Wednesday, November 14, 2012

"They Actually Eat That:" Roaches.

An interesting special was on the news yesterday: China, the most populated nation on the planet, is eating more and more meat by the day. They see it as "revenge" after living in poverty for so long, even though (like American factory farm meat) the meat there is potentially toxic unless you happen to be an elite. This new interest in meat means that China is headed towards more pollution problems, as if they did not have enough already.

Huh. That's funny. In America, we're working on fixing that problem by eating insects. The "impoverished" parts of the world make better use of the bugs around them than we do of the pig, and we make damn good use of the pig. What we and other countries do with cockroaches is especially cool.

First off, yes, Thailand is on this list. Given that China manages to turn anything into cuisine, there is a good chance that you can find them at night markets there, too. (For those curious, I've eaten a few insects; they taste, for the most part, like chicken.)  They are also popular in certain types of African cuisine (including Botsawanan) and Caribbean cuisine. If 50 Ways to Cook a Cockroach actually has any cockroach recipes in it, good on them.

For the most part, cockroaches are still an "eww" food in America, despite being excellent sources of protein. The Titan roller coaster in Texas, however, offers edible  Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches to kids if they want to skip to the front of the line. With entomophagy enjoying a popularity boom, cockroach recipes have also hit the internet and a few restaurants. Careful, though; there are also some recipes for cockroach killer out there. If it can kill an animal notorious for surviving anything, it can kill you.

Now, please note that I am not encouraging you to try eating cockroaches at home. You don't know where they've been; unless you intend to cook them, I can't recommend eating them. Just know that, in the event that you are the only survivor of a nuclear apocalypse, the roaches will still be around while the cows, pigs, and chickens will all perish. Just sayin'.

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