Entomophagy (/ˌɛntəˈmɒfədʒi/, from Greek ἔντομον éntomon, 'insect', and φαγεῖν phagein, 'to eat') describes the practice of eating insects by humans (as well as by non-human species).

The eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults of certain insects have been eaten by humans from prehistoric times to the present day.[1] Around 3,000 ethnic groups practice entomophagy.[2] Human insect-eating is common to cultures in most parts of the world, including Central and South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. Eighty percent of the world's nations eat insects of 1,000 to 2,000 species.[3][4] In some societies, primarily western nations, entomophagy is uncommon or taboo.[5][6][7][8][9][10] Today, insect eating is uncommon in North America and Europe, but insects remain a popular food elsewhere, and some companies are trying to introduce insects as food into Western diets.[11] FAO has registered some 1,900 edible insect species and estimates that there were, in 2005, some two billion insect consumers worldwide. They suggest eating insects as a possible solution to environmental degradation caused by livestock production.[12]

Insect food stall
Deep-fried insects on sale at a food stall in Bangkok, Thailand


Mealworm 01 Pengo
Mealworms presented in a bowl for human consumption

Entomophagy is sometimes defined broadly also to cover the eating of arthropods other than insects, including arachnids and myriapods.[13] Insects and arachnids eaten around the world include crickets, cicadas, grasshoppers, ants, various beetle grubs (such as mealworms, the larvae of the darkling beetle),[14] various species of caterpillar (such as bamboo worms, mopani worms, silkworms and waxworms), scorpions and tarantulas. There are over 1,900 known species of arthropods which are edible for humans.[15]

Recent assessments of the potential of large-scale entomophagy have led some experts to suggest insects as a potential alternative protein source to conventional livestock, citing possible benefits including greater efficiency, lower resource use, increased food security, and environmental and economic sustainability.[16][17][18][19]

In non-humans

Entomophagy among animals: The giant anteater is a mammal specialized in eating insects

Insects,[20] nematodes[21] and fungi[22] that obtain their nutrition from insects are sometimes termed entomophagous, especially in the context of biological control applications. These may also be more specifically classified into predators, parasites or parasitoids, while viruses, bacteria and fungi that grow on or inside insects may also be termed "entomopathogenic" (see also entomopathogenic fungi).


Enlène, Grasshopper
Carving of Cave grasshopper on animal bone discovered in the Magdalenian grotto of Les Trois Frères indicates a possible link with food magic.[23]

Before humans had tools to hunt or farm, insects may have represented an important part of their diet. Evidence has been found analyzing coprolites from caves in the US and Mexico. Coprolites in caves in the Ozark Mountains were found to contain ants, beetle larvae, lice, ticks, and mites.[24] Evidence suggests that evolutionary precursors of Homo sapiens were also entomophagous. Insectivory also features to various degrees amongst extant primates, such as marmosets and tamarins,[25] and some researchers suggest that the earliest primates were nocturnal, arboreal insectivores.[6] Similarly, most extant apes are insectivorous to some degree.[26][27][28]

Cave paintings in Altamira, north Spain, which have been dated from about 30,000 to 9,000 BC, depict the collection of edible insects and wild bee nests, suggesting a possibly entomophagous society.[24] Cocoons of wild silkworm (Triuncina religiosae) were found in ruins in Shanxi Province of China, from 2,000 to 2,500 years BC. The cocoons were discovered with large holes in them, suggesting the pupae were eaten.[24] Many ancient entomophagy practices have changed little over time compared with other agricultural practices, leading to the development of modern traditional entomophagy.[24]

Eating insects in human cultures

Traditional cultures

Indonesian botok tawon, spiced bee larvae steamed in banana leaf package.

