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Creepy-crawlies for survival
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  1. #1
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    Creepy-crawlies for survival

    The newspaper I work for had an article today about how scientists say that the insects and bugs eaten in rural Thailand are an excellent emergency food in the event of droughts or other natural disasters.

    I don't know what some of these creatures are (bamboo grubs and grasshoppers, I do know) but would like to find out, and how they are ''harvested''. I personally love these snacks, which are more satisfying than a packet of crisps after a few beers. I once bought some salty grubs and sprinkled them in a cheesy ham Subway sandwich -- delicious!
    Last edited by Sparky; 26-02-08 at 02:00 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Creepy-crawlies for survival

    Here it is. Not an original story; we bought it. Dateline, Chiang Mai

    Researchers say bugs could ease famine

    Crickets, caterpillars and grubs are high in protein and minerals and could be an important food source during droughts and other emergencies, according to scientists.

    "I definitely think they can assist," said German biologist V.B. Meyer-Rochow, who regularly eats insects and wore a T-shirt with a Harlequin longhorn beetle to a U.N.-sponsored conference this month on promoting bugs as a food source.

    Three dozen scientists from 15 countries gathered in this northern Thailand city, home to several dozen restaurants serving insects and other bugs. Some of their proposals were more down to earth than others.

    A Japanese scientist proposed bug farms on spacecraft to feed astronauts, noting that it would be more practical than raising cows or pigs. Australian, Dutch and American researchers said more restaurants are serving the critters in their countries.

    The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization estimates 1,400 species of insects and worms are eaten in almost 90 countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia. Researchers at the conference detailed how crickets and silk worms are eaten in Thailand, grubs and grasshoppers in Africa and ants in South America.

    "In certain places with certain cultures with a certain level of acceptance, then insects can very well be seen as part of the solution" to hunger, said Patrick Durst, a Bangkok-based senior forestry officer at the FAO.
    The challenge, experts said, is organizing unregulated, small bug food operations in many countries so they can supplement the food that aid agencies provide. The infrastructure to raise, transport and market bugs is almost nonexistent in most countries.

    Prof. Arnold van Huis, a tropical entomologist known as "Mr. Edible Insect" in his native Netherlands, blamed a Western bias against eating insects for the failure of aid agencies to incorporate bugs into their mix. "They are completely biased," van Huis said. "They really have to change. I would urge other donor organizations to take a different attitude toward this ... It's excellent food. It can be sustainable with precautions."

    There are questions about the safety of eating bugs and potential dangers from over-harvesting them, said Durst, who became interested in the practice known scientifically as entomophagy during his years working in Bangkok, where crickets and bamboo worms are sold as food by street vendors.

    Tina van den Briel, senior nutritionist at the World Food Program, the U.N. agency that provides food in emergencies, expressed doubt that insects can benefit large, vulnerable populations. Most bugs are seasonal and have a short shelf life, she said. "They can be a very good complement to the diet," said van den Briel, not a conference participant. "But they do not lend themselves to programs like ours where you transport food over long distances and where you have to store food for a few months."

    She suggested a more practical benefit might be adding insects to animal feed or crushing them into a meal powder that could be used to make cookies or cakes.

    Meyer-Rochow said aid agencies might even find a way to harvest crop-destroying swarms of locusts and crickets. "These mass outbreaks could be a valuable food source," he said. "If the technology is available, they could be ground up like a paste and added to the food humans eat."

    Associated Press

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    Re: Creepy-crawlies for survival

    I know first-hand that silk worms are pretty tasty.
    Life is learning. If you stop learning, you might as well be dead.

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    Re: Creepy-crawlies for survival

    "If the technology is available, they could be ground up like a paste and added to the food humans eat."

    Sounds like nam prig to me. Nam prig mangda and sticky rice, very nice.
    Life is learning. If you stop learning, you might as well be dead.

