Dinner Bugging You?
— by Andy Wade —
The dining-room table was set with roses and silver candlesticks. At one end, near a grandfather clock, sat two plates of mealworm fried rice. “So, a small lunch,” said my host, Marian Peters. “Freshly prepared.” The inch-long larvae, flavored with garlic and soy sauce, reminded me in texture of delicate, nutty seedpods. “Mealworm is one of my favorites at the moment,” Peters told me, speaking of the larvae of the darkling beetle (Tenebrio molitor Linnaeus). When they’re fresh, she added, their exoskeletons don’t get stuck in your teeth.
So begins a recent article in The Atlantic exploring the possibility of bugs as an alternative food source. Of course, in many parts of the world bugs are no alternative at all, they are an integral part of the diet. The Netherlands, where Marian Peters’ company, Bugs Originals, is located, is positioning itself as a leader in the emerging/ancient field of, well, eating bugs.
We’ve heard a lot about food crises around the globe. Many of us are aware that our western dependence on beef is both unsustainable and destructive to the environment. But how far are we willing to go to change our eating habits? One of the areas we’ll be exploring at Mustard Seed Village is the whole question of food security and sustainability.
One Dutch Scientist, Professor Arnold Van Huis of Wageningen University, suggests that insects are indeed one possible answer to our global food crisis. In a recent article by the BBC Huis said, “insects had more protein than cattle per bite, cost less to raise, consumed less water and did not have much of a carbon footprint.” Now there’s some food for thought!
And speaking of food, here’s a recipe you might enjoy, courtesy of Iowa State’s Entomology Department. (no, I haven’t tried it…yet)
Rootworm Beetle Dip
2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons skim milk
1/2 cup reduced calorie mayonnaise
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. dill weed
1 1/2 tsp. Beau Monde
1 cup dry-roasted rootworm beetles
Blend first 3 ingredients. Add remaining ingredients and chill.
How far are you willing to go (or have you already gone) to explore new options for global food security?