Many cultures embrace the eating of insects. Edible insects have long been used by ethnic groups in Asia,[29][30][31][32][33][34][35] Africa, Mexico and South America as cheap and sustainable sources of protein. Up to 2,086 species are eaten by 3,071 ethnic groups in 130 countries.[4] The species include 235 butterflies and moths, 344 beetles, 313 ants, bees and wasps, 239 grasshoppers, crickets and cockroaches, 39 termites, and 20 dragonflies, as well as cicadas.[36] Insects are known to be eaten in 80 percent of the world's nations.[3]

The leafcutter ant Atta laevigata is traditionally eaten in some regions of Colombia and northeast Brazil. In southern Africa, the widespread moth Gonimbrasia belina's large caterpillar, the mopani or mopane worm, is a source of food protein. In Australia, the witchetty grub is eaten by the indigenous population. The grubs of Hypoderma tarandi, a reindeer parasite, were part of the traditional diet of the Nunamiut people.[37] Udonga montana is a pentatomid bug that has periodic population outbreaks and is eaten in northeastern India.[38]

Traditionally several ethnic groups in Indonesia are known to consume insects—especially grasshoppers, crickets, termites, the larvae of the sago palm weevil, and bee. In Java and Kalimantan, grasshoppers and crickets are usually lightly battered and deep fried in palm oil as a crispy kripik or rempeyek snack.[39] In Banyuwangi, East Java, there is a specialty botok called botok tawon (honeybee botok), which is beehives that contains bee larvae, being seasoned in spices and shredded coconut, wrapped inside a banana leaf package and steamed.[40] Dayak tribes of Kalimantan, also Moluccans and Papuan tribes in Eastern Indonesia, are known to consumes ulat sagu (lit. 'sagoo caterpillar') or larvae of sago palm weevil. This protein-rich larvae is considered as a delicacy in Papua, eaten both roasted or uncooked.[41]

In Thailand, certain insects are also consumed, especially in northern provinces. Traditional markets in Thailand often have stalls selling deep-fried grasshoppers, cricket (ching rit), bee larvae, silkworm (non mai), ant eggs (khai mot) and termites.[42][43]

The use of insects as an ingredient in traditional foodstuffs in places such as Hidalgo in Mexico has been on a large enough scale to cause their populations to decline.[44]

Western culture

Eating insects has not been adopted as a widespread practice in the West; however, there is a popular current trend towards the consumption of insects.[45] By 2011, a few restaurants in the Western world regularly served insects. For example, two places in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, offer cricket-based items. Vij's Restaurant has parathas that are made from roasted crickets that are ground into a powder or meal.[46] Its sister restaurant, Rangoli Restaurant, offers pizza that was made by sprinkling whole roasted crickets on naan dough.[46][47] Aspire Food Group was the first large-scale industrialized intensive farming entomophagy company in North America, using automated machinery in a 25,000-square-foot warehouse dedicated to raising organically-grown house crickets for human consumption.[48]

At Safeco Field, the home stadium of the baseball team the Seattle Mariners, grasshoppers are a popular novelty snack, selling in high volumes since they were introduced to the stadium's concessions stands in 2017.

Cultural taboo

Casu Marzu cheese
Casu marzu is a traditional Sardinian sheep milk cheese that contains insect larvae.

Within Western culture, entomophagy (barring some food additives, such as carmine and shellac) is seen as taboo.[49] There are some exceptions. Casu marzu, for example, also called casu modde, casu cundhídu, or in Italian formaggio marcio, is a cheese made in Sardinia notable for being riddled with live insect larvae. Casu marzu means 'rotten cheese' in Sardinian language and is known colloquially as maggot cheese. A scene in the Italian film Mondo Cane (1962) features an insect banquet for shock effect, and a scene from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom features insects as part of a similar banquet for shock factor. Western avoidance of entomophagy coexists with the consumption of other invertebrates such as molluscs and the insects' close arthropod relatives crustaceans, and is not based on taste or food value.[49]

Some schools of Islamic jurisprudence consider scorpions haram, but eating locusts as halal. Others prohibit all animals that creep, including insects.[50][51]

Within Judaism, most insects are not considered kosher, with the disputed exception of a few species of "kosher locust" which are accepted by certain communities.[52]

