– Never been more excited to
do anything in my whole life. Okay. Head first, that’s the
way they say to do it. Oh, that head’s coming off. (crunching) I just ate a bug head. It’s too crunchy. (crunching) It’s nutty, very chewy. Yep, got that exoskeleton. Bottoms up, literally. (laughs) I can’t. (inquisitive music) Hey, smart people, Joe here. Bugs! When I say that word, what comes to mind? Probably not restaurants or
your next home cooked meal. When most people think
about bugs and food, they think about, I don’t know, health code violations.
(cat screeching) Certainly not eating them. But there are some people out
there trying to change that for some really good reasons. I recently flew to Long Beach
to attend a big bug banquet where a bunch of talented chefs are turning insects into fine dining. I’ve heard that insects
are the food of the future, but I wanted to know
why and maybe try some, which is why I am at a feast
where every dish on the menu features edible insects and since it’s a holiday feast, I invited a couple of my friends. I’ve got Kyle Hill from the
YouTube channel Because Science. – Hey Joe, thanks for having me. – Excited to eat some bugs? – Oh (gags). – Okay. And she literally wrote the
book about edible insects and human evolution. Julie Lesnik, Anthropologist
from Wayne State. – Hello. – Bring on the first dish. Oh, okay, what’s in this? – [Alex] You got a cornflower tostada that’s made with about
20% grasshopper flower. A little bit of a black ant
as a citrus salt component. – That’s gonna add a zing. Why do these ants have
this zingy citrus flavor? – It’s a chemical defense mechanism, so they actually have formic acid and they’ll spit the formic acid and it – Fantastic.
– throws off their enemies. And it thrusts–
– Didn’t work too well for me. (laughing) – All right, let’s try it.
– Let’s do it. – I see what you did with the shrimp. They’re arthropods just like insects. (crunching) It’s awesome. – It’s really good. – I love this. – I’m getting some of that zing now. – Yeah, the formic acid
is different from citrus. It’s a little pop. – None this is screaming insect to me. It’s all used really
well and really smartly. – It definitely has one
of the strongest flavors in all the bugs we’re gonna try. – For being so small and being so potent, well done ants and chef. (upbeat music) Aly, you have a kitchen full of bugs. How did you get into
having bugs in the kitchen, eating bugs, getting
other people to eat bugs? – I was in Mexico for
a public health project and I had a taco with (speaks
Spanish), or grasshoppers, and that was delicious. I started blogging, met
bug people, fell in love, and took off from their. – Is there a scientific
reason people don’t eat bugs? – People all over the world do eat bugs. I think from our viewpoint we
think eating bugs is weird, but we’re actually the odd ones. – Is there something that
let’s you predict whether or not some part of the world will or won’t have bugs as part of their diet? – The number one predictor is latitude, how close you are to the equator. Part of the reason we don’t like seeing bugs in our kitchen is
that we seal off our homes. But when you live in the tropics, you have a very different
relationship with bugs. What you see is that people have the bugs that they know are harmful, the ones that are helpful, and
the ones that are delicious. It is a natural found source that gives you so many nutrients it’s almost silly to ignore it. – People have these innate reactions when they see creepy crawly things. Is that any influence on whether people will choose to eat this stuff? – The disgust reaction,
the churning stomach, the gag reflex, it’s
real, it’s a real emotion. But the emotion is learned. – This is not an innate
biological fear of bugs. – It’s a neophobia. – But we’ve changed that
one crunchy bite at a time. Actually, surprisingly delicious. (upbeat music) What delicious dishes do you have for us? – I have sauteed green beans with garlic and mealworms. Then on the platter here, I have mini pecan tarts with crickets. – I can see the crickets. – [Kyle] It’s gonna be in my body soon. – It’s not a meal
– Try and (speaks softly) – without a mealworm.
– everything. (smooth jazz music) – That’s amazing. – Huh. If you didn’t tell me
that bugs were in it, I wouldn’t have known. Which I guess is a compliment? – That is amazing. So good.
– This one looks really good. – You said this one was mine. – That’s the one that was (speaks softly)
– That one has a lot of visible crickets – I know.
– happening on this one. Okay, going in. Are you sure there’s crickets in here? – The other flavors work really well. The sweetness mixes with the nuttiness. – They blend so well
with the other flavors. – It’s really jumping into my mouth here. – I wouldn’t more acts of that thorax. – I give that a two out of 10. – Come on.
– But I give this another 10 out of 10. (upbeat music) How many people on
Earth, around the world, regularly consume bugs? – I think the estimate is
at least 1 billion people are eating bugs today, right now. – [Joe] Is that changing? – We have such a negative
attitude about eating bugs and it’s actually permeating
in globalized society. So people who rely on eating bugs as a very important
part of their nutrition, if they start looking at what we do, and then they feel stigmatized
if they eat those bugs, our negative reactions are harming them. – That’s the thing that
makes me the most sad is I do this on Instagram
and different platforms and I get asked, “How many times were you
dropped on your head?” This is presented in a nice way and we’re working on educating folks, but I do see that same phenomenon. – It’s amazing how our opinions
about what progress is, it starts painting bugs
and savage and primitive and that goes all the way
back to a colonial history. So Columbus, when he encountered people, they were eating bugs. These people were painted
as primitive and savage and animal-like. Then the entire European continent’s like, “I don’t wanna be thought
of as primitive or savage” and so then eating bugs was just – Taboo.
