Entomophagy: Would You Eat an Insect?
"There’s a bug on your plate!"
That statement might scare some people, but more and more, people have come to realize that insects are a great source of healthy protein!
What was once just a novelty experience of “I once ate a bug on a dare!” has now become a common experience for many.
While many insects are commonly eaten around the world, here in the U.S., the most commonly eaten insects are crickets. You can find them in foods like chocolate “chirp” cookies, corn chips, and protein bars.
There are good reasons to add crickets to your diet:
- Highly nutritious, with 2-3 times the amount of protein as beef.
- Packed with vitamins and healthy fiber.
- Use far fewer resources and produce far less pollution than other forms of livestock production.
- Easily incorporated into many of our recipes!
That final point is what we did for Hokie BugFest! We partnered with Executive Chef Scott Watson from the Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center, to create a fun recipe that you can follow at home to make a delicious cricket-infused “Grasshopper Pie” dessert!
One word of caution: If you are allergic to shellfish, it is recommended that you avoid eating insects until you are sure you do not have a reaction. The chitin exoskeleton of insects is similar enough to seafood shells that it causes cross-reactions in some people.
For more information on entomophagy (a fancy word for “insect eating”), visit this National Geographic video: youtube.com/watch?v=3f7I_HAm4d8.
Chocolate Cookie Crumb Crust
1 ½ c Oreo cookie crumbs
¼ c Butter, melted
2 T Crickets
½ c Milk
32 Large marshmallows (from 10 oz bag)
¼ c Green creme de menthe
3 T White creme de cacao
1 ½ c Whipping cream
Few drops green food color, if desired
2 T Lemon meringue flavored crickets
Heat oven to 350°F. In medium bowl, stir crust ingredients until well mixed. Reserve 2 tablespoons crumbs for garnish. Press remaining crumb mixture firmly and evenly against bottom and side of 9-inch glass pie plate. Bake 10 minutes. Cool on cooling rack 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in 3-quart saucepan, heat milk and marshmallows over low heat, stirring constantly, just until marshmallows are melted. Refrigerate about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture mounds slightly when dropped from a spoon. (If mixture becomes too thick, place saucepan in bowl of warm water and stir mixture until proper consistency.) Gradually stir in crème de menthe and crème de cacao.
In chilled large bowl, beat whipping cream with electric mixer on low speed until mixture begins to thicken. Gradually increase speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold marshmallow mixture into whipped cream. Fold in food color and lemon meringue crickets.
Spread filling in cooled baked crust. Sprinkle with reserved crumbs and grated chocolate. Refrigerate about 4 hours or until set. Store covered in refrigerator.