Mealworms medium-rare … anyone?
FROM ICKY BUGS TO GOOD GRUB: WHY MORE PEOPLE ARE EATING INSECTSBy SASHA HARRIS-LOVETT, Los Angeles Times
Gillian Spence plunges her hand into a shallow tray of 10,000 writhing mealworms. She comes up with a handful of the inch-long, beige-colored grubs, which squirm over and between her fingers.
Most are destined to become bait for fish or food for reptilian pets. But not all of them.
"A lot of orders now are going to restaurants," she says.
Spence's Compton company, Rainbow Mealworms, supplies the mealworms and their larger, feistier cousins, called superworms, to a number of edible-insect businesses across the country. One, called Hotlix, puts them inside lollipops.
Mealworms and superworms aren't actually worms at all — they're the larval forms of two species of darkling beetles. They're also two of the roughly 1,900 insect species that are good for people to eat, according to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization.