Celebrating Insects and Culture

Mealworm Stir-fry

Mealworm Stir-fry

In mid April, Mexico City has the Festín de Insectos Comestibles. Over 5 thousand people visit to taste the roasted maguey worms, crispy beetle bonbons and mosquito-egg tacos. The festival offers a chance to recognize the folk wisdom of women from the campo, whose gastronomical knowledge was passed down generationally.  More than 500 species of insects were eaten as part of the Meso-American diet.  Many visitors tasted insects as cuisine for the first time.

People from a Meso American culture tradition observe a change in attitude. Their cuisine is not new, but it is new to modern Mexican culture.  During the 50s and 60s, the dominant culture frowned upon entomophagy and traditional Meso American foods. Many look back at those efforts as a racist campaign to scorn the traditional foods and culture and impose commercial foods. Times change and so do attitudes. Far from the disparagement of the past, in our current era many people are reacting positively, curious about how the bugs are foraged and prepared, and ready to pay for the privilege of eating them.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
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One Response to Celebrating Insects and Culture

  1. Pingback: Celebrating Insects and Culture – Entomo Planet

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