‘This tastes freaking delicious’

Crickets? Cockroaches? Grasshoppers? I’d have to be awfully desperate.


‘This tastes freaking delicious’

Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser

… it says, in the latest dietary advice on how to procure your protein needs from insects, mealy bugs, grasshoppers, and the like. Just “consume” Popular Science’s (PS) “Bug Eating Guide” ( https://www.popsci.com/story/diy/insect-bug-eating-guide/ ).

Deliciously crunchy grasshoppers

Now, I don’t want to question anyone’s culinary delights. After all, they depend on what you are used to eating and in which you find sustenance. It’s just that your tastes and mine may not exactly match.

Culinary Delights

So, if you’re used to dining on sushi-kind bat-wings or whatever, no problem. And you can, sort-a, start getting the feel for it following PS’s helpful advice, like “When people think about eating bugs, they most immediately picture a taco with chapulines [for non-foodies: that’s a chef’s term for some grasshoppers] or a bowl of sautéed crickets. But the truth is you can opt for a less shocking alternative.”

Just in case you are in need of a Mexican recipe for them delicious hoppers, kindly see https://www.thespruceeats.com/chapulines-mexican-grasshoppers-2342567.

More importantly though, it’s the kind of nourishment that one supposedly will get from that kind of meal. That, after all is the real issue.

Nutrition – You tell me

The PS-post author, Sandra Guiterrez G., (SGG) also claims “Bugs have another upside they can be hacked to improve their nutritional content even further.” With “hacked”, I think she means cut or chopped into tiny pieces. Oh yeah, that increases their nutritional value by exactly zero.

But wait, there is even a scientific explanation. As the author explains: “…enzymatic hydrolysis … boosts the nutrient count by rendering the chitin… exoskeletons … more protein bits to bond with other ingredients.”

What hogwash!

Even the river otters and raccoons in our environs that catch plenty of crayfish with chitin exoskeletons cannot digest such. Instead, they deposit these delicious and nutritious exoskeletal remnants of that prey in heaps onshore or other firm surfaces.

Chitin – a Source of Protein?

Chitin, essentially a kind of starch-polymer, is not a source of protein. At best, it’s an indigestible source of starch. Chitin is not a source of protein but does contain small amounts of one or more amino-acids that make up all kinds of real protein. The idea that one could live a healthy life on that kind of “nutrition” is nonsense. Besides, it’s entirely irrelevant – in terms of nutritional value – how a particular food tastes as perceived by your personal taste buds.

Moreover, there is currently a real locust plague in eastern Africa. These critters swarm by the billions and devour the farmers’ vegetables and grains without abandon. Strangely, if you believe the story in PS, the farmers ought to welcome all that nutritious free protein rather than being afraid for their livelihood. Perhaps they could roast the locusts and develop a flourishing export market for the eagerly waiting and bug-eating folks in the Big Apple.

Rather than salivating about “freaking delicious” grasshoppers, crickets, cockroaches and friends, kindly permit me to state my preference for some real meat or fish and I will permit you to drool over your insect exoskeletons.


Dr Klaus L E KaiserDr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser is a professional scientist with a Ph.D. in chemistry from the Technical University, Munich, Germany. He has worked as a research scientist and project chief at Environment Canada‘s Canada Centre for Inland Waters for over 30 years and is currently Director of Research at TerraBase Inc. He is author of nearly 300 publications in scientific journals, government and agency reports, books, computer programs, trade magazines, and newspaper articles.

Dr. Kaiser has been president of the International Association for Great Lakes Research, a peer reviewer of numerous scientific papers for several journals, Editor-in-Chief of the Water Quality Research Journal of Canada for nearly a decade, and an adjunct professor. He has contributed to a variety of scientific projects and reports and has made many presentations at national and international conferences.

Dr. Kaiser is author of CONVENIENT MYTHS, the green revolution – perceptions, politics, and facts

Dr. Kaiser can be reached at: mail@convenientmyths.com

9 thoughts on “‘This tastes freaking delicious’”

  1. Well, if you are an adventurous eater and want to try dried grasshoppers… be my guest! Only thing is I would NOT recommend buying them if they were from Mexico. (Catch and dry your own instead).

    Why? They have been identified as a lead poisoning source, since the traditional way to prepare them in Mexico includes drying them on lead trays. That would be ditto for dried chilies from Mexico, or anything from Mexico with chili power, including chili pepper covered candies… I kid you not!

    On the other hand, I wanted to ask.. do any of you know if lizards are eatable (not including Gila monsters of course … I know they’re poisonous), And if so, how to catch and prepare them? I’m thinking “worse case scenario” stuff here… in case the next “crisis” is a serious food shortage.

    I already know I can eat cactus… there are a gazillion of those growing here and I have a few recipes (even tried cactus tacos once at a fancy Mexican place in downtown Tucson). Yeah, I know rattlesnakes are eatable too, but aside from the dangers of catching one… I tried it once … WAY too many bones; I’d think eating snake you use up more energy picking out the bones than you’d get from the small amount of meat they have.

    • Have a look at some Central American version of ‘Bamboo Chicken’ http://justfunfacts.com/interesting-facts-about-iguanas/
      Yep the flesh looks like bamboo, and tastes similar to chicken!
      And much of Central and South America eat the vegetarian iguanas (usually some form of tree lizards) — keep away from the larger meat-eating lizards they can be unsafe.
      Also throughout the region of South and Central America and outside the large towns and cities, especially in villages they’ll eat just about anything that can be caught, speared, trapped, or shot — from turtle eggs, local pythons, and forest pigs, most fish and shellfish. Also some areas farm rodents and other ‘wild’ animals (gibnut, Agouti, capybaras, muskrat, and guinea pigs).

      • Well they are not iguanas I see around here ,,,, but I guess is some type of lizards are eatable it’s worth researching. Thanks for that info.

        I did have some quail lay a load of eggs (about a dozen) in one of my pots I use for plants (the fennel) but they abandoned them when I moved the pot a bit. Next time, if I need to I’ll steal the eggs or something.

        It’s not so much that I’m crazy about eating weird stuff, but I’ve had periods in my life before where I went hungry… so I try to think ahead of the game for options.

  2. yeah africans could up their protien and vit/mineral intake by eating whats eating their crops
    but oddly they arent?
    on the topic of Chitin
    food industry uses prwnshell waste(chitin too) as an additive in some crumbcoating on preprepped frozen meals for extra crunchiness
    ie ANY excuse to use rubbish/waste or poor quality fillers to UP the profit margins remove REAL food and boost the weight with no value substitutes
    food science is a whole world of really dodgy ideas to make money while removing real food.
    Doctors have just come out in force at the food industry for providing poor nutrition to consumers
    waaay late with that fellas!
    BTW DO NOT feed your loved pets the NO Grain dry foods
    insane costs and risky food its PEAFLOUR theyre using as the protien source
    Dogs and Cats do NOT do well on it
    heartfailures cardiomyopathy in dogs especially being reported.
    ps theyve also been sneaking denatured ie taste n colour removed, peaflour in breads cakes etc for a couple of yrs in a big way
    peas/legumes are cheaper than wheat etc
    a cent a kilo over 2 c a kilo is enough to make billions i a large volume of product sold.
    it was bad enough when they started using soy /corn and other “filler” into what should be all wheat breads

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