February 23, 2011

"Could beetles, dragonfly larvae and water bug caviar be the meat of the future?"

"As the global population booms and demand strains the world's supply of meat, there's a growing need for alternate animal proteins. Insects are high in protein, B vitamins and minerals like iron and zinc, and they're low in fat. Insects are easier to raise than livestock, and they produce less waste. Insects are abundant. Of all the known animal species, 80% walk on six legs; over 1,000 edible species have been identified. And the taste? It's often described as 'nutty.'"

Nutty, indeed!

One thing about insects for food — beyond the benefits cited in the article — is you don't have to bone them. Instead of bones, they have an exoskeleton, and you know how we humans love crunchy outer shells on our food.
Insect outer skeleton, the cuticle, is made up of two layers: the epicuticle, which is a thin and waxy water resistant outer layer and contains no chitin, and a lower layer called the procuticle. The procuticle is chitinous and much thicker than the epicuticle and has two layers: an outer layer known as the exocuticle and an inner layer known as the endocuticle. The tough and flexible endocuticle is built from numerous layers of fibrous chitin and proteins, criss-crossing each others in a sandwich pattern....
Sandwich! Mmmm.... sandwich....

45 comments:

I'm a Shaaaaark said...

I've eaten my share of insects in my day, but if this is what people are considering "Progress", well, people can take "progress" and put it some place uncomfortable (or comfortable, depending on their orientation nttawwt)

Henry said...

I play ping pong with a fellow who's a big proponent of edible insects. I'll see if I can get some samples before I make up my mind.

I can imagine eating crickets, but not grubs. A cricket is just a very small lobster.

Pogo said...

Praline: Well don't you even take the bones out?

Milton: If we took the bones out it wouldn't be crunchy would it?

woof said...

We already eat insects in our processed food. The FDA sets guidelines on what is expectable.

CITRUS FRUIT JUICES, CANNED

Insects and insect eggs: 5 or more Drosophila and other fly eggs per 250 ml or 1 or more maggots per 250 ml

RED FISH AND OCEAN PERCH

Parasites: 3% of the fillets examined contain 1 or more parasites accompanied by pus pockets

MACARONI AND NOODLE PRODUCTS

Insect filth: Average of 225 insect fragments or more per 225 grams in 6 or more subsamples

Rodent filth: Average of 4.5 rodent hairs or more per 225 grams in 6 or more subsamples

PEANUT BUTTER

Insect filth: Average of 30 or more insect fragments per 100 grams

Rodent filth: Average of 1 or more rodent hairs per 100 grams

POPCORN

Rodent filth: 1 or more rodent excreta pellets are found in 1 or more subsamples, and 1 or more rodent hairs are found in 2 or more other subsamples OR 2 or more rodent hairs per pound and rodent hair is found in 50% or more of the subsamples OR 20 or more gnawed grains per pound and rodent hair is found in 50% or more of the subsamples

WHEAT FLOUR

Insect filth: Average of 75 or more insect fragments per 50 grams

Rodent filth: Average of 1 or more rodent hairs per 50 grams

I'm a Shaaaaark said...

Crickets are fine. Grasshoppers are good, too. But I have to draw the line at eating grubs/maggots/larvae at any time unless it is a emergency. Done it. Nasty.

chuck said...

...they're low in fat

I fail to see how that is a plus when we are talking food shortages. Fat would be a big plus in my book.

rhhardin said...

Pantry moth larvae are in everything.

You already eat insects.

Henry said...

Pantry moth larvae are in everything. You already eat insects.

Make mine an invisible insect sandwich. Yum.

Pogo said...

I won't eat them if they're still moving, though.

I got standards.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Soylent Green.

Solves the health care problem and world hunger at the same time.

Perfect progressive/liberal central planning solution.

I'm a Shaaaaark said...

I won't eat them if they're still moving, though.

I got standards.


That's just silly - they taste even more disgusting when they get cold, and as long as you don't chew, and just slurp them down quickly, your stomach acid should kill them quickly so they'd only move around in there for a very brief time.

Henry said...

Give this idea to the poultry industry and we'll have grasshoppers the size of beachballs in no time.

Six drumsticks. How about that?

LarsPorsena said...

If you're going to eat bugs you'll need mouthwash. I've tried crickets, grasshoppers and bees. The are not awful but your breathe will be.

I'm a Shaaaaark said...

Six drumsticks. How about that?

That would cut back on the annual Thanksgiving Day Murder Rate.

Pogo said...

"...just slurp them down quickly"

Yeah, but the idea of them crawling out of one my orifices is off-putting, even if unlikely.

I likes my food stone cold dead, or at least very unlikely to recover and move around.

Alien ruined live insect enjoyment for me entirely.

I'm a Shaaaaark said...

