Flying Scampi and Other Delights


A British entomologist has suggested that the Western World--generally averse to munching bugs--could enrich and enliven its diet by the use of insects.

"Western people see insects as almost universally repugnant, particularly as food items, even though there is no scientific reason to support such a view," Dick Vane-Wright told the British Pest Control Assn.

Vane-Wright, from the British Natural History Museum, cited many examples of insects eaten around the world: toasted wasps and water bugs in Thailand, baked witchetty grubs in Australia and chocolate chirpies (sugar-coated crickets) in parts of the United States.

Locusts (Vane-Wright calls them "flying scampi"), termites, flies and beetle larvae have more protein, weight-for-weight, than beef, chicken or milk. They are low in fat and contain valuable minerals and vitamins. Eating them, said Vane-Wright, could help cut the heavy cost of chemicals used in pest control.

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