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Edible: An Adventure into the World of Eating Insects and the Last Great Hope to Save the Planet Hardcover – February 11, 2014


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Edible: An Adventure into the World of Eating Insects and the Last Great Hope to Save the Planet + The Eat-a-Bug Cookbook, Revised: 40 Ways to Cook Crickets, Grasshoppers, Ants, Water Bugs, Spiders, Centipedes, and Their Kin + Eating Insects. Eating Insects as Food. Edible Insects and Bugs, Insect Breeding, Most Popular Insects to Eat, Cooking Ideas, Restaurants and Where to
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This book is about eating bugs—in the author’s definition, any terrestrial invertebrate—and how insects and other invertebrates just might be the answer to world hunger. Martin, a self-avowed entomophagist, ate her first bug (a fried grasshopper) while studying pre-Columbian food and medicine in Mexico. But it wasn’t until she realized that there was actually a worldwide movement afoot to add insects back into the human diet that Martin dedicated herself to educating us about the advantages of eating bugs. As the author deconstructs our modern diet, we begin to realize the inefficiency and waste that goes into the raising of meat animals. And with the ever-increasing human population and the fact that at least one in seven persons on this planet does not get enough to eat, does it not make sense to turn to insects as a food source? In this chatty, informative, and eminently readable manifesto–cum–food travelogue, Martin takes the reader along as she talks to chefs who cook with insects, muses about vegetarianism and veganism (and why being a vegan ultimately won’t work), collects corn earworms from a community farm, rhapsodizes on the flavor of sautéed waxworms, and, in general, turns us on to eating bugs. Complete with recipes and nice descriptions of edible insects. --Nancy Bent

Review

“Never didactic, Martin gently nudges readers toward open-mindedness at the prospect of eating bugs: ‘Why not make the best of what we have the most of?’ Regardless of readers’ culinary proclivities, Martin’s lively book poses timely questions while offering tasty solutions.” —Kirkus Reviews

“In this chatty, informative, and eminently readable manifesto–cum–food travelogue, Martin takes the reader along as she talks to chefs who cook with insects, muses about vegetarianism and veganism (and why being a vegan ultimately won’t work), collects corn earworms from a community farm, rhapsodizes on the flavor of sautéed waxworms, and, in general, turns us on to eating bugs.” Booklist

“It’s not easy for most Americans to see this, but insects are going to be a far bigger part of our menus in the next 25 years. Daniella Martin’s Edible is a fun, articulate look at the world of entomophagy, and the arguments for adding insects to our diet.” —Josh Schonwald, author of The Taste of Tomorrow: Dispatches from the Future of Food
 
“Daniella Martin’s contagious ‘entosiasm’ for eating insects makes you rush to join the insect-eating movement that people in the Western world left aside by mistake in the past.” —Marcel Dicke, professor of entomology at Wageningen University, The Netherlands, and author of The Insect Cookbook: Food for a Sustainable Planet
 
“Daniella’s contagious enthusiasm about edible insects has the power to make you think again...Laced with anecdotes full of the wisdom of various proponents of eating insects and such rich descriptions of the taste and texture of many bug-based dishes that you will feel you have been missing out, Edible is both a quick read and a valuable resource which will certainly be consulted often by an army of new proponents of this incredible source of nutrition. Even those it cannot claim as converts will be more interesting around the dinner table after consuming this fact-filled frolic through the world of eating insects.” Treehugger.com

“Speaking in plain, but engaging language, Daniella Martin draws us into her adventure in the world of edible insects. We follow her around the world, beginning with her quest into ancient Aztec cuisine as a cultural anthropology student and traveling up to the present moment with her as a media celebrity and an accomplished gourmet chef. This is not just an entertaining coffee-table book but a moment to ask serious questions about cultural aversions that are now stumbling blocks in our quest for healthy diets in a sustainable world.” —Florence Vaccarello Dunkel, editor of The Food Insects Newsletter and professor of entomology at Montana State University

“Through gentle suggestion, powerful facts, and a world of experience, Daniella Martin opens her readers to the notion of eating bugs for health, economics, the environment, and just plain old flavor. Open the book squeamish, settle into curiosity, and find yourself convinced." —DIY Food

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: New Harvest (February 11, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0544114353
  • ISBN-13: 978-0544114357
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #303,146 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Daniella Martin is an entomophagist, or bug-eating expert. She has been featured in the Huffington Post, The New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal, SF Weekly, and AOL News, and has inspired an episode of The Simpsons.