@Pogo - Oh, sure. Kill them first, and let them suffer. Where is PETI?????

R.L. Hunter said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Soylent Green.

Solves the health care problem and world hunger at the same time.

Perfect progressive/liberal central planning solution.


Sounds like A Modest Proposal

traditionalguy said...

Eureka, I have a new idea! We could replace ethanol with the oil which is in abundance everywhere, and then feed our corn to cows, chickens and pigs , and then finally eat the cow's milk products , the cows, the chickens and the pigs. Our Malthusian Science Masters need to think outside of the box.

Pogo said...

Tradguy, that's just crazy talk!!!

Sixty Grit said...

Let's finish the camel first.

edutcher said...

I'll go along with this when I see Barack and Michelle put away their Waygu steak.

virgil xenophon said...

LOL--both DBQ & R.L Hunter read my mind! (besides beating me to the punch) Was the VERY FIRST THING that popped into my feeble mind when I saw the title of Ann's post!

Triangle Man said...

I think we can be certain that if they sell it at Whole Foods, Meade will put it on a pizza for you.

Dose of Sanity said...

Or, could just be a vegetarian. 7lbs of grain to make 1lb of meat.

The 2050 article was interesting...

virgil xenophon said...

PS: You can be sure that Michelle O and other assorted totalitarians will jump all over this "health" & "nutritional" band-wagon in yet another attempt to force march us all to the "vIrtuous life" at the bayonet point of government-directed strictures.



wv:proluart=beetle-crunching cusinart? LOL!

Don't Tread 2012 said...

LIBERALS

"Spreading misery and lowering standards for everyone in the name of fairness for over 100 years"

I'm a Shaaaaark said...

PS: You can be sure that Michelle O and other assorted totalitarians will jump all over this "health" & "nutritional" band-wagon in yet another attempt to force march us all to the "vIrtuous life" at the bayonet point of government-directed strictures.

I'll start listening to Michelle Obama as soon as she does something about her ginormous ass.

Until then...

Oh, hey look! Cottage Cheese!

TosaGuy said...

Right after we eat some insects (as well as chilled monkey brains and snake surprise) we can rip out some hearts before dropping some folks into a pit of fire while we chant to some drumming.

I'm a Shaaaaark said...

Right after we eat some insects (as well as chilled monkey brains and snake surprise) we can rip out some hearts before dropping some folks into a pit of fire while we chant to some drumming.

Union Rally of the future?

Triangle Man said...

Personally, I love to eat some of the distant struggle cousins of insects. Usually with drawn butter.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Personally, I love to eat some of the distant struggle cousins of insects. Usually with drawn butter.

Me too.

However, I try not to think about the fact that lobster and crab are basically creepy crawly insects.

Snake, on the other hand, is really quite good. Not a lot of meat, but tasty

Revenant said...

The "meat of the future" will be cloned muscle tissue produced in factories.

I.e., ordinary meat, but meat that was never part of a larger animal.

Brian O'Connell said...

Piling on, lobster, crab, and shrimp are basically bugs. Crawdaddies too.

If you seasoned them right, sauteed crickets would probably be very good. Just call'em by their French name.

Hazy Dave said...

I prefer egg salad sandwiches.

raf said...

Insects are abundant.

Perhaps because they are not a significant human food source.

WV: oushies. What you can get if you don't kill the bees before you eat them.

Clyde said...

I like a crunchy outer shell... On my friggin' M&Ms, thank you very much. Insects? I'll pass.

deborah said...

Now I'm hungry for an egg-salad sandwich.

Pogo said...

I have eaten chocolate-covered ants.

They taste exactly like you'd think.

Triangle Man said...

Personally, I love to eat some of the distant struggle cousins of insects. Usually with drawn butter.

Argh, struggle=arthropod in autocorrect world.

Oligonicella said...

I'm a Shaaaaark --

"That's just silly - they taste even more disgusting when they get cold,..."

They don't get cold, they are cold. No internal heat, unless you count muscle contraction.

Large grasshoppers, fried in peanut oil are great.

ken said...

Whoa, lots of scatological possibilities for nutrition. According to the List Universe, Martin Luther swore by the health benefits of eating a teaspoon of your own fecal matter daily. And as far as insects go, their total mass on earth is far more than that of the six billion humans. But perhaps we could use genetic modifications and grow nice beef steaks in vats?

BJM said...

Just call'em by their French name.

JohnKerrys?

ken in sc said...

People already eat crickets in the Philippines. Every year, a kind of flying cricket swarms at the beginning of the rainy season. People gather under street lights to capture them. In Thailand, people eat rice bugs. I used to gather them on the flightline and sell them for beer money—five cents, one baht each.

Mitch said...

Soylent Green is bugs?

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