Five under-the-radar insect-based foods for you to try right now

Written by Staff Writer

Why does the world need more people to eat bugs? There are actually a lot of macro bugs out there that can easily, almost perfectly, become food for anyone. Are you really going to say that is a controversial stance?

CNN’s Alex Cho introduces us to Alex Hammersley, an American chef and entomologist who wants to elevate the role of bugs as food.

So you’ve worked with bugs to create various dishes — what brought about this idea?

What is important is I don’t see the Bugs Not Bombs movement as getting people ready to eat bugs — the food we want to make is about utilizing the way insects taste and texture — and not about the way they smell or look. It’s just about finding food we’d like to eat that’s also safe for our health.

Do you think the bugs that can be used as food could feed the planet?

Think about it, there are already trillions of bugs. Why should that go to waste? It’s the planet’s hidden wealth — and it’s worth far more to us than we’d ever guess.

The only thing we’re up against is a lot of fear, and I wouldn’t want to start a campaign based on negative assumptions. My hope is to bring insects back to the table.

Would you give insect burgers a try?

I find them truly delicious and I know more people want to eat them than many realize. I ate them for the first time while I was working on my beetle sushi (a made-from-scratch sushi made from the delicious beetles of Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market). Butterscotch and crunchy were my two favorite parts.

Where does this idea of a “bug burger” come from?

This wasn’t a literal moment — I was on a drive through New Jersey in the middle of the night and my eyes were full of bug energy! And I thought, “This is a freaking good burger. Let’s make a burger.”

You’re a chef, and you’re an entomologist — I’m curious what you bring to the table?

I’m not really a chef and I’m not an entomologist. What I am however, is a food geek who has been inspired by discovering that bugs are such an amazing source of natural food that we can exploit and increase the world’s food security. We are so disconnected from them as a species.

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