The FAO report finds that adult locusts and grasshoppers have comparable levels of protein to raw beef (though the levels of protein, fat and fiber vary by species and preparation). In most insect-eating societies, mini livestock make up a sizable portion of the needed daily dose of protein, calcium, zinc and iron. Insects are taxonomically distant from humans, which makes them less likely to transmit diseases—a good thing in the era of food-borne maladies like SARS, H5N1, and mad-cow disease. Even so, mass producing any livestock comes with some risk of unknown diseases.
When Rachael Young was a kid, the produce on her dinner plate came from her father's garden. She was a stickler for looking over the greens to remove the hidden critters from her food. She didn't want to encounter any bugs once the food traveled from fork to mouth.
Fast forward a couple of decades. From dedicated vegetarian, Young has become a dedicated bug eater, and she's whipping up recipes she hopes will convince the rest of us to sample mealworms, crickets, and all other types of insect proteins. Eat Yummy Bugs is Young's business, and it grew out of a love of her home state and a desire to conserve the land and the waterways.
Young wants people to ‘comfortably use insects in culinary creations' because she considers the effect of meat production on the planet so deleterious. While she's always had a vegetarian mind-set, in her home area of rural Vermont there's …