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Dutch Insect Cookbook Will Have You Eat Bugs

Some people will eat anything that moves or even crawls. While the rest of us are wrinkling our noses at them, they’re actually at an advantage, because insects are considered to be very rich in proteins. A group of Dutch insect munchers love their creepy crawly snacks so much they’re releasing a special Insect Cookbook, next week. Their creation is said to be dedicated to promoting insects as a great source of nourishment. I haven’t read it myself, but I’ve heard it contains some pretty unique recipes like how to add worms to your chocolate muffin mix, or grasshoppers on a mushroom risotto.

For obvious reasons, many people aren’t too enthusiastic about the Insect Cookbook, but a few feel that it couldn’t be coming out at a better time. According to Marcel Dicke, a professor at Wageningen University, the world population is expected to hit 9 billion by 2050, and there may not be sufficient land to raise livestock that meets everybody’s needs. We might just have to turn to bugs as a protein alternative. The university also said the nutritional value of insects is quite similar to that of meat, and it is more environmentally friendly to raise insects instead of livestock. “I see this as the next step towards the introduction of insects on restaurant menus in the Netherlands. I also expect people to buy the book and start cooking with insects at home,” says Dicke. However, he does admit that there might be some resistance towards insect foods, especially from the countries where people consume large portions of meat.

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The Secret Life of Ants, Shot by Andrey Pavlov

We’ve seen insects used as art protagonists before. Mike Libby turns them into steampunk hybrids, and Ubyka creates armed insect cyborgs, but I haven’t seen anything like what Andrey Pavlov does with ants.  This is the touching story of a man who found comfort in studying and immortalizing hardworking ants performing their daily routines.

Andrey Pavlov wasn’t particularly interested in macro photography until seven years ago, when a spinal injury caused him to remain immobilized. That’s when he fell under the charm of these amazing earthlings called ants. He started reading books about them and their behavior, and became fascinated with the way the ant community cares for its weaker members – the children, the old, and the disabled. That’s when he realized they were creatures that commanded respect. This civilization that for the last 150 million years has mastered so many environmentally sustainable ways of surviving and evolving at the same time, really impressed him. So he made it a hobby to observe and take photos of these incredible insects.

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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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Micromachina – The Hallowed-Out Insect Sculptures of Scott Bain

Micromachina is a collection of real taxidermy insects fitted with various devices that is meant to show how we humans mistreat nature, forcing it to do our bidding.

Scott Bain’s creations show humanity’s disregard for nature in all its forms: genetic modifications, pesticides or massive urban expansion. There’s practically nothing we won’t do in our never ending quest for profit, and the artist believes there will come a time when nature will rid the world of its biggest pest, us.

The hollowed-out Micromachina insects were inspired by our way of using technology to control nature and turn every living thing into a tool.

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Arthrobots – Steampunk Insects by Tom Hardwidge

Using nuts and bolts to connect various bits of metal, English artist Tom Hardwidge creates beautiful steampunk insects he calls Arthrobots.

They may look like metal toys, but Tom’s arthrobots are actually intricate steampunk sculptures inspired by real insects and built from various recycled metallic parts. The Manchester-based artist starts by drawing up a series of sketches, then starts looking for parts on sites like eBay, and local small shops. The assembling happens on the dinning-room table, to make sure no actual dinning takes place there.

In case you’re wondering what arthrobots are made of, Tom says most of them start off as pieces of deactivated ammunition, that are later covered with sheets of copper, brass or aluminum. Limbs, wings and antennae  are then attached, and no respectable steampunk creation would be complete without some old pocket watch gears and springs.

Arthrobots come in a cool-looking wooden box, together with a small leaflet which includes a series of details like the sculpture’s name, the phylum, order and class it belongs to and some of the early sketches. If you’re a fan of steampunk, head over to the arthrobots official site, for more details.

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Artist Turns Insects into Fashionable Pieces of Jewelry

The “Living Jewels” created by Etsy artist aquakej are made from real colorful insects collected from all around the world.

Insect art is definitely not for everyone, but if the mere thought of bugs doesn’t make your skin crawl, you might actually consider wearing one of these unusual accessories. The Insects come from various insect farms that provide a healthy and eco-friendly living for people in developing countries, so you don’t have to feel guilty about wearing insect species into extinction.

Here’s what aquakej has to say about her rather creepy collection of insect jewelry:

Insect Art is made of real insects from around the world. They come to me dried out and all folded up. I re-hydrate them to make them flexible again, and then spread them out on a styrofoam board with sewing pins and little strips of paper. I do not put any pins through the bodies of my insects; I like them natural-looking and lifelike. This makes the insects a bit more difficult to handle, but the end result is worth it. Lastly, I choose an art background for the shadowbox frame and glue the insects onto that. The whole process takes several days, and each end result is unique.