Public health nutritionist Alan Dangour has argued that large-scale entomophagy in Western culture faces "extremely large" barriers, which are "perhaps currently even likely to be insurmountable."[53] There is widespread disgust at entomophagy in the West, the image of insects being "unclean and disease-carrying"; there have been certain notable individual exceptions, for example the celebrity Angelina Jolie has been widely pictured cooking and eating arthropod "bugs" including a spider and a scorpion, but there is little sign that this is anything other than a case of a single celebrity trying to experience a wider global perspective, nor that Jolie herself eats insects as a primary part of her diet, as opposed to experimentally or for the publicity value inherent in such an activity.[54] The anthropologist Marvin Harris has suggested that the eating of insects is taboo in cultures that have other protein sources which require more work to obtain, such as poultry or cattle, though there are cultures which feature both animal husbandry and entomophagy. Examples can be found in Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe where strong cattle-raising traditions co-exist with entomophagy of insects like the mopane worm. In addition, people in cultures where entomophagy is common are not indiscriminate in their choice of insects, as Thai consumers of insects perceive edible insects not consumed within their culture in a similar way as Western consumers.[55]

Advantages of eating insects

Fried crickets in Cambodia
Deep-fried crickets
Fried silk worm pupae sold by a street vendor in Jinan, China, one with a bite taken out of it

Food security

The major role of entomophagy in human food security is well-documented.[18] While more attention is needed to fully assess the potential of edible insects, they provide a natural source of essential carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals and vitamins, offering an opportunity to bridge the gap in protein consumption between poor and wealthy nations and also to lighten the ecological footprint.[18] Many insects contain abundant stores of lysine, an amino acid deficient in the diets of many people who depend heavily on grain.[56] Some argue that the combination of increasing land use pressure, climate change, and food grain shortages due to the use of corn as a biofuel feedstock will cause serious challenges for attempts to meet future protein demand.[17]

The first publication to suggest that edible insects could ease the problems of global food shortages was by Meyer-Rochow in 1975.[57] Insects as food and feed have emerged as an especially relevant issue in the 21st century due to the rising cost of animal protein, food and feed insecurity, environmental pressures, population growth and increasing demand for protein among the middle classes.[58] At the 2013 International Conference on Forests for Food Security and Nutrition,[59] the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations released a publication titled Edible insects - Future prospects for food and feed security describing the contribution of insects to food security.[58] It shows the many traditional and potential new uses of insects for direct human consumption and the opportunities for and constraints to farming them for food and feed. It examines the body of research on issues such as insect nutrition and food safety, the use of insects as animal feed, and the processing and preservation of insects and their products.

Small-scale insect farming / Minilivestock

The intentional cultivation of insects and edible arthropods for human food, referred to as "minilivestock", is now emerging in animal husbandry as an ecologically sound concept. Several analyses have found insect farming to be a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional animal livestocking.[16][60]

In Thailand, two types of edible insects (cricket and palm weevil larvae) are commonly farmed in the north and south respectively.[61] Cricket-farming approaches throughout the northeast are similar and breeding techniques have not changed much since the technology was introduced 15 years ago. Small-scale cricket farming, involving a small number of breeding tanks, is rarely found today and most of the farms are medium- or large-scale enterprises. Community cooperatives of cricket farmers have been established to disseminate information on technical farming, marketing and business issues, particularly in northeastern and northern Thailand. Cricket farming has developed into a significant animal husbandry sector and is the main source of income for a number of farmers. In 2013, there are approximately 20,000 farms operating 217,529 rearing pens.[61] Total production over the last six years (1996-2011) has averaged around 7,500 tonnes per year.

In the Western world, agricultural technology companies such as Tiny Farms[62] have been founded with the aim of modernizing insect rearing techniques, permitting the scale and efficiency gains required for insects to displace other animal proteins in the human food supply. The first domestic insect farm, LIVIN Farms Hive, has recently been successfully Kickstarted and will allow for the production of 200-500g of mealworms per week, a step toward a more distributed domestic production system.

