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Wax Worm Tacos, Oatmealy Bug Cookies? Yes, Says Online Bug Cook

By Nick Kratsas- KDKA Morning News
(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

Larry-Richert Larry Richert
Since September of 2001 Richert has hosted the KDKA Radio Morning Ne...
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PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) - Mmm, oatmeal cookies.

Online cook Danielle Martin’s recipe includes 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder, 1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter, 2 cups dry oatmeal and 1 cup of dry roasted mealworms.

Wait, dry-roasted mealworms?

Martin, host of blog and video series “Girl Meets Bug,” is an expert in entomophagy, or someone who eats bugs.

She talked to KDKA-AM’s Larry and John about her online video series and her passion for cooking with bugs.

“I studied pre-Columbian food and medicine for my anthropology degree, and I was fascinated with what people were eating before industrial nations took over,” Martin said. “It turns out that in a lot of places, especially in more temperate climates where they don’t have big game, insects were a big part of how those people got their protein.”

And with the U.N. saying that there will be food shortages by 2050 due to a world population of 9 billion people, we’re going to need a food supply — and Martin believes bugs could be the answer.

Martin’s blog and video series follows her travels and experiments with eating bugs like mealworms, scorpions, caterpillars and grasshoppers — and her cooking show is both educational and entertaining.

She says she doesn’t understand why people are so squeamish about eating bugs, especially when she claims other foods we eat could be considered just as gross.

“It’s so funny that people think that eating bugs is so gross, but people are completely fine eating oysters, which are a delicacy,” says Martin. “When you eat an oyster, you eat the entire animal, and it’s this big, slimy, intense-tasting creature. When people offer up eating a grasshopper or a caterpillar, which spends it’s life eating greens, leaves, fruits and vegetables, and has a very mild flavor somewhere between nut and shrimp-like taste, that’s when people start freaking out.”

One particular bug freaking people out in our region are stink bugs, which Martin says are delicious.

“They’re a little bit spicy, and they taste a lot like kale, in a spicy, apple-y kale kind of way,” she said.

Martin says stink bugs are full of protein, calcium, iron and other vitamins, but she doesn’t suggest eating a bunch of stink bugs at once.

“If I had a bunch of stink bugs, I’d do a quick saute with onions or garlic- they really don’t need much,” says Martin. “I’d do a quick saute until they get crunchy, and then I’d sprinkle them on salad. It would be a terrific, unique flavor.”

Check out her blog and videos on her site, Girl Meets Bug, and watch for her book coming out next year from Amazon Publishing.