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The Insect Cookbook: Food for a Sustainable Planet (Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History) Hardcover – March 4, 2014
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An attractive mixture of background information on insects, their anatomy and history of use in food and other products, food culture, recipes, and interviews. It is very carefully prepared and a pleasure to read. (Job Ubbink, Food Concept and Physical Design of "The Mill," Switzerland)
Beautifully presented and well written, The Insect Cookbook has a variety of authorities to support its case that we need to consider incorporating insects into our diets for ecological reasons. (Theresia de Vroom, Marymount Institute for Faith)
Tarte tatin with chocolate-coated grasshoppers? With 2 billion of us already popping mealworms and more, this is a case of joining the crowd. (Barbara Kiser Nature)
This thoroughly enjoyable entomophagy primer is much more than a cookbook and, due to its interesting vignette style, keeps the reader's attention firmly fixed throughout. It pushes the boundaries of what is acceptable - an important thing to do at a time of such radical environmental destruction... this could constitute the next great culinary revolution. (Permaculture)
Excellent and fascinating... Insects have the potential to come to the rescue and the sooner we get used to the idea, the better! (Food Security)
The Insect Cookbook is a fascinating read and an excellent introduction to the topic of entomophagy. It offers not only an unusual lens through which to view broader debates and food security and the resource efficiency of our current food system, but also a recipe for fried tarantulas. (Gastronomica)
Our food future is here and needs to be embraced. This book will... start you down the road of culinary adventures. (Explorer's Journal)
The Definitive Guide to Insects as a Sustainable Food Source
In The Insect Cookbook, two entomologists and a chef make the case for insects as a sustainable source of protein for humans and a necessary part of our future diet. They provide consumers and chefs with the essential facts about insects for culinary use―where to buy them, which ones are edible, and how to store and prepare them―with recipes simple enough to make at home yet boasting the international flair of the world's most chic dishes.
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Ive been vegetarian for 30 years and you would THINK that insect cookery would be the ultimate ick factor. And it did have a bit of that "fear factor" appeal to me at first. But strangely it's really not that gross. I mean, I'm not salivating over pictures of roasted grasshoppers or anything but given the choice...I think I would eat mealy worms over chicken legs any day..
Isn't it funny though? I mean, people eat prawn cocktails all the time and when you think about it, I mean really think about it, prawns look rather insect like. It's kind of... well, icky. But we're used to it. And we eat honey which basically is bee vomit and love it. What's up with that?
I think what sealed it for me was the fact that we already eat bugs every day without even knowing it (it's in our peanut butter, chocolate, apple juice etc) and we haven't died yet, so it's not that big a deal. It's just a bit taboo. You know, like, eating bugs is for starving Ethiopians not "civilized" Americans (or some such nonsense). Fact is, in other countries people eat bugs NOT because theyre starving but because they actually taste good. Go figure. Us poor Americans are really missing out. Hey!
Anyway, I thought it was a pretty cool book. It explains the background of Entomophagy, how insects are used around the world in cooking, how they're making a showing in places like the Netherlands, San Francisco and New York, and it even has tons of recipes and full color pictures for your enjoyment. What's not to love?
Funny thing, I was with some friends today, one who is fairly open minded and a "mighty hunter" to boot. He has no problem butchering a deer or other animal and eating it. I mentioned this book and he thought it was totally gross. What a wus.
*I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
I enjoyed the detailed information provided about insect consumption around the world. Something, that in Australia, I previously had not been greatly exposed too.
Insects have never really appealed to me as a source of food, but after this book it has opened my eyes to the possibility.
Thank you for that.
The authors have attempted to introduce a very interesting topic: how do we convince the world to eat more bugs? It’s a great idea, by doing so we could help famine stricken countries by giving them the protein they so desperately need – and in a dose that is both likely more readily available as well as containing more nutrients and iron per gram than more traditional protein sources. Added to the equation is the fact that less land will have to be cleared and there will be a significant lowering of the protein carbon footprint thanks to the consumption of insects over hamburgers.
Will the western world succumb though? The authors do their best to try and entice the reader into an entomo-enriched diet. There are plenty of recipes that cover many different cultures in an effort to tease people with their proclaimed culinary delight.
Will it work though? Honestly, I’m not so sure.
Yet something weird happened two thirds of the way through this book, once they mentioned the fact that people eat honey (which, in a nutshell, is bee vomit), I started to be okay with this concept. This probably should have been the main focal point for the authors if they want westerners to try bugs, rather than the ‘save the world‘ route they took.
At times it really felt like the authors were forcing insect cuisine on the reader. Then, at other times, there was a feeling that they were almost looking down on the readers, with their ‘we just need to trick the dumb humans into eating bugs and then we will be able to control the masses‘ attitude (at times). Yet, reading the interaction between the authors and the people they interviewed talk about their passion for bugs and treating them as a food source was inspiring.
Overall, I am giving The Insect Cookbook: Food for a Sustainable Planet by Arnold van Huis, Henk van Gurp and Marcel Dicke 3 out of 5 stars.