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    Re: Creepy-crawlies for survival


    แมงกุดจี่ ประติมากรบนกองมูล
    ในธรรมชาติ ไม่มีอะไร ไร้ประโยชน์ ... แม้แต่ ขี้ควาย กองหนึ่ง
    ในหมู่พวกที่ สนับสนุนความคิดนี้ มีแมงกุดจี่ เป็นแถวหน้า
    สำหรับคน ขี้ควายนับเป็น ปุ๋ยชั้นดี แต่สำหรับ แมงกุดจี่แล้ว ขี้ควาย มีค่ากว่านั้นมาก และไม่เพียงขี้ควาย แต่ขี้วัว ขี้ม้า ขี้หมู ขี้แพะ ฯลฯ ล้วนสำคัญต่อ ชีวิตเจ้าแมงตัวเล็ก ท่าทางแข็งขันชนิดนี้ เพราะมูลสัตว์ เป็นทั้งอาหาร บ้าน และวัสดุสำคัญ ที่มันจะนำมา ปั้น เป็นก้อนกลมดิก ใหญ่กว่าตัวมัน สองสามเท่า เพื่อใช้เป็นเสบียง แก่ลูกน้อยของมัน
    Don't just love him, but show him

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    Re: Creepy-crawlies for survival

    Don't just love him, but show him

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    Re: Creepy-crawlies for survival

    You can't put me off ThuggieDuckie; I have a very strong stomach.

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    Re: Creepy-crawlies for survival

    This is great stuff!!!

    My wife is from Southern Isaan and there are many bugs used in a regular diet (actually considered treats). I have personally had the silk worms (a little gritty on the tongue), beetle (not bad at all), grasshopper (a bit too strong of a flavor), and scorpion.

    I will need to get her to create a post on the proper way to prepare bugs. I know they are put into shallow salt water while they are alive and the saltwater helps to clean their "system" out. After the saltwater swim they are washed in clean water then prepared to preference.

    After my wife had been in the states for a couple months we visited an Asian Market. When she saw silk worms were available she became really excited and price was no concern: I took this to mean meals like this are not so much survival methods but truly part of a very diversified diet.

    She snacked on the worms all the way home with a wonderful smile locked onto her face. Gotta love a woman who enjoys her silk worms.
    The Heart determines what is Possible by the Mind

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    Re: Creepy-crawlies for survival

    Quote Originally Posted by ThuggieDuckie View Post

    Thanks for sharing, I tried some of those, haven't tried scorpions and moths though. I didn't know moths are delicacies too.

    จุดแรกคือการพบ จุดจบคือการจาก..
    มีรักต้องพราก มีจากต้องมีเจอ..

  10. #10
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    Re: Creepy-crawlies for survival

    Quote Originally Posted by ThuggieDuckie View Post

    แมงกุดจี่ ประติมากรบนกองมูล
    ในธรรมชาติ ไม่มีอะไร ไร้ประโยชน์ ... แม้แต่ ขี้ควาย กองหนึ่ง
    ในหมู่พวกที่ สนับสนุนความคิดนี้ มีแมงกุดจี่ เป็นแถวหน้า
    สำหรับคน ขี้ควายนับเป็น ปุ๋ยชั้นดี แต่สำหรับ แมงกุดจี่แล้ว ขี้ควาย มีค่ากว่านั้นมาก และไม่เพียงขี้ควาย แต่ขี้วัว ขี้ม้า ขี้หมู ขี้แพะ ฯลฯ ล้วนสำคัญต่อ ชีวิตเจ้าแมงตัวเล็ก ท่าทางแข็งขันชนิดนี้ เพราะมูลสัตว์ เป็นทั้งอาหาร บ้าน และวัสดุสำคัญ ที่มันจะนำมา ปั้น เป็นก้อนกลมดิก ใหญ่กว่าตัวมัน สองสามเท่า เพื่อใช้เป็นเสบียง แก่ลูกน้อยของมัน
    I remember an article in the Bkk Post several years ago in which an elder isaan woman told how dung beetles are cleaned and prepared for consumption.
    My wife and children snack on fried insects on occasion. As for me, I'm one of those biased westerners. After all, being told by your mother to " get that
    nasty bug out of your mouth " for years as a toddler has a negative effect
    to trying them later on in life. It's what you grow up with.
    I suppose perhaps I would at least try it if I was lost and hungry in the jungle.
    " The present is an outcome of the past which will have bearings on the future."
    Bhuddhadasa Bhikku 1906-1993

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