Crunchin’ on critters, ingesting insects


      According to, “bugs are an excellent source of protein, with the nutrient accounting for between 20 and 76 percent of their dry weight.”

     FOT teacher Mr. Brian Dougherty is a part of the percentage of people who do eat bugs. He says, “when I traveled to Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand, I noticed that bugs were eaten over there as snacks and street food and stuff like that.”

     Dougherty continues, “I was intrigued by why they did it, so I looked into it, and I realized the reason they did it is because protein over there – meat is expensive and not as common as over here so a good protein source is bugs.”

     Bugs aren’t only eaten as a whole, but they are also “ground up and used in flours and powders.”

     Not only are they used in flour, but he continues, “I always show that because there are farmers in this country as well as other countries now doing this, and a lot of the protein powders are being used in dog foods and stuff like that because it is a very cheap and inexpensive form of protein.”

     “Cows are very very harmful to the environment for what you get – even though I love meat – but insects are not, and it is one of the things I cover when we do the unit in foundations of technology.”

     His first time eating a bug was when “in a restaurant over [in Cambodia], [he] noticed that there were fried tarantulas on the menu for appetizers so [he] tried those, and they were pretty interesting and good.”

     He says, “the legs were crunchy, and they had this teriyaki kind of glaze on it and a dipping sauce, but the abdomen was kind of weird. It had a consistency of almost chewy, but it wasn’t bad. I wouldn’t order it again, though.”

     Dougherty always introduces this “odd concept for here, the concept of eating bugs for protein” during his food unit around the world and types of food people eat. He says that any student that wants to try them can try them. “They’re not as gross as you think, they’re actually quite good.”

     If someone were to challenge Dougherty to eat a bug, he says he would do it. He also says, “If I was starving out in nature, I sure would do that. I would definitely eat bugs if that was my choice, but if I had a choice between steak or chicken or bugs, I’m definitely going to choose the steak.”