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Entomophagy Discussion & Experimentation

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Has anyone on this forum ever cooked and eaten invertabrates, or grown them for the purpose of being a food source?

SInce I entered the hobby I've been looking to farm species of isopods, roaches, and snails for food. It's an alternative source of protein I would really like to experiment with. Especially living in drought-stricken southern California I think it would put my conscious to rest eating food that I've grown that doesn't require a ton of water.

The species of isopods I've collected to eat are A vulgare (very slow growers) and Porcellio laevis (abudnant fast reproducers). I'm leaning towards eating the Porcellio since they are so abundant and quickly reproducing and I think they would be much easier to farm on a larger scale. I'm waiting until all the offspring have matured to cook them as I don't want to be imbibing any of the heavy metals or insecticides the wild caught may have been exposed to. The only sources for recipes I'm going off of are for vulgare, so I have no idea what taste differences might be between species. I think the fact that Porcellio are soft bodied may improve the texture.

As far as roaches go, I'm going to be trying Panchlora nivea large first. I'm really interested to see how the green may subdue or come out after cooking, and how I can make them more aesthetically pleasing than, say a G portentosa. I'm definitely not ready to eat anything that big or meaty.

I'm also going to be collecting local invasive Cornu aspersum and raising them for a generation.

It will be a little while before my colonies are at a point at where I'm comfortable culling them, but I'll be posting the results here when I do.

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I've eaten A. vulgare raw before. They have a more vegetable taste. I think they taste like celery personally.

As for roaches, may I recommend this recipe: https://entomologytoday.org/2016/03/17/video-on-how-to-make-delicious-cockroach-tapioca/

They use Nauphoeta cinerea in that recipe. Lobsters are soft, and they breed quickly. They could be quite appetizing.

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I've never had them... but we eat other invertebrates, so why not roaches? And actually, in the grand scheme of things it sounds very practical. Any idea how the roaches in that video are prepared? the hissers were clearly gutted or something. I Imagine there should be a process you can use to clean them.

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Im a big fan of this topic i worked for aspire food group for a short time. I saw a youtube video of roaches being farmed for food in china. I believe they use german roaches the big ones we call water bug/roaches here. I think wings and legs are normally removed as its prominantly chiten and has little protien and not paletable. From the insect eaters i have talked to meal worms are best and i bet lesser mealworms and other small darkling beetles would be good to. Superworms not so much in my expience they have a tartness to them.

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Oh also important is people with shell fish allergys should avoid insects as there are cases of insect allergys for these people.

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I've tried dubias. If you don't remove their entrails by freezing, thawing, and carefully pulling off the head they taste absolutely disgusting. It's the same as that defensive odor they produce when threatened. If you do, they still don't taste very good.

Wild grasshoppers and locusts, on the other hand, are delicious.

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I did it. I was cooking some stuff, and after I was done, I froze some banana roaches (adults and nymphs), sow bugs, mealworms, and baby hissers and then fried them with whatever leftover grease was in the pan. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either. They tasted kind of nutty, and the exoskeleton bits reminded me of the little pieces of popcorn kernel shell that sometimes get dislodged from the test of the popcorn. Some of the bugs maybe had a bit of juice in them, but it wasn't a lot. In the end, I don't feel like I have a need to do it again. They weren't gross in taste or texture, but they weren't amazing either. I think the meal worms and sow bugs had the best texture. I could see those being sprinkled in dishes for flavor and texture like dried shrimp is sometimes used.

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Wow, thanks for taking the plunge Varnon. That's comforting knowing that the panchlora are safe to eat. I'm going to be cooking them with soy sauce and sugar to caramelize in my first experiment. I'll post pics when I get the chance.

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Yeah, I wasn't sure either! But I'm definitely happy for you to step up and be the guinea pig heh. I figured they were fine since they're such common feeders. But still, you're probably the first to eat them. :P

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So I found an interesting fact and thought this would be the perfect place to share it. Credit goes to curiosity.com- "Scientists found that the protein crystals in the gut of the Diploptera punctata cockroach is 4x more nutritious than cow's milk."

