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Monday, February 1, 2016

Dinner Time

According to Reuters) - 
The thought of eating beetles, caterpillars and ants may give you the creeps, but the authors of a U.N. report published on Monday said the health benefits of consuming nutritious insects could help fight obesity.

More than 1,900 species of insects are eaten around the world, mainly in Africa and Asia, but people in the West generally turn their noses up at the likes of grasshoppers, termites and other crunchy fare.

The authors of the study by the Forestry Department, part of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said many insects contained the same amount of protein and minerals as meat and more healthy fats doctors recommend in balanced diets.

"In the West we have a cultural bias, and think that because insects come from developing countries, they cannot be good," said scientist Arnold van Huis from Wageningen University in the Netherlands, one of the authors of the report.

Eva Muller of the FAO said restaurants in Europe were starting to offer insect-based dishes, presenting them to diners as exotic delicacies.

Danish restaurant Noma, for example, crowned the world's best for three years running in one poll, is renowned for ingredients including ants and fermented grasshoppers.

As well as helping in the costly battle against obesity, which the World Health Organization estimates has nearly doubled since 1980 and affects around 500 million people, the report said insect farming was likely to be less land-dependent than traditional livestock and produce fewer greenhouse gases.

Van Huis said barriers to enjoying dishes such as bee larvae yoghurt were psychological - in a blind test carried out by his team, nine out of 10 people preferred meatballs made from roughly half meat and half mealworms to those made from meat.
So, there are many good reasons to eat insects, but the best is probably preventative.   Face it, bugs are always sneaking around, jumping out from behind things and scaring the livin' bejesus out of people.  If they see you slapping ol' Uncle Phil on a cracker with a slice of aged swiss and a glass of Pinot Grigio, they are going to be a lot less likely to hang out in your kitchen.  
Of course, etiquette is still very important, eating bugs is no excuse for acting like an animal.
The most important thing is selecting the correct wine.  You will look like an idiot if you try to serve a  Chardonay with a plate of caterpillars.  Any fool can tell you, and most of them will, that you need a nice Cabernet with any insect that has more than 10 legs.   Flying insects should be served with a Merlot, maybe something from Napa.
Of course the invitations need to include the type of insect you are planning on serving, and how it will be prepared.  That is only common courtesy.  
Remember, always serve insects that are in season, and never buy them out of the back of a truck at the gas station, there is nothing worse than serving your guests cheap, black market insects.  You don't know where they've been.
Enjoy, and remember you are saving the planet, as well as yourself.