Author Topic: Insects - what to look for when buying  (Read 1573 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?
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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 »

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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?

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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.

Offline a_real_man

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Re: Insects - what to look for when buying
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2017, 06:04:36 am »
Up to you to decide that. What place did you find that raises wax worms on wheat bran and capping honey?

San Diego Wax Worms.

Offline a_real_man

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Re: Insects - what to look for when buying
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2017, 06:05:56 am »
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.

Raising my own bugs is the approach I decided to take. I've been raising mealworms and waxworms. I find that waxworms are much more difficult to raise, since they hatch into moths. Still waiting for generation 2 of worms.

Offline dair

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Re: Insects - what to look for when buying
« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2017, 07:33:37 pm »
I was wondering about the practical side (about raising your own bugs): does it smell? Do you do it indoors/outdoors?
Problem with mealworms, is that, it might not be really paleo, as they feed on grains? or, I might be wrong on that one.
Also, the thing with many fatty worms (thats what i am looking for, I don't want too much crunchy parts with too much exoskeleton) take quite a bit of time to grow, they normally live in wood or roots (and so killing the tree), like those fatty australian mega worms, the WITCHETTY grubs, tasting apparently like scrambled eggs.
I can also recommend termites (not sure which type), they had a lot of fat in them.
And, in Europe, the cockchafer grub were eaten occasionally. But they are a serious pest, and instead of using chemicals to exterminate them, one could eat them.


Offline a_real_man

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Re: Insects - what to look for when buying
« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2017, 01:34:13 am »
I was wondering about the practical side (about raising your own bugs): does it smell? Do you do it indoors/outdoors?
Problem with mealworms, is that, it might not be really paleo, as they feed on grains? or, I might be wrong on that one.
Also, the thing with many fatty worms (thats what i am looking for, I don't want too much crunchy parts with too much exoskeleton) take quite a bit of time to grow, they normally live in wood or roots (and so killing the tree), like those fatty australian mega worms, the WITCHETTY grubs, tasting apparently like scrambled eggs.
I can also recommend termites (not sure which type), they had a lot of fat in them.
And, in Europe, the cockchafer grub were eaten occasionally. But they are a serious pest, and instead of using chemicals to exterminate them, one could eat them.

I don't find that it smells. Ultimately, it depends on what you put in there. I have organic oats and some random scraps, like banana peels. These fruit scraps can rot and attract flies. But it depends on how long you keep them in there or whether you even use scraps.

I do it all indoors. At the scale I am doing it, it is simply the space of a shoe box. Effort-wise, I only check up on these critters once every few days.

It may or may not be 100% paleo. But I consider it to be much better than any other alternative. After all, what are the other options? Buy wild bugs? Collect wild bugs? Or avoid bugs? Option 1 is expensive and you still have to keep the bugs alive. Option 2 is labor intensive and might not be available in your area. Option 3 I find unacceptable, instinctively speaking. I think the reason people like crunchy foods like chips is because mother nature made us enjoy the crunchiness of beetles and other bugs.

Regarding fatty worms, I got plenty of those, whether I like it or not - fly maggots. Sneaky fucks.

Offline dair

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Re: Insects - what to look for when buying
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2017, 05:14:00 pm »
^^ thanks , good to know it's seems kind of easy to raise those mealworms. I really like those buffalo worms (only tasted freeze-dried), very similar to mealworms but smaller.
But how do you eat them/harvest them? Do you eat just a few each time or is there a system to harvest them? Do you freeze them or have them live?
I would like to start raising them... but then not everyone would be happy to see that stuff, anyway, easy to hide I suppose...
I once had waxworms, I bought them small, and then fed them and they are quickly. Some escaped somehow, and when I came back from a small trip, there were flying moths a bit here and there in my flat. They were also edible and easy to catch.