[at-l] "There's a Bug on My Plate" ...or... how eArThworm could be a cannibal

Mara Factor mfactor at gmail.com
Fri Dec 10 11:29:01 CST 2010

Wow!  How timely!

I was just putting together a page about food and cultural biases for my web
site.  I still have work to do on it but those who are interested can read
about more than just bugs at:


There's no link from anywhere else on my web site just yet but I hope to
finish this page soon.  In the meantime, you might find some interesting
tidbits there though I have more to add like the story of the grasshopper
that got away at the  festival in Thailand where large woks of them were
being fried up for locals that obviously enjoyed crunching on them.

For what it's worth, of all the bug eating options I've seen (grasshoppers,
grubs, cockroach-like bugs, tarantulas, and more, I never saw any that were
cooked beyond recognition of their original shape.  Mostly they were just
fried up and eaten from bags like we might munch on a small bag of peanuts.

Hmm, time for lunch...

Stitches, AT99

Visit my Travels and Trails web site at:

On Fri, Dec 10, 2010 at 11:53 AM, Linda Patton <lpatton at fsu.edu> wrote:

> Courtesy of Backpacker Mag.
> Enjoy?  :-P
> ~~ eArThworm
> -----------------------------------------
> There's a bug on my plate
> In other "less civilized" parts of the globe, you'll run into bug eaters
> (entomophagists)
> who crunch crickets with gusto and burp beetles with satisfaction.  But
> somewhere in
> the evolutionary process, we decided that insects and worms should be
> inedible.  So
> where did we go astray? I have no idea. All I do know is that if you're
> ever short of grub
> and deep in the bush, insects can stave off your hunger in a healthy way.
> Bug-eating basics
> Nutritionally, when you're talking earthworms, you're talking about a mess
> of protein
> in a little package: 60 to 70 percent on a dry weight basis, and a
> generally wholesome
> food source.  Worms, like most invertebrates, don't keep well and should be
> thrown into
> the pot still twitching or very soon after the twitching stops. After
> you've gathered a few
> handfuls, rinse in cold water. A colander works best, but you can also
> throw them in
> your water bottle, shake them up and pour off the water.  After a thorough
> cleansing,
> your food will be stunned and easier to handle. Pour them out on a clean
> cloth, carefully
> pick out the debris or any long-dead specimens, and pat the remainder dry.
> Worms are better if for about 24 hours you keep them in a container of dirt
> with a table-
> spoon or two of corn meal, bran meal, or some other dry food the worms will
> eat. They'll
> seek out and feed on the grain, which pushes any dirt in their innards out
> the back end,
> and voila, you have stuffed, grit-free, read-to-cook worms. You can boil
> them and dive
> right in, or make your taste buds happier by spicing things up. Here are a
> few suggestions:
> Earthworm Patty Supreme
> 1½ pounds thoroughly smushed earthworms
> ½ cup melted butter
> 1 teaspoon lemon rind
> 1½ teaspoon salt
> ½ teaspoon pepper
> 1 beaten egg
> 1 cup dry bread crumbs
> 1 tablespoon butter
> Combine worms, melted butter, lemon rind, salt, and pepper. Shape into
> patties,
> dip in egg, then bread crumbs. Fry in a pan with butter for about 10
> minutes,
> turning once.
> Basic Cooked Bugs
> 1 cup cleaned bugs (worms, beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, and/or
> honeybees)
> 2 cups water
> 1 teaspoon salt
> 2 dashes pepper
> 1 tablespoon butter
> ½ teaspoon sage (optional)
> 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
> Place all ingredients in a pan. Bring to boil. Allow to simmer for 30
> minutes or until
> tender. Mashing everything into an unrecognizable glump will help with the
> first nibble.
> Visit my website at http://booksforhikers.com
> "Better to be lost in the woods than in a maze of cubicles…"
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