Believe it or not, there is a large segment of Americans who have a taste for bugs.
And, yes, there’s a nutritional — and environmental — benefit to munching everything from crickets to even cockroaches.
Adventurous eaters and the culinary curious are invited to attend a speech given by the “Bug Chef” himself at the Key Center Pierce County Library on Saturday (Jan. 9).
David George Gordon — a Humanities Washington speaker and author of the “Eat-a-Bug Cookbook” — will speak about the benefits of eating insects while selling copies of his cookbook at the event this weekend.
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Gordon’s discussion — accompanied by a slideshow of pictures — will cover other countries where people consume bugs, reasons why our country does not and the recent international efforts to make insect consumption more of a norm.
“In our culture, we have a really bad attitude about bugs. We think they’re gross and slimy and disgusting,” Gordon said. “We tend to look down our noses at them.”
Rosina Vertz, Community Branch supervisor at the Key Center Library, was the one who scheduled Gordon’s presentation for the library, and finds his topic intriguing.
“I’m very open about food,” Vertz said. “Maybe this is where we have to go (with food). Who knows? He will make his point, (and) I’m interested.”
The first edition of Gordon’s cookbook was published in 1998 and featured 39 recipes, all but one created by Gordon.
The newest edition features 40 recipes — including several by other “bug chefs” — along with information on how to prepare and purchase insects.
“If you know what you’re doing and you know how to prepare them, I think bugs are a great alternative,” Gordon said.
Since the first publication of his cookbook, Gordon has been traveling through the United States giving cooking demonstrations and talks to increasingly larger audiences about the benefits of bugs. Gordon has written 19 books on topics that range from watching gray whales and bald eagles to appreciating cockroaches, coral reef fishes and geoduck clams.
His upcoming talk at the library will also feature samples for the audience of Cricket Bars, made by a Salt Lake City company, Chapul.
Cricket Bars are made from cricket flour, Gordon said, created by roasting and then grinding crickets before mixing them with other ingredients.
“Crickets are almost pure protein,” he said. “If I didn’t tell people there were crickets in (the bars) they would never know.”
Gordon, a Seattle resident, is straightforward with his advice to those hesitant to try a bug recipe.
“The first thing I tell people is: Get over it,” he said. “It’s time to have a more positive aspect on the little guys who run our planet.”
Gordon’s talk, “Adventures in Entomology – Waiter, There’s NO Fly in My Soup!,” will start at 2 p.m. Saturday (Jan. 9) at the Key Center Library, 8905 Key Peninsula Highway.
The free event is sponsored by the Friends of the Key Center Library.