Cicada Ice Cream Is Tame Compared to These Buggy Eats

Kim Conte

grasshopper tacos

If we learned anything this week, it was this: There are way more entomophagists -- people who eat insects -- here in the United States than we originally thought. They came out of the woodwork to defend an ice cream shop in Columbia, Missouri that had been advised by the city's health department to discontinue its popular, crunchy cicada ice cream. The health officials were concerned because "the food code doesn't directly address cicadas." But as the ice cream's defenders noted, this was unnecessary because cicadas are completely edible.

And that's not the only bug dish that's recently come on our radar ...

From San Francisco came the story about a restaurant owner who the health department forced to remove a menu offering -- grasshopper tacos -- even though that particular item is famous throughout the city. It was banned not because the health department has a problem with eating grasshoppers (in fact, it's a traditional food in Mexico), but rather because he imports the grasshoppers from Mexico and the supplier is not FDA-approved. (Anyone else wondering whether this is an FDA-approved grasshopper source?)

All this talk of bugs is reminding me of the Country Cricket Burgers served up at Brody's Burgers and Brews in Santa Rosa, California. It's just your typical burger -- topped with bacon- and cheese-seasoned crickets!

And who can forget Danielle Martin, the woman behind the site Girl Meets Bugs, who has made it her mission to convince people that bugs can be food. She bakes cupcakes with flour made from ground crickets and makes stir-fries with wax worms.

Hey, it's just like crunchy protein, right?


Image via william.neuheisel/Flickr

Read More