Book review Man eating bug: the art and science of eating insects
With this book in your hand you will travel in a total of 14 countries, meeting people and culture that are used to entomophagy, following their life, their habits, sharing their story all wrap with amazing pictures. As the title say you will discover the art of eating insects but not the science of insect eating. In fact the authors Peter and Faith didn’t choose to teach about insects rising, insect’s benefits or even insect’s cooking. They choose travel, picture, story and dream...
You will start your journey in the red desert of Australia, in the middle of the bush hunting Goanna, Honeypot ant and Cystococcus echiniformis with the help of an aboriginal. Then you will enjoy a green tea in Japan with an insect hunter of Zaza-mushi before jumping in the river for some practice. You could be surprise how much insects they try in a restaurant: baby bee, silkworm pupae (famous in Japan), grassshoppers but in our days Japanese tend to follow our western disgust for insects.
I wish I can describe you how great are Peter’s picture. Surly you will notice he’s a professional photographer.
You will walk in those bugs markets from Thailand trying red ant, cricket, grasshopper, bamboo worm. When living in Cambodia a family will teach you how they get insects. As a long part of the book is focus on Indonesia you will learn a lot about their culture and how there’re finding their protein and fat requirement from grubs. Right after you’re landing in China you will get a walk in this market where everything is on sell as human food: cats, dog, turtles, rabbits, snakes and insects. Of course Peter and Faith go for the last option. When visiting a Silk factory a Chinese worker will explain you how she manage the remaining pupae. In China you will investigate the scorpion business, starting from the street seller, the middle man and finally visit the “scorpion rising factory”.
This book teach me a lot about the entomophagy in China and help me to understand it big business in the country.
How can you do an entomophagy travel without going to Mexico? Here is our next stop. The well know Ph.D entomophagist Julieta Ramos-Elorduy will drive us in the discovery of the Mexican insect as food culture. Trust me you will love Peter pictures, the food look amazing when walking around in bugs markets or when making tequila. Did do you know they’re adding a red larvae worm in the tequila in order to prove the level of alcohol? You will also learn about the Cochineal, an insect that was mass product in the country in order to create a red colorant for our food.
In Botswana and South Africa Typical you will live in to traditional family, in those villages you will try the famous Mopane worms. As always the more interesting part in to learn from the entomophage civilisation: some like insects more than chicken.
In the forest of Uganda you will hunts dead palm trees in order to find palm grubs, put your arm in a giant termite to catch some ants. The journey doesn’t stop here. You will then flight to Peru trying so many other edible insects and Venezuela for the tarantula.
It will be now be time to flight back to the United States where Peter and Faith come from. Even here we eat insects! Well, not exactly as the other country we just travelled in but there is a company call HotLix who is doing some interesting food from insects. It’s Larry Peterman the owner who will explain this point of view about entomophagy in the Western world. Finally you will meet the Bassett family, HotLix insect supplier who is mass producing insects for human food but mainly for pet and fishing bait.
It’s only at the end of the book that you get scientific information. But let me remind you that’s I believe it wasn’t Peter and Faith idea to make a book about “why eating insects” but a book about travel and learning new bug as food cultures. A book about travel, picture, story and dream...