Monday, June 17, 2013
BUGS FOR DINNER?
Today I’m pleased to welcome Sharon Arthur Moore to the blog. This Arizona resident is an intrepid cook and recipe developer. She “transitioned” several years ago after thirty-nine years as an educator (elementary school to university) to full-time fiction writing. Her first culinary mystery, Mission Impastable, is being published this August by Oak Tree Press.
When you read this blog, you’ll be eager to taste her fiction, if not her food.
Sharon’s Food for Thought
Janet’s blog title inspired this post. I’ve always been interested in biology, and when thinking what I could talk about here, bugs came to mind. My protagonist, personal chef Allie Wesson in the “Dinner is Served” series, takes a job at a cooking school in Prime Rib and Punishment. There she gives students an assignment to cook up a tasty bug recipe. No surprise, the head chef of the school doesn’t find the assignment consistent with classic French cuisine. But then, he dies, so who cares what he thinks?
Truth be known, Americans are behind the rest of the world in recognizing bugs as a food source--that is as an advertent food source. Estimates are that inadvertently we eat about one pound of bugs yearly. The FDA even has guidelines for the amount of bug parts allowed in our processed foods.
You can legally ingest 60 insect components per 100 grams of chocolate, 30 insects parts per 100 grams of peanut butter, and as many as five fruit fly eggs and 1-2 larvae for every 250 milliliters of juice. Bet you didn’t know that. Then there’s the swallowing of small flying insects as you go through a swarm of gnats.
We are unusual as a people in not embracing entophagy. About two billion of earth’s people choose to chow down on insects. That’s because they are an inexpensive, safe, and readily available food source. Name an endangered insect (other than butterflies) if you can. And they don’t emit methane like cows to add to the greenhouse effect. It costs much less to food-farm insects than mammals. Insects make up 80% of the world’s animals and so are easily obtained even without farming. With population soaring, embracing entomophagy could be all that stands between starvation and survival.
Some nutrition facts. Bugs . . .
Have comparable protein levels to beef and fish, with some varieties
having more protein.
Are an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc,
selenium, and iron.
Are a good fiber source and low in fat.
Are less likely to carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans.
The most commonly eaten bugs are bees, wasps, locusts, grubs, ants, mealworms, crickets, beetles, and grasshoppers. And recipes for preparing them abound. Hop on over to my blog and get some recipes if you’d like to surprise family or guests at dinner tonight.
Check out the second part of this a two-part blog at my blog, “Parsley, Sage, and Rosemary Time”. (www.sharonarthurmoore.blogspot.com)
WOW! Doesn’t that sound tasty? Bug says he's not eating her bug recipes.
Sharon's sources for this blog post: