Why Bugs for Beginners?
Everyone starts out a beginner sometime
May 14, 2018
May 5, 2019
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My name is Mic, and
I'm writing I wrote a cookbook about eating bugs.
I go into the why in more detail in the book. There are a lot of reasons to eat insects. It's pretty easy to find articles about the ecological and nutritional benefits of entomophagy (bug eating), so I'm not going to go into them here. Google it.
Okay, so I get the Bugs part, you may be thinking. But what's with the Beginner?
I remember sitting in my house in California, somewhere around 2010. I love food. I love reading about it, I love writing about it, I love making it, I love thinking about it, I love talking about it, and of course most of all, I love eating it. I'm the kind of person that thinks the guy that makes the plastic food that goes outside of restaurants has a dream job, because that is art. I think the Wonderfood Museum in Malaysia is the best museum I've ever been to.
Anyway, somehow, I had gotten interested in eating insects, I'm not sure how, maybe from a food symposium I had attended. I bought a copy of David George Gordon's Eat a Bug Cookbook, as well as Julieta Ramos-Elorduy's Creepy Crawly Cuisine, and they were hands-down my favorite books. Even after I left the country and got rid of almost all of my physical possessions, I kept those two books.
But guess what? I never once made a single one of the recipes.
Why? I don't know. Maybe I was too lazy to research where to get the ingredients. Maybe it was too far outside of my comfort zone to order food meant for lizards. I know I certainly can't imagine myself explaining to my boyfriend at the time that I had bought groceries for dinner at the pet store. Especially when I didn't even know what this dinner was supposed to look or taste like. For whatever reason, I loved these books. I was entranced by the subject matter. But inaction is what followed, on my part.
Then, like most of the Westerners who are interested in entomophagy, I started traveling outside the USA, to places where eating insects is normal. Eventually, in Bangkok, I came across a bug vendor. This guy knows what he's doing, I thought. Finally! I can try bugs!
So I did, and that's how this entomophagist was made. Bugs are yummy. Each one is different, of course, but in general they offer flavors and textures that will be completely unknown to you, if you close yourself off to it. Some are juicy, some are meaty some are crunchy.... there's over 2,000 species of edible bugs on this planet, and if you're going to shut yourself off to it, you might as well cut part of your tongue off, while you're at it.
But not everyone can go all the way to Thailand to chase down the professional bug vendor. The good news is, there are so many startups nowadays, all devoted to spreading edible insects to parts of the world that don't know the deliciousness they're missing out on. I keep track of these businesses in the searchable Resources section of this site. Bugs for Beginners is about helping someone like Past Me, 2010-twentysomething-Mic, sitting in her house, curious but unable to push through that initial hump. Bugs for Beginners is for helping someone who wants to start eating insects, but doesn't know how.
You won't regret it.
I'm Mic. I love reading about, writing about, thinking about, photographing, and especially eating, food. Especially bug food. Enough talk, let's eat!