NOVA: Edible Insects
Premieres Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021 at 9 p.m. & Sunday, Oct. 24 at 2 p.m. on KPBS TV + Oct. 24 at 9 p.m. on KPBS 2 / On Demand
From crunchy cricket chips to nutty black soldier fly grubs, "Edible Insects" leaps across 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 are showing 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 make animal protein vastly more efficiently than cows and, pound for pound, deliver far better nutritional value than the finest steak. Unappealing as an insect milkshake might sound, it may promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria that could 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 roasted crickets, ants, mealworms, and chipotle-flavored grasshoppers prepared by a New York chef, and, not surprisingly, some of the diners have trouble concealing their squeamishness.
Yet all the evidence adds up to the idea that our aversion to insects is mostly a matter of attitude and cultural conditioning. So will your kitchen table soon host its very own savory insect feast?
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