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Eating Insects: More Than Just A Trend?

People have been eating bugs for centuries but in the last few decades the Western world has seen dining on pests as a novelty, something to squeal about at a dinner party. But on many parts of the globe people eat bugs for nutrition when they lack better options…everything from grasshoppers to roaches can be prepared to be edible by someone who knows what they’re doing.

Homeowners in America spend billions of dollars annually to keep their homes free from pests and there are hundreds of pest control companies across the country. Across the pond however, Britains are learning a thing or two about using pesky bugs to their advantage and noted chefs and home cooks alike are figuring out ways to make insects delicious.

In April the first annual “Pestival” will be hosted in the UK. The festival will feature dozens of novelty edible bug products and dishes from acclaimed chefs featuring nasty critters. Proponents of eating bugs say they “taste like chicken” or that they’re an excellent source of protein but reviews have been mixed. Even at Denmark’s famed eatery Noma, three-time winner of Restaurant Magazine’s “Restaurant of the Year Award,” a long-running dinner special featuring larvae, ants, and grasshoppers adventurous diners are skeptical.

An English agriculture commission recently released a list of 1,909 edible insects fit for human consumption. The Dutch government, in fact, as announced plans to host an insect-eating consortium for top minds to brainstorm ways this untapped food source could be used to help feed the ever-growing population. Though the bug love hasn’t quite invaded American soil yet there’s no doubt eating insects will be part of the larger national food scene in coming years.

Americans report a wide variety of pests, many of which are in fact on the “edible” list. From ant infestations to beetle invasions, bugs in the US are generally frowned upon. Pest control operators are gearing up for the busiest season of the year – Spring – when warmer weathers mean more bugs appear in basements and yards across the US.

If you’ve found yourself in the middle of a pest control problem (and you have no interest in eating the bugs away) it’s smart to call a pest control operator in your area sooner rather than later. Insects reproduce rapidly and the likelihood of thousands more hiding where you can’t see them is great once you’ve spotted a few.

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