– was disgusting, taboo. If we here can get on
board with eating bugs, then the world can go back
to their natural resources. (upbeat music) – Oh! – This is loaded potato. There is a grasshopper butter, which I cooked the potatoes in. Also with furikake and spiced grasshopper. – Here.
– Give me one. – This one’s for you.
– Thank you. – I just wanna pop the whole
thing in my mouth at once. – That’s what I’m doing.
– Okay. I mean, the bug is perfectly executed. I can have a little crunch
from the worm on top. It’s not jumping out and
going, “I’m a worm potato.” – I like grasshopper butter, which I didn’t know I would say. – Yeah, how do you milk them? – Well anything with, anyway. – Bug eating doesn’t
quite have the right ring. Is there a technical term for this? – Entomophagy. – I got an exoskeleton in my teeth. – Bring on the next course. Oh! – There’s a lot going on here.
– There’s a lot going on. We have several dishes to choose from. – [Ofelia] The first one is mashed garlic and cauliflower with mealworms. – What’s in the cookies? – They are crickets. – We call those chocolate chirp cookies. – Chocolate chirp cookies. – Oh, it’s so good! – Thought you’d like. – Try the mashed potato first?
– Mm-hm. Textural mix is wonderful. – Very good. The nuttiness of the
mealworm adds really nicely to the cauliflower. – Everything else is very
smooshy and then you add that, you get that crunch. – Just like with the other ants, I’m getting a little bit of citrus pop. – Which is perfect with the avocado. – It is just providing that
texture, that additional flavor, like any other ingredient and you can start to retrain your brain to associate this not as
something that’s disgusting, nothing like that, but
something that’s food food. – It’s funny because when we
talk about edible insects, people think of it like
eating it raw off the ground or something and that’s not how people around the world eat it. It’s an ingredient. – [Kyle] Wanna try the cookie? – Wow, this is a delicious cookie. – Really good. – That’s chirpin’ delicious. That’s amazing, 10 out of 10. You know what this just needs is a little bit of cold cricket milk. – You can’t milk a
cricket, Joe, stop trying. – Cockroach milk is a thing, though. – No.
– Wait a second. (upbeat music) We have established
that bugs are delicious, but are they nutritious? – Yeah, they’re basically little vitamins and they contain a bunch of
macro and micro nutrients that you wouldn’t get from
just eating the rib of a cow. You’re eating the whole thing of the bug and you’re getting all those healthy fats. So where you would eat
avocados or almonds or salmon, you could eat a mopane worm and get those really good healthy fats. – That is the most
millennial food in the world. Mopane worm toast, can you imagine? – Everything’s very bio available, too. That means your stomach
can absorb it more. – These sound in a lotta ways like nature’s perfect multivitamin. They even come in pill form. – One thing with the bugs,
depending on which bug you eat, you get a different nutrient profile. With chimpanzees, who are
our closest living relative, they have fashioned these tools to extract termites from the mound, and the termites they’re
getting are the soldiers and they’re really protein-rich. And if–
– Are they doing that on purpose? – Yeah, chimpanzees are frugivores. Most of their diet comes from fruit and so for a large-bodied chimp, they have to supplement
some protein in their diet. – That’s amazing that they’re using this like an actual literal vitamin
shop out there in nature. – When we go down the
branches on human evolution to about 2 million years ago, we’re working with the
genus Australopithecus, and we actually have evidence that they were also eating termites. The Australopithecines were likely doing with these bone tools is
digging into the termite mound to access fatty-rich
termites instead of the protein-rich termites.
– Like larva. – Larva, yes. I call it a pat Of butter. – Delicious insect butter.
– It is just straight up fat. – Why would they be after fat? Australopithecine brains are about 20% bigger than chimpanzees
and our brains run on fat. All the fatty acids are so important for developing our brains and for keeping them functioning properly. – I can go and find basically
any restaurant in America and I’m gonna find
plenty of fat in my diet. But if you’re walking around in Africa and you’re an early human, you just don’t have these sources of fat. – Right. – So this would’ve been a key nutrient that they can’t get anywhere else. – When we think about humans
and what makes us so unique is how large our brains are. So over the millions of years of evolution since our last common ancestor, our brains have been getting
gradually bigger and bigger. One thing we know that must mean is that they must’ve been
getting fat in their diet. But when you hunt
animals on the landscape, they’re very lean. Anybody who hunts deer knows that venison’s a very lean meat. – Having a source of fat in their diet could have provided enough of a surplus so that brains could get bigger back in our human evolution.
– Yeah. (upbeat music) – What do you call this? – [Renate] It’s cricket sourdough. – It’s bread, it’s bread. – It’s bread.
– It’s bread, okay. – [Julie] That we we got? Okay it’s bread.
