Can This Woman Convince You to Eat Bugs?
Daniella Martin, author of the new book Edible, is on a crusade to de-ickify insects as food.
On Her Insect Initiation
In 2000, I was studying for my anthropology degree in the Yucatán. I bought a bag of toasted grasshoppers from a street vendor and sat at a café. As I was braving my first bite, kids surrounded me and started gobbling up the bugs, right off my table—without even asking! This blew my mind.
On Going From Steak to Scorpions
I loved the idea of insects being a totally viable but overlooked food source in the United States. And given that women are stereotypically squeamish at even the sight of a bug, I figured that a woman who eats them—scorpions, caterpillars, cockroaches and bees, to name a few—would be radical enough to get some attention.
On Why Insects Matter
Our world population is projected to reach 9.6 billion people by 2050, yet we're already approaching peak food production. Bugs are protein packed and sustainable—they need far fewer resources than livestock do, and many thrive in tight quarters.
On Her Go-To Dinner
I sauté crickets with garlic and olive oil, toss in whatever vegetables I have on hand (cabbage, snap peas) and eat them with brown rice. Crickets taste similar to shrimp, only nuttier.
On The Future of Bug Gastronomy
Viewpoints are starting to change, but for Westerners to fully sign on, entomophagy needs some major rebranding. When people initially hear about it, some say, "No thanks. Bugs are disgusting." But a farmed cricket feeds on grain, fruits and vegetables. What's disgusting about that?
Photo: Jeffrey R. Werner/ Incredible Features Inc., Illustrations: LULU*