Therapeutic foods

In 2012, Dr. Aaron T. Dossey announced that his company, All Things Bugs, had been named a Grand Challenges Explorations winner by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.[63] Grand Challenges Explorations provides funding to individuals with ideas for new approaches to public health and development. The research project is titled "Good Bugs: Sustainable Food for Malnutrition in Children".[63] Director of pediatric nutrition at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Frank Franklin has argued that since low calories and low protein are the main causes of death for approximately five million children annually, insect protein formulated into a ready-to-use therapeutic food similar to Nutriset's Plumpy'Nut could have potential as a relatively inexpensive solution to malnutrition.[53] In 2009, Dr. Vercruysse from Ghent University in Belgium has proposed that insect protein can be used to generate hydrolysates, exerting both ACE inhibitory and antioxidant activity, which might be incorporated as a multifunctional ingredient into functional foods. Additionally, edible insects can provide a good source of unsaturated fats, thereby helping to reduce coronary disease.[2]

Indigenous cultivation

Edible insects can provide economic, nutritional, and ecological advantages to the indigenous populations that raise them.[64] For instance, the mopane worm of South Africa provides a "flagship taxon" for the conservation of mopane woodlands. Some researchers have argued that edible insects provide a unique opportunity for insect conservation by combining issues of food security and forest conservation through a solution which includes appropriate habitat management and recognition of local traditional knowledge and enterprises.[64] Cultures in Africa have developed unique interactions with insects as a result of their traditional ecological management practices and customs. However, senior FAO forestry officer Patrick Durst claims that "Among forest managers, there is very little knowledge or appreciation of the potential for managing and harvesting insects sustainably. On the other hand, traditional forest-dwellers and forest-dependent people often possess remarkable knowledge of the insects and their management."[65]

Similarly, Julieta Ramos-Elorduy has stated that rural populations, who primarily "search, gather, fix, commercialize and store this important natural resource", do not exterminate the species which are valuable to their lives and livelihoods.[4] According to the FAO, many experts see income opportunities for rural people involved in cultivation. However, adapting food technology and safety standards to insect-based foods would enhance these prospects by providing a clear legal foundation for insect-based foods.[65]

Pest harvesting

Sago grub Rhynchophorus ferrugineus larva
Larvae of the sago palm weevil, (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus), a serious pest of date, coconut and oil palms, is a delicacy in Papua New Guinea and eastern Indonesia.

Some researchers have proposed entomophagy as a solution to policy incoherence created by traditional agriculture, by which conditions are created which favor a few insect species, which then multiply and are termed "pests".[17] In parts of Mexico, the grasshopper Sphenarium purpurascens is controlled by its capture and use as food. Such strategies allow decreased use of pesticide and create a source of income for farmers totaling nearly US$3000 per family. Environmental impact aside, some argue that pesticide use is inefficient economically due to its destruction of insects which may contain up to 75 percent animal protein in order to save crops containing no more than 14 percent protein.[17]

Environmental benefits

The methods of matter assimilation and nutrient transport used by insects make insect cultivation a more efficient method of converting plant material into biomass than rearing traditional livestock. More than 10 times more plant material is needed to produce one kilogram of meat than one kilogram of insect biomass.[17] The spatial usage and water requirements are only a fraction of that required to produce the same mass of food with cattle farming. Production of 150g of grasshopper meat requires very little water, while cattle requires 3290 liters to produce the same amount of beef.[66] This indicates that lower natural resource use and ecosystem strain could be expected from insects at all levels of the supply chain.[17] Edible insects also display much faster growth and breeding cycles than traditional livestock. An analysis of the carbon intensity of five edible insect species conducted at the University of Wageningen, Netherlands found that "the average daily gain (ADG) of the five insect species studied was 4.0-19.6 percent, the minimum value of this range being close to the 3.2% reported for pigs, whereas the maximum value was 6 times higher. Compared to cattle (0.3%), insect ADG values were much higher." Additionally, all insect species studied produced much lower amounts of ammonia than conventional livestock, though further research is needed to determine the long-term impact. The authors conclude that insects could serve as a more environmentally friendly source of dietary protein.[67]

Economic benefits

Insects generally have a higher food conversion efficiency than more traditional meats, measured as efficiency of conversion of ingested food, or ECI.[68] While many insects can have an energy input to protein output ratio of around 4:1, raised livestock has a ratio closer to 54:1.[69] This is partially due to the fact that feed first needs to be grown for most traditional livestock. Additionally, endothermic (warm-blooded) vertebrates need to use a significantly greater amount of energy just to stay warm whereas ectothermic (cold-blooded) plants or insects do not.[66] An index which can be used as a measure is the Efficiency of conversion of ingested food to body substance: for example, only 10% of ingested food is converted to body substance by beef cattle, versus 19–31% by silkworms and 44% by German cockroaches. Studies concerning the house cricket (Acheta domesticus) provide further evidence for the efficiency of insects as a food source. When reared at 30 °C or more and fed a diet of equal quality to the diet used to rear conventional livestock, crickets showed a food conversion twice as efficient as pigs and broiler chicks, four times that of sheep, and six times higher than steers when losses in carcass trim and dressing percentage are counted.[24]

