ROME, April 12 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Grasshopper
dumplings, bee larvae tacos and moth mousse are just some of the
recipes featured in new cookbook that aims to end Western
disdain for eating insects - which are increasingly seen as a
nutritious and environmentally friendly food.
Hundreds of species of insects are eaten around the world,
mainly in Africa and Asia, but people in the West generally
recoil from the thought of being served crickets, termites and
mealworms - even though they are a rich source of nutrition.
In addition, insect farming is likely to require less land
than traditional livestock and produce fewer greenhouse gases,
the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said in 2013.
However, nutritional benefits alone will not be enough to
persuade squeamish Western palates to swap beef, chicken and
pork for bugs and wasps, said Roberto Flore, co-author of "On
"If we want to integrate (insects) in our European diets we
need to talk about taste before discussing proteins," said the
Italian chef from Sardinia, who is also the head of culinary
research and development at the Nordic Food Lab.
"If an insect is consumed it means it tastes good," Flore
told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
The Nordic Food Lab was started in Denmark by the co-owner
of Noma, a Michelin-starred restaurant which is often described
as one of the world's best eateries, with the aim of
"investigating food diversity and deliciousness".
Flore said he, and co-authors Michael Bom Frost and Josh
Evans, decided to write the cookbook about insect-eating or
entomophagy because so little work had been done on the subject
in the West.
Published next month, the cookbook features essays, stories
and recipes from field research in Kenya, Uganda, Mexico,
Thailand and other countries where parts of the population
consider insects a delicacy.
"We hope to bridge cultural differences," said Flore, adding
most people who have tried his dishes were surprised to find
insects so tasty.
(Reporting by Umberto Bacchi @UmbertoBacchi, Editing by Katie
Nguyen.; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the
charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian
news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights, climate
change and resilience. Visit news.trust.org)