Daniella Martin is so buggy for bugs that she had toasted crickets at her wedding, and regularly makes tacos, pizzas and sandwiches using crickets, mealworms and drone bees.
Martin has been a committed entomophagist (the term for grub-loving gourmets) since living in Mexico during college where she developed a taste for fried grasshoppers flavored with lime and chili, tacos made with wax moth larvae, and caterpillar tamales.
She believes the world will be a better place if insects and arachnids become a regular part of the Western diet.
In her new book, " Edible: An Adventure Into The World Of Eating Insects And The Last Great Hope To Save The Planet " (Amazon), Martin makes the case that incorporating insects into the Western diet is more environmentally friendly than eating chicken or meat, because it takes fewer resources to raise a pound of crickets than a pound of beef with a comparable amount of nutrition.
But she says there's a more important reason why people should eat insects: They taste great.
"The flavor profile is most similar to mushrooms, shrimp and nuts," she told The Huffington Post. "On the other hand, the taste of a fresh waterbug is mind-blowing -- like an anchovy wrapped in a perfume-soaked banana peel. Waterbug essence is used in Thai cuisine in sauces."
Insects are standard menu fare in Latin America, Asia and Africa, but not so much in the U.S., mainly because of the yuck factor associated with bugs.
"It's amazing how much the brain gets in the way," she said. "But things like smoked oysters also take some getting used to."
Martin remembers how eating sushi used to be joke fodder for sitcoms in the early 1980s, but is now served at dinner tables across America three decades later.
She concedes bug eating could face more of a challenge.
"I think it's most likely to start through the use of cricket flour," she said. "People feel better about using ground-up crickets in breads or pizzas than eating the bugs."
There's also another avenue: The local bar.
"Insects go really well with beer," she said. "Plus, they have less fat than peanuts and fewer carbs than pretzels, while adding protein and fiber."
Some of Martin's favorite bug dishes include:
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