The idea of entomophagy — eating insects — is generally received with grimaces and gag reflexes by Westerners. But globally speaking, chomping on bugs is on par with devouring, say, lobsters or chicken wings. From grasshoppers to cockroaches, creepy crawly things are consumed for their high protein content, appealing crunchiness, and straight-up taste.
In many societies, insects are considered a delicacy. Even stateside, the concept of insects as food has slowly been gaining ground (and not only on "Fear Factor" episodes). Annual "bug cook-offs" have been held in cities including Los Angeles, Memphis, Raleigh, N.C., and Richmond, Va., and insects have been creeping into high-profile spots, like the most recent season of "Top Chef Masters."
"I call it the green food of the future," says chef, entomophagy expert, and retired East Carolina University biology professor Hal Daniel. He is among a growing chorus of folks who, in the face of a growing food shortage, believe that insects are the perfect sustainable food for the future of the planet. Here, we offer a rundown of some of the world's favorite tasty critters.
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