This is not about Mary Roach, but I’d like to begin by saying that she is one of my favorite authors. Roach has written excellent books on the science behind what happens to our bodies when we die (Stiff) or whether there really is an after life (Spook). The writing is intelligent but most importantly, it is accessible. What that means is that you don’t have to be an expert at all to fully understand the information. That’s my absolute favorite writing, the kind that speaks to you, not at you.
This is also what I think about Daniella Martin’s new book Edible: An Adventure into the World of Eating Insects and the Last Great Hope To Save The Planet. The picture on the cover makes you feel as if you’re sitting at the dinner table and surprise, you’re going to eat a cricket! Daniella happens to be a bug-eating expert and she’s had her fair share of delicious meals full of the critters. Some she has cooked herself, others were made by brilliant chefs.
What, you’ve never eaten bugs before? Not even in a taco?
It’s a very common practice in several countries to eat bugs. In Mexico, they are ground into a spicy paste and served in freshly-made tortillas. You wouldn’t even know you were eating red ants unless someone told you first. For Daniella, the experience has been both delicious and enlightening.
She begins by giving us startling insights into just how much waste is produced from the consumption of animal products. She uses a scary explanation of what would actually follow your fast food orders if you were to include the waste produced by the animals, including polluted soil and toxic water, not to mention the impolite odor of methane from which not even a blindfold and a bottle of Febreeze could save you.
Still not ready to grub on bugs? Worry not, because at some point they may attract you when they are served up by the best chefs in town. Think about it – Los Angeles has a restaurant named Animal which is known for creating dishes with parts of the beast that you normally don’t consider eating or even preparing yourself; Bone marrow, chicken liver, tendons, pig ears, veal brains, and tongue are just a few of the additional animal parts you may be served.
Cow tongue is very tasty, by the way. It’s tender and goes great with cilantro served in tacos. But I’m biased because I think everything tastes great in a tortilla.
Though flavor is what we most value, Daniella further explains the great benefits to our health and the well-being of our environment. As the human populuation grows, so does the need for food, and insects are in massive abundance whereas there isn’t enough farmland to properly feed the amount of cattle needed to supply the nation with the beef it demands.
Daniella also makes some intriguing points regarding veganism which I encourage you to read for yourself. What I particularly enjoy about this book is that Daniella has a fun sense of humor. She paints a fun picture of what the hunter-gatherer lifestyle must have been like when meal time came:
Still, it is evident that a great deal of our human evolution is attributed to the roles of females in the practice of gathering plants and insects to be able to feed their tribes on a daily basis. They are the ones responsible for creating better tools in order to get the job done. Daniella shares,
Edible is fun, eye-opening, and makes you feel smarter after reading it. And if you’re brave, there are recipes included for you to try for yourself.
Have you ever enjoyed insects as part of your culinary experiences? Use the comments section to share your story.
Win a free copy on Goodreads.
Find Danielle Martin’s book on Amazon.
Learn more about her at GirlMeetsBug.com, if you dare.
Featured Image via GirlMeetsBug.com