Author Topic: Insects - what to look for when buying  (Read 1199 times)

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Offline a_real_man

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Insects - what to look for when buying
« on: August 23, 2017, 02:56:42 am »
Hi,

I'm looking to order some crickets or mealworms. I am wondering what to look for when buying. What I mean is that when buying meat, for instance, I look for it to be pastured, grassfed and organic. What is the equivalent for insects? I know that they can be fed organic foods. Is there anything else I should look for to get the (probably) healthiest insects?



Offline Eric

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Re: Insects - what to look for when buying
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2017, 06:41:31 am »
The first thing you NEED to look for is that the insects were raised for human consumption. Most available for sale in the US are not. They are raised for the pet trade, and are fed low quality feed that leaves them so nutrient-poor that pet owners are generally advised to sprinkle mineral powders on them before feeding them to lizards, snakes, etc. If you can find some that are certified organic I suppose that's a start, but that doesn't mean they're worth buying or worth eating. It just means whatever they eat is certified organic. So a cricket farmer can feed cheap organic rice, and sell certified organic crickets, but the crickets will probably be malnourished and stunted, so they aren't worth buying.

Who were you planning on buying from?
Eric Garza
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Offline a_real_man

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Re: Insects - what to look for when buying
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2017, 07:46:02 am »
I haven't decided yet. I've simply been looking at different farms' websites to see who ships insects and what their quality is. I'm trying to keep it as paleo is possible.


Offline goodsamaritan

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Re: Insects - what to look for when buying
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2017, 11:21:59 am »
https://www.travelbook.ph/blog/10-exotic-filipino-dishes-and-where-to-find-them/

Adobong kamaru - Pampanga (available in Pampanga regional restaurants in our city... all you can eat) (Wild)
Kamaru, or mole crickets, which are plentiful in Pampanga, are considered a Kapampangan delicacy. It is often made into adobo, but can also be served deep fried. Several restaurants in Pampanga serve this dish, including Everybody's Café in San Fernando.

Adobong salagubang - Nueva Ecija
The salagubang, or june bug, is a common treat in Nueva Ecija, where many of these beetles thrive. When fried, it can be served as an appetizer or as pulutan (food served with alcoholic drinks, usually beer).  Sometimes, it is prepared like adobo and eaten with rice. Salagubang can be found in some markets in Nueva Ecija.

Adobong uok - Rizal, also in Ilocos in the rainy season, eaten raw, people wait for this season (wild)
Beetle larvae may not sound very appetizing at first, but uok cooked as adobo served with rice and tomatoes is considered an exotic delicacy. One restaurant that serves this dish is Balaw-Balaw Restaurant in Angono, Rizal.

Abuos - Ilocos, (I have eaten this raw and it is delicious, ilocos is FAR from me. Sold in the wet markets.) (wild)
Also known as ant-egg caviar, this Ilocano delicacy is one that is tasty, but a little bit pricey. Abuos, which looks like legumes, is often served sautéed in garlic or prepared as adobo, though some eat it raw. These are sold at public markets in Ilocos, and are usually displayed on leaves.

Offline goodsamaritan

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Re: Insects - what to look for when buying
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2017, 11:34:18 am »
All I can say about the ants eggs is they taste better raw.
And at the same time see that they are fresh and alive.
They are no good dead or old.
That they are as clean as they can be.
Take away the live ants as they taste not so good but it can't be helped you eat some of them.

Offline Eric

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Re: Insects - what to look for when buying
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2017, 08:03:12 pm »
The Rocky Mountain Micro Ranch links look interesting. I reached out to the company to see if I can interview someone for my podcast. I might order some of their mealworms and waxworms to try. I have access to crickets here in Vermont from Tomorrow's Harvest, but prefer beetle & moth larvae to crickets & grasshoppers because their fat contents are generally higher.
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Offline Eric

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Re: Insects - what to look for when buying
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2017, 03:22:05 am »
I found what I'm pretty sure was a tobacco hornworm while walking home from campus just a bit ago. It was fairly large, about the size of my finger. I can report that it tasted pleasant, with a mild, sweet flavor and a slightly bitter and astringent aftertaste. It's skin was chewier than I expected.

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Offline a_real_man

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Re: Insects - what to look for when buying
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2017, 05:23:08 am »
I found what I'm pretty sure was a tobacco hornworm while walking home from campus just a bit ago. It was fairly large, about the size of my finger. I can report that it tasted pleasant, with a mild, sweet flavor and a slightly bitter and astringent aftertaste. It's skin was chewier than I expected.




Awesome. How did you know it wasn't poisonous?

I ate a bee and now I'm craving more. Tasted like a nut with a honey overtone.

Offline Eric

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Re: Insects - what to look for when buying
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2017, 05:44:36 am »
It probably had a small amount of alkaloids in it from whatever nightshade plants it was eating. I figure I only ate one, so it's unlikely to have accumulated enough toxins to cause a man my size (~155 pounds) any problems.
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Offline a_real_man

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Re: Insects - what to look for when buying
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2017, 05:59:28 am »

Offline Eric

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Re: Insects - what to look for when buying
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2017, 07:55:33 am »
Probably, but you'll want to ask them specifically what the hornworms are being fed. If they get some sort of commercial feed, they may not be worth buying because of their poor feed.
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Offline a_real_man

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Re: Insects - what to look for when buying
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2017, 07:05:42 am »
I found a place with wax worms. The worms are fed on Red Flake Wheat Bran & Capping honey (not table grade). Does that sound safe for consumption?

Offline Eric

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Re: Insects - what to look for when buying
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2017, 06:20:23 pm »
Up to you to decide that. What place did you find that raises wax worms on wheat bran and capping honey?
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Offline dair

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Re: Insects - what to look for when buying
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2017, 05:50:51 pm »
In northern Thailand on a local market, found ant-egg sold on banana leaves, ate them raw, delicious... But I think it is a seasonal food, only a few month per year I think.
I heard that in Mexico they have something similar called "escamoles", but maybe a bit pricey I heard, still...
Waxmorms: amazing. The ultimate raw, live food: they live normally in bees nest (they are a pest actually), and taste fat and of honey. They do not bite, and apparently, it's possible to farm them your self... pet shops for lizards etc sell them, but for human consumption I'm not sure.
Sago worms/palm weevil: have only tried dried/cooked ones from internet order. Very expensive, you only get a few. Nice and fat worms. Apparently people eat them in many different continents, South america, Africa, asia (borneo, papua n guinea, malaysia, south thailand) these are my favorite grub I would say... But have still not tasted fresh one, but looking forward to it...
If your into more crunchy stuff, grasshoppers ( the biggest ones) are very tasty. I am not a fan of crickets, and there 's one insect I absolutely dislike: silk worms (they are actually reared for silk production).
Bamboo worms (northern thailand, china) are also real nice, but I've only eaten them packaged and deep fried, can't find them fresh on the market.
maguey worm from Mexico, (the type used in tequila) is supposed to be very tasty, never tried it, but looking forward to it as well.