You can blame the University Of Kentucky for this stomach-upsetting recipe book. It's not so much Jamie Oliver, The Naked Chef, as "Bug-Put Oral-Chew, The Sick-Making Man". Or something. If you've ever thought about eating worms or ants - and let's face it, who hasn't? - this site should be your first stop-off on the road to Insect-eat Heaven. As the site points out, in many countries and cultures, there's nothing unusual in chewing on bugs, and even encourages the cautiously curious to work up to the really revolting insects by starting off on fish eggs (caviar), and invertebrates (crab), and escargot (snails). The site even reveals that in most respects insects offer better nutritional value than traditional meat choices.
There are tips here on preparing insects for eating (they're best cooked while still alive), and advice on where to purchase them (mealworms and crickets, for example, can be picked up from bait and tackle shops). Perhaps most alarming to those of us who find the idea of sucking on a pillbug faintly revolting, insects quite probably already make up part of our diets. See, much of the food we buy is likely to have been "contaminated" (albeit in low amounts) by invasive bugs. For instance, on average there are likely to be 80 microscopic insect fragments per 100g of chocolate, two 3mm-length larvae casts per can of sweetcorn, 60 bits of bug per 100g of peanut butter, and 30 eggs, or two whole maggots, per 100g of tomato paste or pizza sauce. We're never - EVER - eating anything ever again.
WHERE TO START?
Though the University of Kentucky site is great on detailed information, it's lacking when it comes to specific recipes. If you really fancy grilling some cockroaches, try the Iowa State University site at
Here's their recipe for Banana Worm Bread:
· 1/2 cup shortening
· 3/4 cup sugar
· 2 bananas, mashed
· 2 cups flour
· 1 teaspoon soda
· 1 teaspoon salt
· 1/2 cup chopped nuts
· 2 eggs
· 1/4 cup dry-roasted army worms
Mix together all ingredients. Bake in greased loaf pan at 350 degrees for about 1 hour. Eat with mouth.