Mexican chapulines

Insects reproduce at a faster rate than beef animals. A female cricket can lay from 1,200 to 1,500 eggs in three to four weeks, while for beef the ratio is four breeding animals for each market animal produced. This gives house crickets a true food conversion efficiency almost 20 times higher than beef.[24]

Nutritional benefits

Insects such as crickets are a complete protein and contain a useful amount, comparable with protein from soybeans, though less than in casein (found in foods such as cheese).[70] They have dietary fiber and include mostly unsaturated fat and contain some vitamins[71] and essential minerals.[72][73]

Impacts of animal agriculture

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), animal agriculture makes a "very substantial contribution" to climate change, air pollution, land, soil and water degradation, land use concerns, deforestation and the reduction of biodiversity.[74] The high growth and intensity of animal agriculture has caused ecological damage worldwide; with meat production predicted to double from now to 2050, maintaining the status quo's environmental impact would demand a 50 percent reduction of impacts per unit of output. As the FAO states, animal livestock "emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global."[74] Some researchers argue that establishing sustainable production systems will depend upon a large-scale replacement of traditional livestock with edible insects; such a shift would require a major change in Western perceptions of edible insects, pressure to conserve remaining habitats, and an economic push for food systems that incorporate insects into the supply chain.[19]

Greenhouse gas emission

In total, the emissions of the livestock sector account for 18 percent of total anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions,[16] a greater share than the transportation sector.[74] Using the ratio between body growth realized and carbon production as an indicator of environmental impact, conventional agriculture practices entail substantial negative impacts as compared to entomophagy.[16] The University of Wageningen analysis found that the CO2 production per kilogram of mass gain for the five insect species studied was 39-129% that of pigs and 12-54% that of cattle. This finding corroborates existing literature on the higher feed conversion efficiency of insects as compared to mammalian livestock. For four of the five species studied, GHG emission was "much lower than documented for pigs when expressed per kg of mass gain and only around 1% of the GHG emission for ruminants."[16]

Land use

Animal livestock is the largest anthropogenic user of land.[74] 26 percent of the Earth's ice-free terrestrial surface is occupied by grazing, while feedcrop production amounts to 33 percent of total arable land. Livestock production accounts for 70 percent of all agricultural land and 30 percent of the planet's land surface. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, livestock activity such as overgrazing, erosion, and soil compaction, has been the primary cause of the degradation of 20 percent of the world's pastures and rangeland.[74] Animal livestock is responsible for 64 percent of man-made ammonia emissions, which contribute significantly to acid rain.[74] By extension, animal waste contributes to environmental pollution through nitrification and acidification of soil.[16]

Water pollution

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, 64 percent of the world's population is expected to live in water-stressed basins by 2025. A reassessment of human usage and treatment of water resources will likely become necessary in order to meet growing population needs.[74] The FAO argues that the livestock sector is a major source of water pollution and loss of freshwater resources:

The livestock sector [...] is probably the largest sectoral source of water pollution, contributing to eutrophication, "dead" zones in coastal areas, degradation of coral reefs, human health problems, emergence of antibiotic resistance and many others. The major sources of pollution are from animal wastes, antibiotics and hormones, chemicals from tanneries, fertilizers and pesticides used for feedcrops, and sediments from eroded pastures. Global figures are not available but in the United States, with the world's fourth largest land area, livestock are responsible for an estimated 55 percent of erosion and sediment, 37 percent of pesticide use, 50 percent of antibiotic use, and a third of the loads of nitrogen and phosphorus into freshwater resources. Livestock also affect the replenishment of freshwater by compacting soil, reducing infiltration, degrading the banks of watercourses, drying up floodplains and lowering water tables.[74]

