Yesterday I journeyed over to UIC'S Jane Addams Hull-House Museum for their weekly "Re-Thinking Soup" talk, which conveniently happened to be about the consumption of insects. One of the first to show up in a room lined with six long tables, I got a chance to look around and notice a tray of rice cakes with a cricket delicately centered on each playing the role as the table's surreal centerpieces. What I found even more odd was a table filled with three basket of dinner rolls, which were probably purchased from Jewel- a combination that eventually made the idea of eating insects seem normal, even more so when the room started to fill with people, bringing forth chatter, people eagerly grabbing cricket cakes and covering them with honey, and eventually an aroma as well once the soup was brought out. I was at a soup kitchen, watching people ranging from their teens to their 80s get in a line that wrapped around the room to fill their bowls with not french onion, but a potato-bug soup. I never thought I'd see so many eager cricket consumers.. and I got the best seat in the house, right next to the soup table...
20 minutes later, after the capacity-reached room all happily had their bowls of soup with fried crickets did the talk finally start. Even against all the excited chatter, I was enthralled, picking up on tidbits I did not know about. 80% of the world practices entomology with pleasure.. including Oaxacan, Venezuela and parts of China, peanut butter and chocolate can have insect parts in them, and they are economically, environmentally and nutritionally awesome for us folks. Sushi caught on, maybe insects will as well. It wouldn't be a bad idea considering consumption will greatly rise by 2050 and if a third world war arises, it would most likely be over a food and water shortage. Eating bugs just might be the answer. This talk definitely got me thinking and I feel a fair argument was made for team entomology. However, I'm still not sure I'm hopping on board just yet.
The cricket rice cakes!
Bowl of fried crickets to add to your potato soup.
The bowls of fried crickets slowly running low as the line continues.
Soup man mentioned, "They aren't bad, just crunchy!"