Survival alone in nature makes for mesmerizing and sometimes uncomfortable television viewing. article, photo credit

First of all, it is educational but you privately hope and pray that you are never in that situation and glad that you are watching someone else survive out in the wild instead of yourself.

You certainly are rooting for them in this whole man, woman verses nature scenario and as they survive and triumph you think yippee until its time for them to eat.

What do you eat in the wild? article, photo credit

Well you could hunt animals which is far harder than you think. If that is your only approach than you’ve been watching too many Daniel Boone reruns.

What is the next choice?

You already know.

Eating bugs.

Now we’ve heard over and over how they have so much protein and they are good for us but that option sure has to be a last resort.

Okay, we’re going to throw something out here and you need to brace yourself for this concept.

What if eating bugs is a first choice?

Especially with a sandwich?

Is your stomach still in one place?

The way that entrepreneurs Rose Wang, Laura D’Asaro and Meryl Natow produce and cook up their cricket chips, it just might change your mind. article, photo credit

Rose studied psychology at Harvard, and she has worked at Microsoft and Abercrombie in marketing and strategy. Fun fact: She is from Nashville and fiddled for a year.

Laura studied African Studies at Harvard, and she started a nonprofit that gives kids in rural Kenya the opportunity to get a quality education. Fun Fact: Laura broke the world record for the fastest time to crawl one mile.

Bugs were applauding and running for cover everywhere.

Meryl studied Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard, has an MFA in Design for Social Innovation, and has worked in branding and communication design. Fun fact: she’s a trained classical cellist.

Welcome to the world of Chirps. article, photo credit

Are you hungry?

In this situation, why don’t we let someone else taste the first chip? The global information and news source crunches and reports in between bites, “Would you eat crickets if they were hidden in crunchy chips or chocolate chip cookies?

Bugs are a regular part of some diets in other parts of the world, though in the United States many typically do their best to keep them out of their food. But three Harvard University graduates are hoping to make insects a part of our regular diets by transforming them into familiar snacks.

Laura D’Asaro, Rose Wang and Merly Natow are the women behind Six Foods, a company that the three former roommates started to create cricket chips and cookies. They’re using a cricket flour made by slow roasting milled crickets. article, photo credit

With the help of professional chef Geoff Lukas, Six Foods created recipes for Chirps cricket chips and chocolate Chirp cookies.

The Chirps are made with beans, rice and the cricket flour, then baked to look like regular, dark tortilla chips. article, photo credit

The chips will come in three flavors, including sea salt, hickory barbecue and aged cheddar.”

Well, after that report, are you feeling a little more chipper?

What motivated these beautiful girls to try something so unorthodox? We get the social component but most people who get into the bug business try and poison them.

What gives?

At their hopping site when it comes to this subject, they love to chirp about it. “On a study abroad trip to Tanzania, Laura was dared to eat a fried caterpillar and it was love at first bite! She learned that insects are the sustainable protein source she’d been looking for her entire life as a vegetarian. With her two college roommates Rose and Meryl, Laura set out to get Americans excited about eating bugs. In the beginning, everyone told us that we were crazy. However, in May 2014, we launched a Kickstarter campaign to introduce the world to Chirps cricket chips. It became one of the most successful food Kickstarters ever! Since then, we’ve been on a journey to spread the buzz about Chirps.”

That’s extremely impressive.

Still need more convincing?

Here are some fun, tasty, environmentally friendly and healthy facts they share at

“Why eat insects? Six reasons you may want to try!

1. Insects are delicious! From grasshopper tacos in Mexico to insect dishes as popular street food in Thailand, the United States is missing out on these delicacies. 80% of countries eat insects, and there are 1000+ varieties of edible insects to work with, all with different flavors and nutrition.

2. Insects are the most efficient living creatures for converting feed to food: 25-lbs of feed will produce 1-lb of beef or 12-lbs of crickets.

3. Fewer greenhouse gases: If we raised insects instead of cattle, we could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 60%.

4. Water: It takes 2,600 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef but less than one gallon to produce one pound of mealworms.

5. Health: Insects are high in protein, B vitamins and minerals like iron and zinc, and they’re low in fat.

6. No cruel factory farming: No hormones. No antibiotics. Just insects being insects. Eating insects is the most humane way to eat meat.

Addressing the Environment

Currently, the livestock industry produces 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than all forms of transportation combined. It uses 70% of arable land in the world and 50% of the water in the U.S. Considering that the demand for meat is expected to double by 2050 , we need an alternative, environmentally-friendly source of protein.

Unlike factory farming, insects can be raised humanely in small spaces, without antibiotics or growth hormones, and require little upkeep. This means that insect farms can be established almost anywhere, even in cities, providing a significant opportunity for urban farming. At scale, insects are a cheaper source of protein than cattle and are far more sustainable.

Addressing Nutrition and Taste

Insects are high in protein, low in fat, and full of vitamins and minerals. Per 200 calories:
• crickets have 31g of protein and only 8g of fat
• beef only has 21g of protein and 15g of fat
• a veggie patty only has 10g of protein and 6g of fat

Crickets are also low in saturated fat (see diagram) and contain more iron and calcium per gram than beef and veggie patties. In fact, four crickets contain just as much calcium as a glass of milk.

