The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.library.books
    MACK DICKSON takes a book off the “blind date” cart at the Fayette library. Patrons can choose a book without knowing what’s inside other than a general category. The books are among those designated for removal so patrons can consider them gifts. In Morenci, new books and staff favorites were chosen from the stacks and must be returned. Patrons get a piece of chocolate, too, to take on their date, but no clue about their “date.” One reader said she really enjoyed her book for a few pages, but then lost interest—so typical for a blind date.

2011.08.31 Grubs: the other white meat

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

“Most of the world eats bugs.”

That’s a quote from a New Yorker magazine article by Dana Goodyear about eating insects.

Worldwide, about 80 percent of Earth’s human inhabitants eat insects, with pleasure. If you want to get technical, we all eat insects. We eat insects by the thousands.

The Food and Drug Administration allows, for example, up to 50 aphids, thrips and mites for every 3.5 ounces of frozen spinach. A one-pound jar of peanut butter can contain about 130 insect parts before it’s considered contaminated. For chocolate, 137 parts for an eight-ounce bar. The list goes on and on.

That’s just the processed food. Fresh vegetables often have insects, unless they’re pesticide laden. We eat insects every day, but few of us among the bugless 20 percent eat them intentionally. What we don’t know can’t gag us.

Goodyear writes about a region of Mexico where toasted grasshoppers (with garlic, chile and lime) are a treat and shrimp is considered disgusting.

Witchetty grubs in Australia are said to taste like nut-flavored scrambled eggs. Children in Venezuela enjoy toasted tarantulas. In Mali, cultural differences keep chicken and eggs off the dinner plate, but children love eating grasshoppers. Meal worms are factory-farmed in China, and that gets to the perception problem faced by those in insect husbandry.

No one in the U.S. is going to eat something with the name “worm.” How about if it goes by the genus name, tenebrio? A tenebrio quiche just might make it in an upscale restaurant, suggests Gene DeFoliart, the former chair of entomology at the University of Wisconsin.

Goodyear points out the precedent for this move. In the 19th century, the English members of the Society for the Propagation of Horse Flesh as an Article of Food hired French chefs to prepare banquets featuring a tasty new item: chevaline.

If a name change for a wax moth fails, then do as another scientist suggested: cover them in good chocolate. People will eat anything wrapped in chocolate.

And don’t forget, 20 years ago few people around here made it past the “yuck” factor associated with sushi. Now it’s pretty common.

Insects are associated with filth, although most of them lead clean lives fueled by a healthy diet. It’s mushrooms that are dirty. It’s lobsters that are bottom-feeders, eating debris off the ocean floor. And shrimp? You don’t even want to know about your farmed shrimp from Thailand. Don’t ask. Just keep eating.

Many researchers are convinced that insects are in our future. The population is expected to reach nine billion by 2050 and the demand for meat will be high. If there’s a World War III, control of water and food might be at the root, and those who can produce protein will be on top.

Back to changing attitudes. Insects can’t be viewed as enemies of man. They’re mini-livestock. 

Insects are about four times as efficient in converting feed to meat, compared to cattle. Grasshoppers have three times as much protein—ounce for ounce—as beef, and they possess some good micronutrients.

Unlike pigs, many bugs like crowded, dirty conditions. They’re great recyclers, too. Bugs: the green food. Grubs: the other other white meat.

In America, we love chicken but we don’t want to see or think about chicken eyes and beaks and feathers. There’s a similar problem with insects.

Some researchers are thinking about insect flour. Others are working on bug nuggets and bug steak. That comparison about grasshopper and beef protein? It would take about a thousand grasshoppers to equal the protein in a 12-ounce steak. If only they were the size of pigs, said an entomologist at Purdue, he guarantees we would be eating them.

It sounds like we’ll be eating them no matter what. Here’s a sampling of what people are creating. Land shrimp cocktail, made from wax worms. Soy marinated crickets. A Bee-L-T with bee larvae. Katydid and grilled cheese sandwiches. Spider rolls. Toll house cookies with fresh roasted crickets.

You might as well flavor those cookies with honey—the vomit of a bee. 

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