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Are these gut protiens the milk the mothers feed thier nymphs or do both male and female produce gut crystals?

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Yeah, apparently they want to try and make cockroach milk, definitely weird but as long as it's synthetically made then I would have no problem trying it out.

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Honestly, seeing that no roaches are being pumped with steroids id be happy to have a bowl of frosted flakes and roach milk lol although it seems the collection process would involve the death of the roach. I assume only the females have this milk but I'm not positive.

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Only female produce "milk" for thier young but you mentioned a gut protien. Im wondering if the gut protien is in both genders. It will be interesting to see where it goes im concerned they will gmo them to produce more. Btw isnt that how ivory head roaches happened? Sorry for getting to far from entomophagy

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I would assume that because the protein is being compared to milk and called milk that its only from the females and I have no clue, I've never researched ivory heads lol

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Hmm fun. :)

One day im gonna try eating roaches. Ive had cricket powder, superworms, and wax worms. So far the best is superworm humus my wife made. We cooked em and used a food mill to seperate meat from shell. Mixed with beans and had a protien rich humus. Will prolly try the same method with roaches one day.

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So! Last night I tried Porcellio laevis. Here they are right out of the freezer.

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Then after washing, straining, and frying with sesame oil, wheat free tamari soy suace, and brown sugar.

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Overall they were not bad at all. They were soft-bodied but had a slight crunch, and there was a noticeable difference between the flavor of females with eggsacs and those without. Overall I would call them... gritty. A beer definitely helped them go down.

Next time I make these I'm going to try baking them in cookies and sweet bread. I think that these are something that are better treated as a topping or raisin, just occasionally sprinkled without and not a bulk of the food. But that said, these were not at bad at all on their own.

My colony of green banana roaches collapsed this week unfortunately, almost all of the individuals I have died of old age and all I have are microscopic nymphs running around the substrate. My main problem is I don't have that extensive of a collection to cull!

Which leads me to my next point; if ANYONE wants to donate a colony or species of isopod or small to medium roach they'd like to see me eat, I am up for just about anything. My main goal is to be able to farm them on a large scale and see if I can make insects the bulk of my diet. I just don't have enough species and cultures to draw from.

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So I had read something about roaches having high amounts of Uric acid. Food storage or energy production, can't remember. If so would this create gout issues in those who suffer from gout?

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So I had read something about roaches having high amounts of Uric acid. Food storage or energy production, can't remember. If so would this create gout issues in those who suffer from gout?

Hmm... Yeah maybe feed them a low protein diet for a while before eating. But cockroaches really aren't the best edible insects if you ask me. Crickets, mealworms, waxworks, grasshoppers, woodlice, etc. taste much better. Mealworms are especially palatable and probably the easiest to farm large quantities of.

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I dont think uric acid in roaches would be a concern in humans as the amounts would be very small. The uric acid build up is a result of high protien feed sources such as dog food. Feeding a grain based diet like cricket or chicken feed would keep the levels low. I agree roaches arnt ideal human food softer body inverts are ideal although you could possibly focus your expieriments on nymphs. So with my lateralis colony i take out the ootheca and put them in a jar with holes when they start hatching i just sprinkle the nymphs into anouther container to feed my lil spiders. For my scorpion babys i freeze the nymphs first. You could easially make a paste to add to humus or dry and powder them for later consumption. Also why not try fryed ootheca? Hope this sparks some ideas love this thread :)

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I have been wondering a few years about Dactylotum bicolor. I think in the wild they are poisonous but what if they are raised on cricket diet and alfalfa? Any thoughts?

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I have been wondering a few years about Dactylotum bicolor. I think in the wild they are poisonous but what if they are raised on cricket diet and alfalfa? Any thoughts?

Well, the toxins found in lubber grasshoppers are destroyed by cooking, which has been discovered by both humans and shrikes. Perhaps it's the same for those?

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