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Bite Back at Bugs

By Stett Holbrook

Proteins like beef, pork, chicken and fish are expensive, and not just at the grocery store. The environmental costs of feeding, processing and cleaning the animals we eat exact a heavy toll on human and planetary health. But what if we stretched our consciousness and cultural conditioning about what proteins were good to eat? In short, what if we ate bugs?

As a source of protein, insects are dramatically more efficient and easy on the environment than a bacon cheeseburger. Raising livestock is a resource-greedy industry that requires vast acres to grow feed crops and huge petroleum inputs in the form of pesticides, fertilizers and transportation. Insects, on the other hand, are the green, nutritious alternative. Research has found that that the lowly cricket contains more than 1,550 milligrams of iron, 25 milligrams of zinc and 340 milligrams of calcium, and can be more nutritious than an equal quantity of beef or pork.

That's all well and good. But how do bugs taste?

Find out at the Headlands Center for the Arts i n Sausalito, which hosts a special multicourse dinner featuring insects from California and Mexico. Part performance art, part culinary experience and part educational seminar, the event is presented by Monica Martinez, owner of the Don Bugito "pre-Colombian" food truck; "bioartist" Phillip Ross and entomophagy (insect eating) expert Rosanna Yau. Get bug-eyed on Thursday, Oct. 27, at Edible Insects and Other Rare Delicacies, the Headlands Center for the Arts, 944 Fort Barry, Sausalito. 6:30pm. $50. 415.331.2787. For more, see

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