As Americans, the thought of eating bugs brings up feelings of disgust and an act that only those out of sheer desperation would do. However, what if we told you that bugs have actually been an integral part of people’s’ diets for centuries?
While we, as Americans, may think that consuming bugs for nutritional value is for cultures that do not have the resources to raise animals and crops, there are actually numerous “upscale” dishes that cherish bugs as the main draw, even by Michelin star chefs.
Legendary chef, Rene Redzepi of Noma (once ranked the best restaurant in the world) debuted a dish at a pop up he hosted in London. This dish consisted of crème fresh dotted with live ants – and it would not be his last dish to consist of insects. Rene would continue to debut new and exotic dishes consisting of insects and bugs at pop ups he hosts around the world.
While some chefs may use insects as a draw, many cuisines around the world actually cook with bugs on a regular basis. Take an American-Mexican favorite, tacos. In Mexico, roasted grasshoppers are a common and popular snack, called Chapuls. They even top their tacos with Chapuls as a main ingredient. Your favorite bugatarian gals even cooked with these before, grinding up the chapuls and breading American favorites such as fries and onion rings.
However, we’re not looking to make entomophagy a trend or novelty. In order to make an impact, we need to make it an everyday part of our lives, bugs need to be a staple in our diets. Don’t get me wrong, there are few things I love more than a good steak. Don’t give up what you love, just have less of it!