A trip around the world to discover edible insects
In 2016 (time flies so fast),I was lucky to interview a young French scientist breeding black soldier flies in Ghana. For today, that’s a French duo who is getting active! In order to raise awareness about edible insects, their nutritional and environmental benefits, the social and cultural impacts of insects consumption, the « Criquets migrateurs » (Migratory locusts in English) started a trip around the world to discover the practice of eating insects!
Discover edible insects in a trip around the world
It’s the crazy challenge that took Annie and Sebastien AkA Les Criquets migrateurs. The 2 young French people experts in science and entomoculture decided to travel across the 5 continents. This documented journey will help the French people understand more about eating insects and its benefits.
For some of us, in Europe and US, eating insects is really cool and even normal, for many it could stay discouraging. On the other hand, in Africa, Asia, South-America, (almost everywhere in fact…), edible insects are part of the culinary heritage.
Eating insects is not a curiosity or a food that you eat when there is nothing else; it represents a lot more for many people. As noticed by Sébastien during their first trip to Japan, edible insects and entomoculture are a link between humans and nature.
For many people around the world, edible insects are :
- A food source high in proteins, vitamins and minerals
- A job : Collecting or farming insects require knowledge and skills.
- A source of income : Selling edible insects on the local market represent an extra source of income that can be indispensable.
- A tradition : The skills and knowledge are passed on from generations to generations. (even if the youngest generations are less interested)
- A link between nature and the environment : In most of the countries, insects are still collected in the nature.
The benefits of eating insects
There also some benefits of eating insects in Western countries but for different reasons.
As we are getting more and more aware of our food system’s impact on the environment, we realize that the way we produce and consume food is not sustainable for the years to come.
Edible insects are a solution for solving our food system issues, on a local and global scale, for today and tomorrow.
They are high in proteins, vitamins and minerals. Farming insects require few resources and emit almost no greenhouse gases. Moreover, on our planet where space is finite, the possibility to breed insects vertically present several benefits.
But travelling and meeting people from all around the world who eat insects on a regular basis allow us to rethink again our food choices and what is considered as edible. If it was that the real benefit of edible insects?
In order to learn more about this exciting topic, they took the decision to visit 8 countries around the world.
A long trip full of delicious insects and rich meetings
And here comes the list of the adventures that will live our French explorers:
- Discover the wasp festival in Japan. The country is also well-known for its liquors infused with hornets and the « zaza-mushis », larvae of aquatic insects. All of those treats are cooked in tasty and full of umami soy sauce.
- Collect tarentulas in Cambodia Those are not insects, but as arthropods, we can count them in the list! During their visit in spring 2018, they will also participate at the seasonal collection of grasshoppers and ants. (Did you know that tarantulas are one of the favourites of the Bug Chef? )
- Thaïland : There are many countries famous for their insects consumption but this country is really special. From Bangkok to Chiang-Mai, Annie and Sébastien, will stay there more than a month and will discover a rich gastronomy such as palmworms, crickets, silkworms and the famous waterbugs..
- Discover “witchetty grubs” in Australia. The next stop will be in Oceania where our 2 adventurers will try to collect the renowned moth larva with the help of the Australian bushmen.
- During the end of the summer, they will participate in the collection of the well-known « Chapulines » in Mexico in Oaxaca for being more precise.li>
- In September, let’s get back inFrance . We have to admit that the industry is growing in France, it’s the time to meet the actors there!
- Cameroon , the country in Africa where people eat insects the most. During the month of October spent in the country, our dynamic duo will have the opportunity to visit the first palm weevil farms and enjoy some tasty termites.
- At last, but not at least : Zimbabwe. During this trip, our 2 explorers will discover and enjoy the famous and delightful « Mopane worm », the most famous edible insect in Africa.
After this long tour, they will have tasty moments to share with us! But did you know that you can follow their whole journey ?
Follow the world’s trip with the « Criquets migrateurs
Our French gourmets won’t wait until the end of their trip to let us discover those tasty moments! You can follow them and their culinary discoveries day by day. If you’re adventurous, there also some delicious recipes with insects.
They just came back from their trip to Japan and documented their journey.
Prepare some crispy insects, sit down comfortably and enjoy the film :
We wish them a nice trip and bring us delicious insects and stories in your luggage!