10 edible insects books you should read to learn more about entomophagy
The topic of edible insects is getting more and more popular. “Entomophagy” or the practice of eating insects is getting more awareness in the West for the past few years. As edible insects are nutritious, delicious and can be sustainably farmed, they can be a key element for a more sustainable food system. Let’s learn more with edible insects books!
The 2014 FAO report “Edible insects : Future prospects for food and feed security ” was downloaded more than 2 million times and really puts the light on this vast topic. A lot of excellent edible insects books were written before or after this one.
I already shared some resources for learning more about entomophagy. Let’s get further now; here is my selection of 10 edible insects books you should read! Professional, expert, advanced, enthusiast or just curious about insects as food, there will be a book for you.
Best edible insects cookbooks
As we are now starting considering insects as food, let’s start with some cookbooks!
#1 “The Eat-A-bug Cook Book” – David George Gordon
How could I start this list of the best edible insects books? With “The Eat-A-bug Cook Book” written by my dear friend David George Gordon obviously! This new edition of this delightful book contains 40 well-illustrated recipes of all the famous dishes our Bug Chef served all around the world during the past 20 years. From crickets, to grasshoppers and tarantulas, cooking arthropods won’t have any secrets for you with this edible insects book in your library! If it wasn’t enough, it contains exclusive anecdotes and precise information about the sustainability and nutritional aspect of edible insects.
#2 “The Insect Cookbook ” – Arnold Van Huis, Marcel Dicke, Henk Van Gurp
This book has been co-written by the two Dutch scientists who brought back eating insects at the center of attention in Europe. All the recipes in this book, developed in collaboration with a Chef, are using edible insects sold and farmed in Europe. From starter to dessert, in The Insect Cookbook you will find various ways for cooking mealworms, buffalo worms, crickets, and grasshoppers. Between the recipes, you’ll find interviews with experts in the field. If you still doubt about the quality of the book, Kofi Annan wrote the introduction of the book. It definitely has its place in this top edible insects books list!
Must have Edible insects books : Stories
If you want to travel without leaving your seat and learn more about the worldwide practice and history of eating insects, these 2 books will be for you.
#3 “On Eating Insects: Essays, Stories and Recipes” – Nordic Food Lab
This book is definitely the most beautiful book about edible insects. The authors from the Nordic Food lab are the first to take a holistic approach about the topic. The experts travelled the world and studied the subject for more than 3 years. As a result, this beautiful book is filled with stories, essais ,recipes and gorgeous pictures. Finally, the authors go deeper, “eating insects? – Yes but not everywhere and not for everybody”. Published really recently, On Eating Insects contains the last information available.
#4 “Man eating bugs” – Peter Menzel
This book is perfect if you want to discover the world wide practice of eating insects. The author Peter Menzel wrote “Man eating bugs” during a world wide travel. Also a photograph, the photos in this books really capture the essence of this practice. From people eating bugs in Africa, Australia, Europe, Asia and America, you will learn more about the people eating insects on a daily basis.
Best edible bugs books : Learning more about the topic, philosophy & science
Those 2 books written by experts in the field are perfect to learn more about the history, current state of art and science behind the topic. But’s that’s not all, the authors give some personal insights about the future, share some emotion and humor. They are definitely edible insects books you MUST read!
#5 “Edible” – Daniella Martin
Edible is really a special book for me. This book was the inspiration for a lot us to getting more involved in the topic. In this well-written book, Daniella Martin shares her insights, adventures and recipes. That’s not all, the book also contains a guide if you want to start breeding insects in your home. “Whether you love or hate bugs, Edible will radically change the way you think about the global food crisis and perhaps persuade you that insects are much more than a common pest.” That was definitely the case for me. If you want to know how much I love this book, I’ve got the book, e-book and audio version!
#6 “Eat the beetles!” – David Waltner-Toews
When I heard about “Eat the beetles!”, I was really excited. The critics said that this book started where “Edible” finished. As I really loved this book, I felt excited and anxious, my expectations were really high… Finally, I really resonated with the author ideas, share his point of view and it rose many new questions. Full of humor and science, this edible insect book is definitely a must read! As David Waltner-Toews and I both see entomophagy as a possibility to completely rethink our food system, I will read and reread this book many times.
Top scientific books about edible insects
If you want to really learn the science behind edible insects these 2 books are must read. But be aware, quite onerous and using scientific language, they are more suited for professional or people who want to bring their skills to another level. Therefore by committing yourself to read and study these books, you will gather unique and advanced scientific information about nutrition, history and farming insects.
#7 “Ecological implications of minilivestock” – G Paoletti
The book “Ecological implications of minilivestock” is a collection of advanced scientific papers. Written more than 10 years ago, the information contained in this books are still more than valuable today. Daniella Martin, author of the book Edible, said that the study of this book helped her becoming an expert in the field of entomophagy as it contains unique information and studies about the worldwide history of eating insects.
#8 Insects as Sustainable Food Ingredients – Aaron Dossey, Marianne Shockley
The book “Insects as Sustainable Food Ingredients” is really intended for professionals or people who want to be experts in the field. Written by world wide top experts in the industry, this book contains the latest and most advanced researches about the production, transformation and food applications of insects as food. It can be nearly impossible to read for non-scientists, but if you dig in, you’ll learn the most advanced researches. Despite as this book is not for everybody, it definitely has its place in this edible insects books list.
Edible insects books : Foraging
Finally, how could we talk about the topic of eating insects without some book about foraging wild insects? Since they are easy to read and give valuable information, those 2 books are perfect for finishing this list.
#9 Why Not Eat Insects? – Vincent Holt
We can say that Vincent Holt was the father of modern entomophagy. Written in 1885, “Why Not Eat Insects?” was therefore ahead of its time. The author stated that as insects are pests devastating our crops, we should rather eat them as they can be delicacies. As this is the first book about the topic and it’s easy to read, it’s especially relevant to put it in this edible insects books list. In addition to the cockchafer soup, you’ll find many recipes in this book. So, why not eat insects?
#10Insects: An Edible Field Guide – Stefan Gates
There are few books listing all the edible insects. And, this list of edible insects books needed one… Finally with “Insects: An Edible Field Guide“, we completed the list in a perfect way! “ It includes a comprehensive list on edible insects and where to find them, how to prepare them, their versatile usage and nutritional value as well as a few recipes. A bug-eating checklist covering all known edible bugs so readers can mark off the ones they’ve eaten and seek out new delicacies concludes the book.” As I’m making more discoveries, I’m checking the boxes… Will I fill them all?
I hope you will enjoy this list. If you read those books, you will definitely learn more about the topic, have some pleasure, maybe fun. And if you’re not convinced yet; I’m sure you’ll reconsider the topic of insects as food! And you what’s your favorite edible insects book? Feel free to share it in the comment section!
Which book is the best book to start off on?for the value.
As a first book, for learning more about the topic; I would recommend Daniella Martin’s book Edible.
If you want to explore the cooking aspect and learn interesting facts, David George Gordon’s cookbook is for you!
Would love to hear your feedback!
The library is a great place to start if you are not sure what books you want to invest in. When in college, I took a class on what people eat around the world. The book assigned was, “Man Eating Bugs”. This book is by far my #1 favorite. The pictures are great, the little stories that go with are wonderful and enlightening, and I keep this little honey of a book on my coffee table for all to peruse. .
THANK YOU for this wonderful list of books!