Permaculture News

Insects as food

The locust biscuit (insects as food) not served by Su but taken from
The locust biscuit (insect as food) not served by Su but taken from

Su loves to see the reaction from tour participants as she explains the ingredients in her hot-out-of-the-oven cake served for either morning or afternoon tea; “Wheat, yes it’s commonly graded as chook wheat. Nothing wrong with it, just dusty, a bit of grit and odd insects. Good source of protein.” and thus the insects as romantic food conversation started:
In his email to Su, David wrote about “insect as food”.

Your story about locust protein fortified grain that you use to entice and/or shock tour visitors can now be seen in a wider context. Perhaps it is one of the best examples of how “the problem is the solution”.
This is one of a series of articles I have noticed on over the years about  entomophagy as a partial solution to future protein scarcity, complete with extensive references.

The piece David was referring to is called “the Future of protein”, originally published on Solutions website. As David says, it’s very well referenced. To add to the Dawn Starin’s reference: One of the classic books on entomophagy mentioned in the article, Why not eat insects? by Vincent M. Holt (1885) can be viewed here.

Another intriguing article written by J Bequaert titled “Insects as food” was published in the March/April 1921 issue of  Natural History magazine.

Dawn Starin also wrote a previous version for the 2011 edition of the same magazine.
Back on the subject, our own weed munching expert, Adam Grubb, the author of The Weed Forager’s Handbook, joined in. Among other things, he confessed that bug eating is indeed a big turn on.

Maybe I told you this story, but on our first date, walking down the Merri Creek showing Annie some bushtucker, I told her you can eat grasshoppers and she ate one fresh, then and there.  I fell madly in love.  Only years later did I mention I’d never tried one.  (I then had to of course…)
BTW I have a good coffee table book about insects which is called Man Eating Bugs.

David follows up with his own confession.

I must have heard that story but had forgotten it, because I felt compelled to CC you for some unknown reason. The reason I CCd Rod was because it was him joking about locust protein enhanced chook wheat on a PDC tour of his place in the early  1990’s that was the origin of Su’s story. Of course Su immediately realising that we should buy this wheat for our chooks and that we could eat it too was confirmation of why I fell in love with her (even though dried ground locusts in grain are nowhere near as challenging as fresh ones in the hand).

The plot thickens. Stay tuned for further episodes of the entomophagy and love. To sign off, here is the recent (UK) Guardian article about an UN report on the subject. If you have your own stories to share,  please write to us.


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