But do insects taste good? Well, most of the world thinks so! 80% of countries and 2.5 billion people are already eating insects regularly, and our test-tasters agree. Even top chefs like Rene? Redzepi and Jose? Andre?s are serving up insects in some of the best restaurants in the world. Because insect meat is an animal product, it has the taste and texture that meat alternatives lack.”

Hmm, we’re almost ready to pop open a bag but we want to hear from a couple of risk takers who tried it first.

Now for two reviews.

“I love Chirps and the fact that I can order them on Amazon! Excited to see these ladies take over the snack world.”

“Love these chips! Flavorful, guiltless, and a fun way to creep out your friends until they try them and get hooked too.”

Okay, we’re convinced. In the future we are going to try a bag.

While we eat though, we have to perform some mind exercises and visualize something more delicious than the body and face of a cricket.

Thanks for the heads up Laura D’Asaro, Rose Wang and Merly Natow. It’s almost lunch time. article, photo credit

Bugs tend to flock together so we have a guest writer who is clearly in agreement.

5 Best Reasons For Eating Insects article, photo credit

By W George Elliott  

There is probably a long list regarding the eating of insects but I’m going to give you the five best reasons. I’ve done a fair amount of research on the subject of entomophagy (eating insects) and my study keeps bringing me back to a number of core values that have become the foundation of understanding for me on the subject.

The criteria I used to come up with this list involves logic, common sense and practicality. I mean really, if you don’t normally eat insects you are going to need some practical and logical reason to do so in order to justify chewing on a deep-fried cricket over fried chicken. So, in no particular order, here are my five best reasons for eating insects.

Reason #1 – Protein Value
In an effort to avoid getting too scientific here let me say that we all need protein in our body. It’s that stuff that makes all kinds of other stuff happen inside us and without it we sort of just fizzle out. Typical sources of this magical body enhancing stuff are pork, beef, chicken and fish. If you don’t eat meat you can still get protein from eggs, cheese, yogurt, milk and soy milk. If you don’t eat meat or dairy you can still get it from tofu, beans, nuts and seeds. Insects, although not vegetarian fare, are a high source of protein when measured against traditional sources, such as meats. Crickets and mealworms, in particular score high on the protein chart.

Reason #2 – Nutrient Value
Nutrients are substances that provide us with either energy or support metabolism. Both of these purposes are essential to human health. Proteins are part of the requirement but a variety of other nutrients are also needed by our bodies daily in order to function – even if all you do for the day is chilax on the couch. Crickets provide high levels of many nutrients including calcium (75.8 grams per 100 grams of crickets), Iron 9.5 grams/100 grams, Fiber 3.0 grams/100 grams, plus vitamins. Beef has only 1.0 gram of iron in 100 grams of meat.

Reason #3 – Low Environmental Impact
Beef takes 10-kilograms of feed to produce 1-kilogram of edible meat and 25-kilograms of feed per kilogram of live weight. Plus, you can only eat 40-percent of the cow. In comparison crickets consume 2-kilograms of feed per kilogram of edible weight and just over a kilogram of feed for a kilogram of live weight. Additionally, you can eat 80-percent of the cricket. Then there’s space required for each crop. Cattle need far more space that crickets. You can operate an efficient cricket farm in a closet where you’d need at least a barn to raise a few head of cattle. This brings us to the halfway point of my five best reasons for eating insects.

Reason #4 – Variety and Taste
Although there are less than one hundred different breeds of cattle, there are over three hundred species of insects. Cattle can only be raised in certain parts of the world and typically not in urban areas (I know, that’s obvious, but I’m going somewhere with this). Insects exist almost everywhere and although disappear during colder months of the year, you can farm insects in your home all year round. Then there’s the taste. Beef is well, meat. By itself it’s fine but meat is usually prepared with many other ingredients to enhance the flavor. However, soaking it in barbecue sauce only makes the meat taste like meat soaked in barbecue sauce. Crickets and mealworms have a naturally nutty taste and flavor similar to chicken or shrimp. Feeding them certain foods in a ‘flavoring phase’ will cause crickets and mealworms to taste like what you flavored them with. For example, feeding them apples and cinnamon produces an apples and cinnamon flavor. Now for the last of my five best reasons for eating insects.

Reason #5 – Variety of Preparation
Meats and insects can be eaten in a number of different types of dishes. This includes pan-fried, roasted, boiled, baked and sautéed. Where insects are superior than meats and other traditional forms of protein are the additional ways they can be prepared for food. Insects can be ground into flour and baked into cookies and breads. The flour can be used in crackers and various other flour-based items such as wraps, shells and pastas. The flour can also be used in protein bars, mixed in protein drinks in powder form and sprinkled over other meals as a protein powder. Good luck making a piece of meat do that.

There you have it, my five best reasons for eating insects. As I’ve stated before, depending on what source you reference, you will very likely find longer lists or possibly you’ll be able to add a couple of your own choices to my five best reasons list. The bottom line here is that you no longer have to rely on meats, fish or poultry for your main sources of proteins or nutrients. Eating insects is an activity that dates back thousands of years but is only starting to become more common in North America. They are a healthy, sustainable choice and you don’t need my list of five best reasons to enjoy them.

For more information on eating insects for protein download my eBook “The Foodie Guide to Farming Insects for Protein” at or visit my website at

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