Potential as alternative pet food

There is potential for insects to be used as a protein source in insect based pet food. Novel protein sources have possible benefits for pets with sensitive gastrointestinal tracts or food allergies, as the proteins are not recognized by the animal's body, and therefore are less likely to cause irritation.[75] Insects have also been shown to have a high palatibility to both companion and livestock animals.[76] They have a good amino acid profile, and also contain many essential nutrients for companion animals. Insects have also been shown to have a high digestibility in pets.[77] There have been studies done evaluating the protein quality of commonly used insects and their nutrient values in comparison to traditional pet food protein.[78]



Spore forming bacteria can spoil both raw and cooked insect protein, threatening to cause food poisoning. While edible insects must be processed with care, simple methods are available to prevent spoilage. Boiling before refrigeration is recommended; drying, acidification, or use in fermented foods also seem promising.[79]


In general, many insects are herbivorous and less problematic than omnivores. Cooking is advisable in ideal circumstances since parasites of concern may be present. But pesticide use can make insects unsuitable for human consumption. Herbicides can accumulate in insects through bioaccumulation. For example, when locust outbreaks are treated by spraying, people can no longer eat them. This may pose a problem since edible plants have been consumed by the locusts themselves.[24]

In some cases, insects may be edible regardless of their toxicity. In the Carnia region of Italy, moths of the Zygaenidae family have been eaten by children despite their potential toxicity. The moths are known to produce hydrogen cyanide precursors in both larvae and adults. However, the crops of the adult moths contain cyanogenic chemicals in extremely low quantities along with high concentrations of sugar, making Zygaena a convenient supplementary source of sugar during the early summer. The moths are very common and easy to catch by hand, and the low cyanogenic content makes Zygaena a minimally risky seasonal delicacy.[80]

Cases of lead poisoning after consumption of chapulines were reported by the California Department of Health Services in November 2003.[81] Adverse allergic reactions are also a possible hazard.[82]

Promotion and policy instruments

The Food and Agriculture Organization has displayed an interest in developing entomophagy on multiple occasions. In 2008, the FAO organized a conference to "discuss the potential for developing insects in the Asia and Pacific region.".[65] According to Durst, FAO efforts in entomophagy will focus on regions in which entomophagy has been historically accepted but has recently experienced a decline in popularity.

In 2011, the European Commission issued a request for reports on the current use of insects as food, with the promise that reports from each European Union member state would serve to inform legislative proposals for the new process for insect foods.[83] According to NPR, the European Union is investing more than 4 million dollars to research entomophagy as a human protein source.[84]

See also


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Further reading

External links

Anaphe venata

Anaphe venata is a moth of the family Notodontidae. It was described by Arthur Gardiner Butler in 1878. It lives in Angola, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Tanzania and Togo.The larvae have been recorded feeding on Triplochiton scleroxylon, Cola verticillata and Cola ballayi.

Eating A. venata larvae (entomophagy) has led to thiamine deficiency (vitamin B1) in people who have used it as a protein source. This is because A. venata larvae have high amounts of thiaminases which break down B1. This type of B1 deficiency has been called "African seasonal ataxia" (ASA), as A. venata larvae are available as food source for about four months within certain parts of Africa. Connection between entomophagy and B1 deficiency was first discovered in 1992 in Western Nigeria by Bola Adamolekun. Outbreaks, which have later on been thought to be due to B1 deficiency, have been described as early as 1958 along with other cases from e.g. 1972.


The Asilidae are the robber fly family, also called assassin flies. They are powerfully built, bristly flies with a short, stout proboscis enclosing the sharp, sucking hypopharynx. The name "robber flies" reflects their notoriously aggressive predatory habits; they feed mainly or exclusively on other insects and as a rule they wait in ambush and catch their prey in flight.

Bass (fish)

Bass () is a name shared by many species of fish. The term encompasses both freshwater and marine species, all belonging to the large order Perciformes, or perch-like fishes. The word bass comes from Middle English bars, meaning "perch".


