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Chef Insists Bugs Are Nutritious, Delicious

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(credit: CBS) Natalie Nyhus
Natalie Nyhus joined the WCCO-TV team in January of 2011. She repor...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Scorpions, crickets and other insects are inching their way into America’s diets because, as it turns out, they can actually be good for you.

How would you like a plate of silkworm larvae stir-fried with soy, sugar and just a dash of white pepper? Typhoon Restaurant chef Kevin Oh can whip you up a batch.

“The silkworms have a texture of like popcorn except they have a creamy center,” Oh said.

Typhoon, located in Santa Monica, is one of a handful of restaurants right here in America that serve patrons bugs — on purpose. Among the menu items are chili pepper-seasoned crickets and scorpions on shrimp toast.

“Scorpions still have the stingers in them, but they are dried. The poison is neutralized.”

Scorpions are one of the approximately 1,700 types of bugs that are safe for people to consume.

It’s still a novelty here in the states, but insects are part of a daily diet in most of the world.

Earlier this year, the United Nations held a global conference on the benefits of eating insects, even suggesting it might be a good solution to world hunger.

“I don’t know why the United States doesn’t eat insects, because they’re actually very healthy for you,” Oh said.

Insects are high in protein and low in fat and cholesterol. Take a cricket, for example. A six-ounce serving of these crunchy bugs contains 60 percent less saturated fat as the same amount of ground beef.

Another dish to consider: string-potatoes with dried ants, which contains 14 grams of protein per serving.

“They taste a little sour, tangy and they have a hint of black pepper to them,” Oh said.

With a growing population and rising costs of food, the rest of the world just might be on to something.

WCCO-TV searched for a restaurant in Minnesota serving up edible insects but had no luck. The closest we could find was in Chicago.

That doesn’t mean they don’t exist closer to home, and odds are you’ve already got some of the ingredients handy nearby.

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