Customer Reviews

Daniella Martin's love of insects is matched only by her love of being part of the scene.
Mickey Dee
I really enjoyed this book, the author has a very casual writing style that makes this a quick and easy read.
Michael Sherrillo
I received this book free through Goodreads First Reads and I am glad I had this opportunity to read it.
peggy b

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Miss Barbara TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Global Hunger is a very serious subject. Author DANIELLA MARTIN is a certified entomophagist, or bug-eating expert and the knee jerk reaction of many will certainly be NO WAY! Daniella has traveled the world learning how other countries and cultures have successfully eaten bugs for centuries.

The palate of us North Americans has changed over the last couple of hundred years whether we care to admit it or not. At the first Thanksgiving the Pilgrims no doubt were embarrassed to serve lobster which was poor man's fare. These now expensive delicacies were then considered garbage and piled up on the shore after storms. We learn that until a Japanese businessman from Japan Airlines began importing Bluefin tuna in the 60's it was just considered a good-fighting sports-fish that was thrown back after it was weighed and photographed with the angler.

Insects are found in great quantities all over the world. The raising and cultivating of insects for food is more sustainable than conventional livestock. Crickets taste like nutty shrimp but a pound requires 1,000x less water per pound than a pound of chicken. The author traveled the world investigating indigenous cultures that use insects as an integral part of their cuisine.

This is a fascinating read and never boring as new gastronomy is explored for the good of the planet but also to expand the appreciation of new tastes that may be surprisingly pleasurable and satisfying.

The author ends the book with methods for raising insects as husbandry but best yet offers recipes for many varieties of the creepy-crawlies. Among them are the Wax Moth Taco, Crickety Kale Salad and Fig Canapés made with grasshoppers.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By alli_g on February 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Edible is a really interesting look at entomophagy. Daniella Martin begins by explaining why insects should be a normal part of the human diet from both a nutritional and ecological standpoint. She provides a sound, logical argument for the consumption of insects while fully aware of the obstacles to adding bugs to the Western diet.

This is the hard part to wrap your brain around, even for someone who doesn't mind insects or see them as creatures to be wiped out. I was interested to read Edible because my son, who is now ten, has been fascinated by insects for the past seven years. He collects them, reads about them, studies them, and yes, even eats them when he gets the chance. I once took him to an entomophagy event at the nearby Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. He was willing to try some insect dishes (veggie fried rice with crickets and mealworms), but I could not get over my squeamishness. While there are always bugs in our freezer waiting to be spread and pinned, cooking and eating them is something I'm not really brave enough to try, although I do plan to look up some of the companies mentioned in the book. My son would love nothing more than to order some specimens he can sample and/or add to his collection.

In Edible, Martin does a very good job of making insects sound delicious. She makes me think I could maybe give entomophagy a try as she describes her travels to various countries and the types of insect cuisine she encounters. If we eat crabs, lobster, and shrimp, why not bugs? She presents her story and thoughts with a good dose of humor. Edible is very readable and interesting. Entomophagy is one food trend that I hope continues to grow as hopefully my courage will grow and I will someday try a wax worm taco.
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61 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Hervian Rose on March 10, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I ordered this because my daughter wanted to try some insect recipes. I should probably explain that we've lived in places where insects are eaten as a matter of course, so there is no ick factor. So I was very disappointed that it was not actually a recipe book. It does have a few recipes in it as well as instructions to raise your own meal worms, but really not much, and disappointingly, no pictures.
However I rated it low for other reasons. The book was written by a person who flew to this country to eat this bug and that country to eat another bug and across the states to eat bugs imported from all over the world at a world class restaurant. And in between the stories of her profligate adventures, she exhorted the poor of northern climes to save themselves by farming insects. (and save the planet in the process by reducing the grain required to produce protein and not caring that her own slip was showing, flapping gaily behind her huge jet fuelled carbon footprint)
In reality, anywhere insects can be raised easily and reliably, the poor are already eating them. In the warm, moist countries of the world, you can buy them ready to snack on at the market, at the ferry crossing, and if you raise your chin just right, someone will come to your door with a laden bicycle to sell you some.
The instructions given for raising various insects to eat require expensive containers, shipments of starter animals, and expensive food to maintan a populaton. (If the poor can buy fresh fruit, vegetables, and honey in the winter, they should probably just eat it.)
The book felt self-righteous and condescending. It may appeal to an elite audience but falls tragically short of comprehending issues of poverty or agriculture.
There are serious insect cookbooks available, as well as ethnic cookbooks that include traditional insect recipes that are much more worth your time and investment.
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