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Stinkbugs: The final solution. April 6, 2011

Posted by ourfriendben in critters, wit and wisdom.
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Silence Dogood here. As longtime readers know, I hate stinkbugs the way vegetarians hate the current crop of offal-loving chefs, and vice-versa. So far this year, I’ve already had to throw three stinkbugs out the door and toss three more deceased stinkbugs into the trash. And the season’s just beginning. If, like me, you’re not the spray ’em/stomp on ’em type, you need something to help you banish the evil beasties.

Fortunately, help is at hand, in the form of a growing trend, edible insects. Now, in many countries, insects are considered a delicacy. Take the witchetty grub of Australia or the mopane worm of Botswana. Chocolate-covered crickets, grasshoppers, and ants have been marketed here in the U.S. But most of us have yet to warm up to the idea of feeding canned or dehydrated mealworms, fly larvae, and ants to our outdoor birds, much less snack on them ourselves.

Years ago, our local paper featured an article about edible insects, including a full-color photo of a pizza with, not pepperoni and sausage, but tarantulas and cockroaches. I decided on the spot that this was the ultimate diet tool, especially for pizza-lovers like myself: Just clip the photo, put it on your fridge door, and you’d never, ever, want to eat again.

These days, the trend seems to be eating the most bizarre foods on earth (example: Tony Bourdain consuming the still-beating heart of a cobra on his TV show). U.S. food celebrities travel around the world to eat dogs, sheep eyeballs, and the like. This trend coupled with the growing recognition of how much it really costs the planet to produce beef, pork, and other sources of meat has resulted in a marriage as unnatural as that of the Sting/Jennifer Beales union in “The Bride” [of Frankenstein]: Locavores have concluded that eating insects is the best way to reduce our outsized planetary consumption and carbon footprint.

Now, it seems to me that it might occur to some of these self-righteous idiots that adopting a vegetarian diet would accomplish this goal without forcing people to eat bugs. But noooo. Must have, must eat meat, even if it’s in the form of maggots or roaches, or, say, tarantulas.

Well, alrighty then. If morons who insist that animal-based protein is the sole source of life, and who want to consume locally-produced foods, choose to eat insects, so be it. Chow down, guys! Check out today’s article, “Bugs. It’s what’s for dinner?” online at Yahoo.com, about enthusiastic insectavores attempting to spread the gospel of bug-eating as a way to get that all-important animal-based protein in your diet without paying for beef, chicken, pork, and etc. There’s just one problem: Your “popcorn” katydids, grasshoppers, crickets, and etc. can go for more than $90 per pound, and they’re all imported from abroad.

Gee. Somehow, this seems like the antithesis of buying locally-grown, reasonably priced produce that requires no expensive shipping and is organic and wholesome. Instead, let’s go for the exotic imported bugs to make a point! By eating them, we’re so much more moral than you. 

I guess there’s no point in showing that a vegetarian diet can support our planet, our health, and our local producers. Hey, it’s not trendy like eating bugs or offal! But maybe there’s an upside here after all. Maybe these trendy bug-eaters could add stinkbugs to their diets! Oh, please, won’t you people come down and visit us here at Hawk’s Haven? I’m sure we’ll have plenty of stinkbugs for your next TV competition…

         ‘Til next time,

                        Silence

Comments»

1. alan - April 6, 2011

Oh Silence (wow, I wish you could reign supreme at my house… two pre-teens in close quarters for 6 hours a day gets a bit CRAZY…)

I think the Food Channels owe you BIG TIME! Bugs ARE the next step in “food” extremes.

I’m not a Veg. and I think there are real problems with that life style. But… I like my bugs made into eggs, or chicken wings, or some other “real” meat product. (Of course, I love shrimp, the cockroaches of the sea, so eating bugs isn’t that far removed…) I’d be capturing stinkbugs, coating them with molasses, and feeding them to your chickens. At that point it’s all protien (and local…)

Ha!!! Classic, Alan! I like the idea of the bugs being turned into food for chickens (etc.) rather than us. But I have a feeling that, in the case of stinkbugs, our chickens wouldn’t fall for it! As for shrimp, I always loved them back in the day, so thank God I hadn’t heard them called “the cockroaches of the sea” back then! Yowie zowie!!! As for preteens, the day’s not far off when you’ll be wishing they were back home…

2. Barbee' - April 6, 2011

Oh, Silence, stinkbugs?!! They’d at least need to be pickled! Alan, Ha, good one: your way to make it local. Chickens eat most anything, but I’m not sure even they would eat stinkbugs, even if molasses coated. Silence, do they eat stinkbugs? For years, (as long as we had ivy covering our stone walls) we had problems with large reddish-brown wasps getting into the house. I kept a cardboard tube from a roll of bathroom tissue in a certain closet spot for the sole purpose of transporting “dead” wasps to the great outdoors after I swatted them. I have visions of you with this task, and wonder how you transport your live stinkbugs. I think I would use something more like the paper towel roll size. Pew!

Ha! I just grab ’em and toss ’em with my bare hands, Barbee’! It’s not exactly fun, but the stinkbugs don’t try to bite me or get away or anything. As for the chickens, I think they have more sense than to eat stinkbugs, molasses-coated or not. My friend Cole always caught and released wasps by putting an old-fashioned glass over them, sliding a coaster under it, and carting the whole ensemble out the door. I’m not sure I’d have that much tolerance for a wasp, but at least we don’t tend to get many indoors around here…

3. alan - April 7, 2011

Thought you might like to look at these for a start http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ants/bugs-nf.html or http://www.scienceinafrica.co.za/2003/october/stinkbug.htm

I’m sure the cook book queen can come up with some other good solutons…

“The taste experience is rather like eating a bitter sunflower seed, shell and all, without salt.” Oh, wow, Alan! Who knew people actually did eat stinkbugs?! Thanks for the links! I guess it beats eating scorpions, even if the chef swears the stingers and poison sacs have been removed…

4. If you can't beat them, eat them - April 24, 2011

[…] Stinkbugs: The final solution. « Poor Richard’s Almanac […]


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