This is almost more than I can swallow. The last National Geographic featured a one-page piece on the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization's efforts to promote insects as food worldwide. Yup. Farming bugs. Eeeewwww! Above is a picture of what is sometimes referred to as a Toe-Biter, and otherwise known as the Giant Waterbug, the featured menu item in the article. Talk about getting off to a bad start in the marketing department. And they want ME to EAT a Toe-Biter?
For all you weight-watchers, the Nutritional Facts are very encouraging. Serving size is 100 grams. (Bug-size not given--generally thought to be around 12 cm.) Each bug is only 62 calories. Total fat is 8.3 grams. Phosphorus 226 mg. Iron 14 mg. Calcium is 44 mg. Carbs only 2.1 grams. And, finally, protein 19.8 grams. Now, that's quite encouraging.
It seems that a serving of small grasshoppers has nearly the same protein as ground beef. And, it doesn't take a genius to understand that it would be a lot cheaper farming grasshoppers than cattle. Judging by this year's grasshopper population, we could have harvested a lot of protein for free! Well, kind of.
Apparently, at least 1,000 species of insects are currently part of the human diet worldwide. For example, Mexicans liquefy stink bugs for seasoning sauces. Thais deep-fry the Giant Waterbugs and it's pretty widely known that the Aussie Aboriginines eat ants--said to have a lemony flavor. Eeeewwwwww!
The article goes on to say that "as the global population nears seven billion, the FAO sees insect farming as a move toward "food security." Getting Western palates to accept the idea is the biggest challenge. Duh!
If anyone thinks I'm going to try bugs on my dinner plate, they've got another think coming.
There was a young man from Mizzou
Who encountered a mouse in his stew
Said the waiter don't shout
And wave it about
Or the rest will be wanting one, too!