It may have started with "Fear Factor," the NBC reality show where the participants dined on creepy crawly bugs while they were still wiggling. Now, it's a trend that's just beginning to take hold in the dining rooms of America's most adventurous eaters. According to Bay Area Bites, 80 percent of the world's population regularly eats insects.
Blogger Jenny Oh, a web producer for KQED in San Francisco, featured segments from one of the station's science specials, "Edible Insects: Finger Lickin' Grub." It included a variety of mealworms that were about to be roasted by chef Daniella Martin. Yum.
At Chowhound.com, a popular social networking food prep and dining site, the conversation turned to termites, which some gastronomists claim have a delicious nutty taste. At least two New York restaurants serve the little critters, along with grasshopper tacos and other delicacies.
But most of us are loathe to try the squirmy, wormy variety of edibles, even though we've been eating them for years. According to The Atlantic , "Starbucks uses a red dye derived from insects to color certain components of its beverages. If you've ever sipped a strawberries-and-cream Frappuccino or strawberry-banana smoothie, or eaten a red-velvet whoopie pie, raspberry-swirl cake or one of those tiny doughnuts with pink icing, then you've enjoyed the smooth taste of a cochineal bug, a scale insect that lives on tropical cacti.”
Alas, Starbucks had to debug its Frappuccino because of the consumer outcry. Still, eating bugs may be worth a shot. See what appeals to you in our edible bug slideshow.