Unique is right, but I’m not sure I’d willingly have these creepy crawlies on my body, but if you like them, you can check the artist’s shop and official site.

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The Matchstick Insects of Kyle Bean

Although he only just graduated from art school in 2009, Brighton-based artist Kyle Bean already has a very impressive portfolio under his belt. Throughout his yet short but successful career, Bean has collaborated with important names like the BBC, New York Times Magazine, Selfridges or Hermes.

His latest collection, “Stick Insects”, features a series of insect models created entirely out of matchsticks.

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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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The Steampunk Insects of Shojiro Yamauchi

Although he only recently graduated from the Nihon University College of Art, Shojiro Yamauchi is already considered one of the most talented metal sculptors in Japan. His most recent collection, entitled “Inhabitants of a Certain Planet”, features giant steampunk insects, including a cicada with its wings spread, a spider and a number of large ants. You can see the marksmanship of the artist in the detailed photos below.

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Bling Beetle Is a Living Piece of Jewelry

Doubling as a pet and fancy brooch, the jewel-studded beetle is a common accessory in countries like Mexico. They’re not too popular in America, though.

An American woman found this out the hard way, when her living piece of jewelry was confiscated, upon her entry back into the States, from Mexico. The dazzling bug was freely crawling on the woman’s sweater, but the gold chain attached to a safety pin kept it from venturing too far.

Covered in gold and pricey gemstones, the blinged-out insect was confiscated by pest-control, because its owner didn’t have the proper documents. She received no fine, but she’ll definitely regret spending money on live jewelry.

Jewel-studded beetles and other bugs are considered common in Mexico and have been for centuries.

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Insect Candy – Crunchy Enough for You?

For over 25 years, California-based candy company HOTLIX has been creating weird sweets like chocolate-dipped-scorpions and bug lollipops. Think of it as a real-life Willy Wonka nightmare.

The first insect candy created by HOTLIX was a tequila-flavored lollipop with a worm inside it. This was back in 1982, but fast-forward to present day and HOTLIX insect sweets have spread worldwide and are more popular than ever. 70-year-old Larry Peterman was the man with the original idea of bug candy,and now he supervises the farm producing the insects needed to make these outrageous sweets.

Larry and his empolyees work hard at keeping the secret of his insect delicacies and so far they’ve stayed one step in front of the competition, despite several copying attempts. One thing they do reveal is the worms are fed things like apple and banana peal, as well as oatmeal.

If you’re wondering about the safety of eating chocolate-covered scorpions, you should know there’s no danger at all. Once dead, scorpions are no longer poisonous and their stinger is cut-off just in case. Bon appetit!

Photos by BARCROFT MEDIA

via Telegraph.co.uk

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Mike Libby’s Steampunk Insects

Stop! Don’t even think about screaming “Photoshopped!” because Mike Libby’s Insect Lab is 100% real. And so are his incredible Steampunk insects.

Mike began his unusual project on a day like any other, when he found an intact dead beetle. Thinking about how the little bug functioned as a mechanical device, he remembered he had also found an old wristwatch and decided to combine the two. After dissecting the beetle and mounting the mechanical parts, he realized he quite liked his new craft and decided to stick to it.

Now Mike Libby creates all kinds of Steampunk insects, from scorpions to ordinary beetles and dragonflies. He only works with non-endangered species from all around the world, fitting them with mechanisms from antique watches as well as old typewriter and sewing-machine parts.

Check out Mike Libby’s Insect Lab and feel free to email him if you want to purchase any of his Steampunk wonders or place a special order.

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The Birth of a Cicada

Some people often refer to them as locusts, but cicadas have no relation whatsoever to the true, grasshopper-like locust. They are some of the best known insect in the world, and despite their large size, they pose no danger to humans.

Cicadas are considered a delicacy in some parts of the world, like China, Malaysia, Congo and Latin America, but after witnessing the grosse birth process of this insect, I bet you’ll think twice before putting a cicada in your mouth.

The cicada shell is used in Chinese traditional medicine.

via bbs.163.com

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Juicy Thai delicacies

For some reason I never thought I’d use the word delicacy in the same sentence with words like cricket, caterpillar, frog, grasshopper, but I guess I was wrong. Apparently in Thailand all these are considered delicious and extremely good for the body. Grasshoppers are boiled alive so they keep their physical detail intact, but you shouldn’t eat the head and intestines…charming.

If you’re into this stuff, you might be thrilled to hear you could also try some roaches, beetles, ants, ant eggs and even cooked scorpions.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Photo: Takoradee/Wikimedia Commons