Braising (from the French word braiser) is a combination-cooking method that uses both wet and dry heats: typically, the food is first sautéed or seared at a high temperature, then finished in a covered pot at a lower temperature while sitting in some (variable) amount of liquid (which may also add flavor). Braising of meat is often referred to as pot roasting, though some authors make a distinction between the two methods, based on whether additional liquid is added.

Cirina forda

Cirina forda, the pallid emperor moth or shea defoliator, is a moth of the family Saturniidae. The species was first described by John O. Westwood in 1849. It is found in western Africa, including Ghana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Africa.

Adults are pale creamy brown with a small darker spot on each hindwing but lacking true eyespots. There is one generation per year.

The larvae feed on Vitellaria paradoxa. They may cause heavy defoliation in Ghana and Nigeria. They feed on Crossopteryx febrifuga in Bas-Congo province, Democratic Republic of the Congo. In South Africa the favoured food plant is the tree Burkea africana.

The larvae are consumed (entomophagy) in Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Pupation takes place in soft soil or sand at the base of the host plant.

Cockroach farming

Cockroach farming is a specific type of insect farming that involves the breeding of cockroaches as livestock in controlled facilities. Such farming is a sizable industry in China where large buildings are home to millions of insects. They can be raised as a food source for humans (entomophagy) and lizards, or sold to the pharmaceutical industry for use in medicine. The cockroaches are often killed in vats of boiling water before being dried, and, depending on their purpose, they may be crushed, ready for processing. Prospective farmers are able to obtain "how-to" kits to begin their farming venture, while larger companies are able to produce billions of cockroaches every year.

Cotton ball diet

The cotton ball diet is a fad diet that involves consuming cotton balls dipped in liquids such as juices or smoothies. The cotton is intended to make a person's stomach feel full without them gaining weight. The diet has been repeatedly condemned as dangerous.


Frying is the cooking of food in oil or another fat. Similar to sautéing, pan-fried foods are generally turned over once or twice during cooking, using tongs or a spatula, while sautéed foods are cooked by "tossing in the pan". A large variety of foods may be fried.

Global Steak

Global Steak: Demain nos enfants mangeront des criquets is a 2010 French documentary television film directed by Anthony Orliange.

Gynanisa maja

Gynanisa maja, the speckled emperor or chipumi, is a moth of the family Saturniidae. The species was first described by Johann Christoph Friedrich Klug in 1836. It is known from South Africa to eastern Africa (up to Angola and Zambia). Gynanisa nigra is just a darker form and not a distinct species.

The wingspan is 105–113 mm. Adults are on wing from late December to early February.

Larvae have been recorded on Acacia erioloba, Acacia karroo, Acacia mollissima, Berlinia paniculata, Brachystegia venosa, Cassia, Colophospermum mopane, Elephantorrhiza burchelli, Julbernardia, Laburnum, Peltophorum, Prunus persica, Pterocarpus, Quercus gambelii, Quercus robur, Quercus turneri, Robinia pseudoacacia and Schotia. Early instar larvae are gregarious. They have a reddish-black colour. As they develop, they become solitary feeders, hiding on the underside of leaf stems and twigs. These later instars are green with silver spines. Fully grown larvae descend from the host plant to pupate in deep underground chambers.

The larvae serve as an important human food source. See Entomophagy.

Human interactions with insects in southern Africa

Various cultures throughout Africa utilize insects for many things and have developed unique interactions with insects: as food sources, for sale or trade in markets, or for use in traditional practices and rituals, as ethnomedicine or as part of their traditional ecological knowledge. As food, also known as entomophagy, a variety of insects are collected as part of a protein rich source of nutrition for marginal communities. Entomophagy had been part of traditional culture throughout Africa, though this activity has been diminishing gradually with the influx of Western culture and market economies. Often the collection of insects for food has been the activity of children, both male and female.

Within Southern Africa different communities have established practices for regulating and maintaining their insect harvests. Some groups, through taboos, ritual, and hierarchical organizational structures acting as regulating bodies, have maintained their traditional practice for centuries. They monitor the development of certain caterpillar species' life cycles to ensure proper time frame for harvesting and sustainability.Understanding the diversity of relationships to nature is a crucial aspect of fully grasping and contending with the challenges of modernity and ecology. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations report from January 2012, it has been recommended that insects be utilized both for human consumption as well as for animal feed. However, as the climate changes many agencies are reporting on the risk of the decline in insect populations within the larger ongoing phenomenon of biodiversity loss and how it may affect the world's ecology.

