An estimated 80 per cent of the global population have bugs in their diet, says Julene Aguirre Bielschowsky of Ento, a company seeking to persuade Westerners to eat more insects. Ento has been working with chefs to create attractive protein alternatives like waxworm caterpillars, which according to Bielschowsky taste like sausages when fresh, and pistachios when dried. Cricket pâté has been a surprising success in recent taste tests, she says.
Most insects are safe to eat and you have probably already tasted a few. The US Food and Drug Administration details the maximum level of “foreign material” – read insects – that can be included in foodstuffs without hazard to your health. Fig paste, for example, can safely contain up to 12 insect heads per 100 grams.