to stop insects eating crops rather than eating insects (I have swallowed a fair few accidently in the field though).

Last week at the Oxford Museum of Natural History, UK, a Banquet of Insects was organized to highlight their nutritional value and to promote  them as an alternative to eating meat. Entomophagy makes environmental sense. For example, insects can be raised using far fewer resources (e.g., water) than livestock and are a more sustainable source of food. Chef Thomasina Miers cooked a three-course meal at the event. Starters were worm crisps. The main course was grasshopper salsa tacos and cricket tostados topped with pecorino, radish and orange. Pudding was chocolate-coated locusts.

Insects are eaten all around the world - even in the UK. Here's Heston Blumenthal taking a historical look at edible insects in Victorian England.



References:
http://www.museums.ox.ac.uk/families/events/1576

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/apr/10/waiter-why-isnt-there-fly

Fiona Dodwell sent me some of her photos of chilli crickets and "different flavours" of edible insects taken at a market in Oaxaca, Mexico. Thank you Fiona.




2 comments:

  1. Hi,

    Insects certainly are a tasty (and more sustainable) alternative to meat. This may sound daft, but do you know anywhere that I can buy locusts in bulk that are fit for human consumption? Personally, I'd have no qualms about eating locusts from a reptile store, but others might...

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  2. I missed the Oxford evening, but they're running a similar event at the Natural History Museum in London next week (http://emmacooper.org/blog/would-you-eat-insects) with a tour of the insect collection and some edible insect snacks :)

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