– Okay, okay. – This loaf was about 10%
ground-up crickets into this replaced from the flour. – That smells amazing. – [Renate] The other one is cricket salt with chili powder and honey. – [Julie] That’s one I can smell. I need to try that. – That’s amazing. I wanna eat this every
morning, ants and all. The ants with the herbs and the butter, again that formic acid zip. The zing, the zest. – I see what anteaters are raving about. – I always think about with bears. Bears have giant claws and giant teeth, but what they do is they go
dig for termites and ants. – I know.
– They could kill anything, but they after bugs.
– All bark, no bite. Actually, they bite very
hard, don’t play with bears. – This is definitely high-end bug gourmet. – [Joe] Next dish, please. Oh, a pie! – [Waitress] We have a
mushroom chickpea pecan and herb cricket tart. – Why don’t you give me – Just a sliver?
– one of the smaller slice? – You just want a sliver? – Not for the bug reason, just I’m watch– – [Julie] ‘Cause we’re all very full. – Yes, I’m full of a lot
of bug bread and legs and wings and compound eyes. – Do you think this could
go the way of sushi? Just imagine what sushi must’ve been like a couple generations ago
when it was so weird. Like, “Oh my god, raw fish?” Now you can but them at gas stations. – Everywhere. – For dishes like this, you really don’t realize bugs are in it and that’s the point. The only real way we’re
gonna get people in mass to take up this kind of diet choice is if it is as close
to normal as possible. – But here we’re getting
all the same nutrients, it’s delicious, crickets are
far less smart than pigs, and so you feel a lot
better about eating it. (upbeat music) – Lotta people talk about
sustainability, as well. Bugs are so good on a
variety of envirometrics. They take less space than
traditional livestock. Great for indoor vertical farming. Think future food like space travel. They can reduce our
reliance on anti-biotics and livestock rearing. They also are wonderful for biodiversity and for regenerative soil health, but the two main ones the we
always hit on are emissions and water use. – The same amount of crickets,
the same amount of beef, it takes 1,000 or so times less water to make the crickets as the beef? – [Aly] Yeah. – Okay, but emissions are
a huge part of that, too. We know that agricultural emissions are a big part of our
greenhouse gas problem. – You can trace emissions
to a lotta different things from food transport and insects are great for local agriculture. They have a very effective
feed to body mass conversion ratio, too. All that feed that you’re giving the cows and the pigs and everything
else, a lot of it’s wasted. Some of it in terms of body
heat since they’re warm-blooded but insects are cold-blooded so you have just extremely
efficient little systems here turning input to output
that’s very nutritious. – Environmental reasons
aren’t the only thing people think about when they’re like, “What am I gonna eat?” Are there other reasons to eat bugs that are not just purely
about climate change? – A lot of people are
making their dietary choices based on impact on the
animals we’ve been eating. We don’t treat them very well. Some vegetarians actually really think that insects are a great alternative because crickets like
dark, cramped spaces. To put them in a bin and raise them, it’s not nearly the shock to their system than what we’re doing to the mammals. From an animal welfare standpoint, eating insects is a much
more appealing option for a lot of peoples than eating mammals. – Delicious, nutritious,
environmentally sustainableicious. Is that a word? – Now it is.
– I think that’s a word. (upbeat music) – Final thoughts, what do ya thinK? – This is definitely my best experience with this kind of dish I’ve ever head. My previous experiences have just been, “Hey, try this novelty.” When you’re actually
using it intelligently, I think it can be as
good as anything else. I’m still eating it. – As someone who really never
ate bugs in almost any form that I knew about before
tonight, I am blown away. The way these were worked in, it’s both so artful and just so natural. Bug eating is not weird. It’s totally awesome. – I’ve had lot of bug
banquets, but this was superb. – Guys, thanks for coming to this awesome Thanksgiving dinner with me. I’m thankful for crickets,
mealworms, and all the rest. It turns out eating
insects isn’t that weird for humans after all. We’ve been doing it for a long time. Like most things that you eat, you don’t know if you’re gonna
like it until you try it. As for me, well, I’m a bug eater now. These chips are made from crickets. (crickets chirping) – [Group] Stay curious! – And just one more thing. I wanna send a huge thank
you to my friend Kyle Hill from the channel Because Science
for joining me at dinner. He makes great stuff,
definitely go check it out. And my friend Emily Graslie
from “The Brain Scoop” also has a really cool
video about entomophagy, eating insects, over on her channel. Links to all of that
down in the description and as always, thank you to our patrons for making videos like this possible. As far as I’m concerned, you’re guests at our family
dinner table every day. We have great perks over
on our Patreon page. Definitely go check them out and you can even join the ranks of these Galaxy Brain patrons. And pass the cricket quiche. – No, I have all the
cricket butter to myself. – Yeah, where’s that butter? – Yeah, more cricket butter.
– Share. – Give me the cricket, you have to share. – No! – Pass the cricket butter, Kyle. – No, you have to come visit me more often if you want things from me.
– Any pecan pies left? Any of those tarts? – Yeah, I want one of those pecan pies. – Happy Thanksgiving! – Happy Thanksgiving to you, too. – Thanks.