Founder of JPR Media Group, Jessica Patterson, writes a guest post on eatwithsteph.com
Want grasshoppers on that?
The future is ripe for new experimental cooking, fine dining tasting menus and an increase in health options which might just include bugs on your menu. As the human population continues to grow, the demand to feed all those hungry mouths will become increasingly difficult. A growing number of experts claim that people will soon have no choice but to consume insects!
In 2013, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) released a report titled, “Edible Insects: Future Prospects for Food and Feed Security.” The document details the health and environmental benefits derived from a diet supplemented by insects, a diet also known as “entomophagy.”
And why not? We force feed ducks until their livers burst to create foie gras and French royalty and statesmen like Francois Mitterrand use to savour such delicacies as the Ortolan bird. These tiny birds were captured, force-fed, drowned in Armagnac and roasted to be eaten in one whole, crunchy bite – bones and all.
I read an interesting article on Buzzfeed about “The Bug Chef” David George Gordon called “Cooking with Bugs Is Less Disgusting than You Might He makes dishes such as Scorpion Scallopine, Grasshopper Kabobs, Orthopteran Orzo (cricket nymphs), Deep Fried Tarantula, and Skewered Sonoran Centipede (FYI – I have eaten dried Scorpions, you can actually pick them up at Selfridges in London, and it was the most disgusting thing I have ever eaten besides a mouldy croissant when I was six).
Lack of natural resources have always been a cause for dominating nations to create new food trends to save the lack of production capabilities they have. Even with the use of clever advertising, nations do succeed in convincing the mass of the population “human sheep” to follow in their footsteps.
Take World War II for example. I recently read in the advertising book Purple Cow – written by former Marketing guru for American Apparel, Ryan Holiday – that America set up a committee to promote liver and other non-restricted meats to the American public. This was due to the fact that it was sending most meat production abroad to feed Allied troops, thus bleeding the country dry of necessary protein for the rest of the population.
As a result, the Committee on Food Habits was established at the request of the Department of Defence to identify effective ways of promoting to the American public non-restricted meats including liver sausage, liver, tongue, hearts and kidneys. Hence why our mothers and grandmothers would tell us to eat liver it was “good” for us.
The trend of humans consuming insects might not just arise due to the lack of food resources, but to the discovery that insects are actually good for us.
A group of students from McGill University in Montreal were awarded the 2013 Hult Prize, for producing a protein-rich flour made from insects. The prize gives the students $1 million in seed money to begin creating what they call “Power Flour,” first using grasshoppers. Mealworms are one of the only insects currently consumed in the Western world. They are raised in the Netherlands for human consumption, as well as for animal feed. The nutritional value of mealworms is hard to beat. Apparently they are rich in copper, sodium, potassium, iron, zinc and selenium, and comparable to beef in terms of protein content, but have a greater number of healthy, polyunsaturated fats.
So before you cringe and gag at the thought of eating insects don’t be surprised if you see grasshopper protein powder at your favourite local juice bar or mealworm risotto on the menu at the newest trendy restaurant.
– Written by Jessica Patterson, Founder of JPR Media Group