Edible Bugs | NOVA | PBS

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From crunchy cricket chips to nutty black soldier fly maggots, Edible Insects skips cultural and culinary boundaries to explore the insect food industry and how it could benefit our health and our warming planet. From Thailand to Texas, cricket farmers show how the tiny critters stack up as an environmentally friendly alternative to beef protein. In fact, as one of the show’s many gastro surprises reveals, insects are much more efficient at making animal protein than cows, and provide far better nutritional value pound for pound than the finest steak. As unattractive as an insect milkshake may sound, it can encourage the growth of healthy intestinal bacteria that can help prevent inflammation and cancer. But what about the “ick” factor? NOVA invites a panel of volunteers to sample an invitingly prepared tasting menu of fried crickets, ants, mealworms, and chipotle-flavored grasshoppers prepared by a New York chef, and it is not surprising that some of the diners struggle to make theirs To hide squeamishness. Yet all of the evidence supports the idea that our aversion to insects is primarily a matter of attitude and cultural conditioning. So will your kitchen table soon be hosting its very own zesty insect festival? (Premieres Wednesday, October 20th at 9 p.m. on PBS)

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