Five Ways to Start Eating Insects

The idea may be hard to swallow, but crickets and mealworms will likely be part of our sustainable food future

Fried insects, anyone? (© Steven Vidler/Corbis)
smithsonianmag.com

In the Mexican state of Oaxaca, crispy, chili-spiced chapulines (grasshoppers) are a common bar snack. Bee and wasp larvae are part of the indigenous cuisines of Taiwan and Japan. Stir-fried beef and ants is a traditional Khmer dish in Cambodia, witchetty grubs have sustained many generations of Aboriginal Australians. Insects, after all, are a source of sustainable protein.

Here are a number of new companies and products trying to make eating insects a more palatable prospect in the West, where the idea of ingesting “creepy crawlies” is still fairly taboo.

Grow Your Own Crickets

For tinkering types, Canada’s Third Millennium Farming offers free downloadable plans for building cricket habitats. These shelters, constructed from various stacked boxes and tubes, are designed to be hygienic, escape-proof environments for edible cricket-raising. There's even a $150 pre-built option, if assembling sounds like too much of a hassle.

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