Ten years ago, it was a common sight seeing people eat a giant spider or hissing cockroach. However, that was on Fear Factor and those were some of the only people you would see eating such things in the US. The US has for the most part always been a fairly well off country. With good paying jobs and cheaper protein sources, insects were never a necessary staple. Necessity, or lack of affordable protein, is what drives many to consume insects. Entomophagy, the practice of eating insects, is still very common in many cultures. You will probably not see someone strolling down the streets of St.Louis or Tacoma with a bowl of fried meal worms, but in a market in Thailand, it is still a common sight. Even though eating a handful of grasshoppers or chapulines is not something we do day to day, other insect byproducts are consumed regularly. Cricket flower has been introduced into many proteins and protein bars and honey, although not part of the insect but comes directly from one, is a regular household item.
My wife and I were putting a care package together for a deployed friend, when we found deep fried sour cream and onion crickets in a beef jerky shop. Of course neither one of us would say no to the challenge and we each ate one. The legs and shell getting stuck in your teeth were rather unpleasant but apart from that it wasn’t awful. My wife however had a minor meltdown. As soon as she crunched into the little guy she began violently spitting it out. It is a video I will keep on my phone forever.
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