Should We Eat Bugs?

Grasshopper_for Emily Salma Abdelnour in More Intelligent Life:

High in protein, low in fat, delicious, ubiquitous: why not eat bugs? A unique gourmet meal has Salma Abdelnour reconsidering her insectophobia …

New York City may be less bug-ridden than swampier towns to the south, but it still presents challenges for the insectophobe. Multi-legged critters large and small find their way into every kind of residential space (skyscrapers are no less vulnerable). Vanquishing them might involve anything from an army of exterminators to a late-night call to an ex, Annie Hall-style. But on a recent night in Brooklyn, two dozen New Yorkers with varying degrees of insectophobia gathered to face down the creatures in an altogether unusual way.

Marc Dennis, a local artist, had invited guests to a dinner party in an enormous loft space with spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline in the industrial-chic Dumbo neighbourhood. This being Dennis, who recently launched and whose crisply detailed paintings of bugs have been acclaimed in Town and Country magazine and the Chicago Tribune, the dinner had a very specific theme.

Around 7pm, as his guests began to arrive, Dennis stood behind the counter in the gleaming stainless-steel open kitchen and removed a few dozen Thai Jing Leed crickets from a bowl of Lapsang Souchong tea, where they had been soaking for nearly an hour. He then piled them on a pan to roast in the oven (pictured); meanwhile, on another tray, he laid out neat rows of roasted bamboo worms, then began chopping yellow, red, and green bell peppers into a colourful stack.