You have probably heard of this new movement where people urge us to incorporate insects into our diet as it is less demanding on nature than normal meat-producing animals. Although eating insects is not an entirely new thing for humans, it is not really part of European and Hungarian culture or cuisine. This, however, might change in the foreseeable future.
24 interviewed Mariann Szabó, the chairperson of the Hungarian Bogárétel Alapítvány (Bugfood Foundation) and an enthusiastic supporter of incorporating insects into the Hungarian cuisine. According to the interview, she first encountered the idea on a plaque in a zoo where the article talked about edible insects. Mariann says that she immediately tried to find out more about it and looked it up on the internet. She said that
back then, it was a very new thing in Hungary, and there was no information available in Hungarian. She bought the insects from pet-stores where they were selling them as fodder, or she ordered them online.
She highlights that there are a few benefits of eating insects. In some countries where they are already eating it, one of the reasons is the cost. The movement is getting new vigour and more supporters as it is also part of the environmental issue, or rather the solution.
There were also some strange traditional Hungarian methods to help cure ailments. You can read more about them by clicking HERE.
Mariann says that the main reason is sustainability. Insects can be raised in a much smaller area than cows, and insects can also be raised in vertical spaces. She said that to produce 1 kilogram of cow meat, one would need 22,000 litres of water, whereas to produce 1 kilogram of insect protein, one would need only one litre.
The reason behind that is that insects have a short life cycle and produce valuable protein much quicker. They are also rich in Omega-3 and unsaturated fats. Entomophagy, the act of eating insects, is not wide-spread in Hungary, but she does not give up promoting the idea.
“Up until one to two years back, you could only buy such things in pet stores as fodder. For some time, you can order a few insect products online from Hungarian webshops.”
She also said that there are quite a few recipes on the internet, and there are a few “etnomochefs” out there who try and replicate existing foods with insects. She likes mealworms and locusts the most, but she also likes silkworm pupas and wax moth larvae. Mariann highlighted that usually, the first thing people try are the mealworms, locusts and crickets. She said that freeze-dried insects do not taste quite like fresh ones.
The easiest way to prepare them is to fry them in oil: locusts are delicious in tempura or other batter, mealworms and crickets can be ground to make flour, and after that, the possibilities are endless; you can even bake cricket muffins, cookies or cakes. Some can be boiled, and others glazed in a pan.
Mariann Szabó said that there are also a few things to consider. People allergic to shellfish are usually also allergic to insects as well. You might need to check with your doctor. You should not collect wild insects. Although you do not have to worry about zoonoses – carrying diseases from animals to humans – insect collected from the wild could have been in contact with harmful chemicals, waste or might have eaten from infected animal carcasses. And also because you might catch a poisonous insect. There is a list by the Wageningen University in the Netherlands that contain all edible insects; currently, around 2,100.
Mariann also highlights that it is important what the insect eat before you prepare them because you also eat the insects’ insides. You need to “purge” them and feed them with food that can empty harmful materials from their guts. Also, what they feed on can alter their taste.
“I give mealworms cinnamon apples, and they take on the taste of the cinnamon.”
She also kills the insects, so she does not cook them alive; it is messy and inhumane – she says. Putting them into the freezer for 24 hours will kill them.
When the interviewer asked whether there are any regular consumers of insects, she replied that usually no one eats insects on a regular basis yet, but there are more and more people like herself who try to incorporate insect into their dishes.
Mariann also added that most people who try it either keep animals that eat insects or people who work in pet stores, but she tries to promote the idea and organise tasting when possible.
If Bill Gates gets his way thats all we will be eating is insects. He wants to outlaw Beef, Pork and Chicken and have us eating trash. NOT NO, BUT HE77 NO!
Klaus Schwab and his world economic Forum friends can eat all the bugs he wants