For the last year, pro bug entrepreneurs have tried to gain traction in the United States through products that mostly disguise the presence of insects—a bag of cricket flour here, a protein bar there. That’s why Cam Brantley-Rios’ project is, depending on your perspective, a lot more interesting or a lot more unpleasant. The Auburn University student is on somewhat of a bug cleanse: he’s vowed to eat them at every meal and document the experience on his 30 Days of Bugs blog. Currently a week in, Cam's already found a lot of ways to work insects into familiar food. "I really like my crickets with chili powder, splashed with lime juice. I also plan to try some recipes from David Gordon's Eat-a-Bug cookbook. Fried tarantula is definitely on the list," Cam tells us. He worked a batch of crickets into his queso fundido on Super Bowl Sunday, had a bowl of waxworm chili for lunch and even added meal worms to his sushi (he’s quick to point out that some sushi fans have been eating bugs all along—the dye that goes into the imitation crab meat that’s in a lot of California rolls is made from cochineal, a small red beetle). His ingredients have proven quite easy to get. The site Girl Meets Bug has a list of places to get them.
The why behind his project should sound somewhat familiar at this point: We’re stretching a lot of our meat and fish sources pretty thin and eating insects is a good alternative protein. It takes 10 pounds of feed to make one pound of beef and hundreds of billions of gallons of water to support the agriculture system we have now. Bugs on the other hand can be farmed and ready for the table with far fewer resources.
There's a worm in your sushi.