Today, its been reported that the United Nations (UN) is urging people to eat insects in a bid to fight world hunger! This might sound really unusual to some....(Read full story here).
|Insect Salad (picture from the Insect Recipes Cookbook)|
I remember when I was growing up, and we had to visit my grandparents in the country side, I remember trying out some insects. These were the flying termites (locally called esunsun).
When termites are disturbed in their hills during or after a rain storm, they fly out towards anything bright! So they are caught in a bowl of water near the light source.
The termites are then lightly salted and pan fried with a little red palm oil, for about 10 minutes.
The taste?: - somewhat creamy and like they always say...."they actually do taste like chicken". It was usual at first, but the taste quickly became all right and when we had eaten them all up, we looked forward to the next time it rained to drive the termites out! hehehe.
Back then, the termites were eaten for fun among kids and young adults and the quantity caught was nowhere near enough for them to be served as a meal.
|A selection of Fried Insects (pic from flapest.com)|
Termites are just one of the numerous varieties of insects eaten across the world today and according to the Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO), insects are a healthy and nutritious alternative to mainstream staples such as chicken, pork, beef and even fish (from ocean catch). Many insects are rich in protein and good fats and high in calcium, iron and zinc. Insects already form a traditional part of many regional and national diets. Read Full Details here.
Another article on the Guardian website describes insects as creepy, crunchy and full of protein, and this I feel, further supports the fact that insects are being seriously considered as an alternative source of protein for human consumption (Read Article here).
Eating insects as a meal is already very common (and popular) in Asian countries such as Japan, China, Thailand, where different varieties of insects such as beetles, scorpions, mill-worms, roaches etc., are deep fried, roasted or stir fried!
|Fried Grasshoppers (picture from The Insect Recipes Cookbook)|
So what do you think my people.....As a foodie, I am usually up for experiencing new things and make up my mind either to continue or not.
Before we get all judgemental about people who eat insects, beware that you might be eating insects too, indirectly, because the same FAO report details the many uses of insects, their by-products and skeletons etc., in various processed food products. Read the full report here.
Interestingly, for religious justifications, the report quotes the bible - Leviticus 11:22
1. Website: Insects are Food (watch an interesting video report on how cooking insects. This site also features some insect recipes!)
2. Insect Recipe Cook-book (in Dutch) (http://www.finedininglovers.com/stories/insect-recipes-cookbook/)
The Insect Recipes Cookbook (though in Dutch) will make a great collector's item. It features some really interesting food pictures. Get a copy here.