Insect farming

Insect farming is the practice of raising, eating, and breeding insects as livestock. Insects may be farmed for the commodities they produce, or for them themselves; to be used as food, as a dye, as feed and otherwise.

Insects as food

Insects as food or edible insects are insect species used for human consumption, e.g., whole or as an ingredient in processed food products such as burger patties, pasta, or snacks. The cultural and biological process of eating insects (by humans as well as animals) is described as entomophagy.

Kunga cake

Kunga cake or kungu is an East African food made of millions of densely compressed midges or flies. In his entomophagy book "Insects: An Edible Field Guide", Stefan Gates suggest that people can "make burgers with it, or dry it out and grate parts of it off into stews" for "umami richness". Bear Grylls calls it "a great survival food" and describes how vast quantities are caught and turned into kunga cake. American entomologist May Berenbaum discusses the situation where large swarms of midges can cause significant problems for local populations. She cites an example of how Chaoborus edulis swarms form near Lake Malawi and how the local people turn them into kunga cakes as a "rich source of protein" which is eaten "with great enthusiasm". Explorer David Livingstone (1865) claimed that they "tasted not unlike caviare" though Professor of Tropical Entomology Arnold van Huis declared that he did not like it at all.To catch the flies a frying pan can be coated in cooking oil and then wafted through a swarm.

List of circus skills

Circus skills are a group of pursuits that have been performed as entertainment in circus, sideshow, busking, or variety, vaudeville or music hall shows. Most circus skills are still being performed today. Many are also practised by non-performers as a hobby.

Circus schools and instructors use various systems of categorization to group circus skills by type. Systems that have attempted to formally organize circus skills into pragmatic teaching groupings include the Gurevich system (the basis of the Russian Circus School's curriculum) and the Hovey Burgess system.

Meat hanging

Meat hanging is a culinary process, used in beef aging, that improves the flavor of meats by allowing the natural enzymes in the meat to break down the tissue through dry aging. The process also allows the water in the meat to evaporate, thus concentrating the flavor.

Stefan Gates

Stefan Gates (born 19 September 1967) is a British television presenter, author, broadcaster and live-show performer who writes mostly about food and science. He has written eight books about extraordinary food, cooking, and science. He has presented over 20 TV series, mostly for the BBC, including Cooking in the Danger Zone about unusual food from the world's more dangerous and difficult places. He develops half of these TV series himself, including the CBBC children's food adventure series Gastronuts and Incredible Edibles.Gates presented BBC One's Food Factory. He wrote and presented the BBC Two series E Numbers: An Edible Adventure, Full On Food and the BBC Four series Feasts.Gates has also written and presented two BBC Four documentaries: Calf's Head and Coffee: The Golden Age of English Food on food history, and Can Eating Insects Save the World? on entomophagy. He appears as a guest on TV and radio programmes including Newsnight, Loose Ends, BBC Breakfast, Sunday Brunch, The Wright Stuff, Iron Chef, Blue Peter, The Alan Titchmarsh Show and This Morning. Gates is a panellist on BBC Radio 4's Kitchen Cabinet and has made two radio documentaries. He also performs live shows and lectures, many at science and food festivals.

Welfare of farmed insects

The welfare of farmed insects concerns treatment of insects raised for animal feed, as food or pet food, and other purposes such as honey and silk.

Yupa Hanboonsong

Yupa Hanboonsong (Thai: ยุพา หาญบุญทรง) is a Thai entomologist, specializing in entomophagy (the use of insects as food). Hanboonsong received her PhD from Lincoln University in New Zealand, and currently works as an associate professor in the entomology department at Khon Kaen University.

The effects on Thailand of the 1997 Asian financial crisis prompted Hanboonsong to train rice farmers in remote areas of the country to farm crickets as a cheap and plentiful nutrition source. She has co-authored reports on insect farming for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), including Six-legged livestock: edible insect farming, collecting and marketing in Thailand (2013) and Edible insects in Lao PDR: building on tradition to enhance food security.

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