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Girl Meets Bug – Where Insects Are the Main Course

Daniella Martin is the host of a web-based show called Girl Meets Bug, which tries to show viewers just how eco-friendly it is for people to eat insects and worms.

Daniella’s fascination with eating bugs began 10 years ago, while she was doing anthropological work in Mexico. She discovered the Maya used to eat a variety of creepy crawlers, and while feasting on a small bag of chapulines (dry-roasted grasshoppers with lime and chili) in Oaxaca, she noticed street kids gathered around her table and started eating the bugs off the table. This inspired Daniella to dig deeper into the history of insect eating and upon conducting some research she found 80% of the world’s cultures eat bugs.

Ms Martin says “the day that I was introduced to edible insects changed everything” so she decided to become “an edible insect advocate.” She’s eaten dozens of insect varieties so far, and says each of them has its unique taste and texture, but has a long way to go if she wants to experience all the 1,500 types of edible insects currently known to man. “It’s just about culture, you know, thirty years ago, sushi was considered to be very strange…honestly, I think of it as a cultural matrix that’s in our minds and I don’t know what it’s going to take to change American minds,” Martin says about Americans fear of insects, and adds that all bug cuisine needs is good marketing.

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Chinese Man Loves to Eat Live Scorpions

For the last thirty years, Li Liuqun has spiced up his meals by eating live scorpions. He literally just picks them up, shoves them into his moth and eats them whole.

Li Liuqun discovered the “delicious” taste of raw scorpions, thirty years ago, when he was stung by a scorpion, while hiking on a hill, near his home village, in Henan. The angry Li simply picked up the insect and ate it as revenge. This crazy act made him realize he actually liked the taste of scorpion, and he has since then eaten thousands of creepy crawlies.

The 58-year-old scorpion eater says he keeps the insects in a big porcelain jar, and every time he gets a craving for scorpion, he just reaches down, grabs a few of them and puts them in his mouth. When asked to describe the taste of scorpion flesh, Li Liuqun said it tastes a little like fried soya beans.

As you might expect, some of the live scorpions have stung Li in the mouth, as he bit down on them, but the says he is immune to their poison. All it does is cause a little swelling that goes down in a few hours, and their delicious taste is well worth that much.

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Tuban – The Earth-Eating Village of Indonesia

In Tuban, a village in the East Java  province of Indonesia, earth is used to make “ampo” a creamy snack believed to have medicinal properties.

According to Rasima, the ampo cook of Tuban, there is no real recipe to making this bizarre snack. All she does is look for clean, gravel-free soil, in the village’s rice paddies, pound it into a solid block, using a stick, and scrape rolls out of it,with a bamboo dagger. The rolls of soils are then baked and smoked for an hour. Rasima then takes the earthy snacks to the village market, where she earns about $2, to supplement her family’s income.

Tuban is the only earth-eating village on the planet. There are people, around the world, who enjoy eating sand, or kaolin, but not baked soil. Villagers believe ampo is a natural pain-killer, and that it makes babies’ skin softer, if eaten by their pregnant mothers.

As for the taste of ampo, “it’s nothing special, it feels cold in my stomach” says one of the Tuban locals, who has been eating ampo, ever since she was a child.

via REUTERS

Photos by REUTERS via Daylife

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Bat Soup, Delicious!

I have to say I’m not a big fan of exotic foods, but I’m sure I’d at least try some of them if I didn’t know what they were. But to take a whole bat and dump it in a pot of soup, then dump it in my plate…now that’s just disgusting. Apparently in the islands of Palau this is a delicacy and some tourists, like the lady in the photo, actually have the guts to try it.

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