Name a cockroach after your lover: Valentine’s Day at the Bronx Zoo

cockroach, cockroachesThe Bronx Zoo has come up with a good way to show that special someone you care–name a giant cockroach after them.

The BBC reports that for ten bucks you can buy the rights to one of the zoo’s 58,000 giant Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches and name it after that special someone who bugs you more than anybody else. The zoo says they sold 1,000 dedications in the first day of the promotion. Perhaps their tagline helped: “Flowers wilt. Chocolates melt. Roaches are forever.”

Indeed they are. They’ve been around since before the dinosaurs and they’ll probably be around after we’re long gone. The Bronx Zoo has some interesting facts about the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach, like that they can grow to three inches long and the hiss they make can be as loud as a lawnmower.

They’re nutritious too. Check out our 8 bug-eating videos including two on eating cockroachs. Also check out the far less disgusting but much more educational the video below.

[Photo courtesy user Husond via Wikimedia Commons]

Japanese chef publishes insect cuisine cookbook

One of the great joys of traveling is the chance to eat something new. Whether it’s a mouthwatering steak in Argentina or an English breakfast in London, exposure to new cuisine helps us understand the places we visit and people we meet. But of all the foods we’ll try when traveling, many people get all squeamish when it comes to insects. Not so fast says Japanese chef Shoichi Uchiyama, whose new bug recipe cookbook aims to give eaters everywhere a fresh look at eating and consuming these “untouchables” of the food world.

Uchiyama, who first became interested in insect cuisine during a workshop in 1998 in Tokyo, has become a devoted advocate of increased consumption of insects by humans. The chef points to the many benefits of insects as food, including their high protein content and the ability for farmers to raise them quickly and cheaply. He also notes that more than 1400 varieties of insects are consumed worldwide, from Africa to Latin America and Asia. Uchiyama’s new 256 page cookbook aims to further dispel humans’ natural aversion to eating bugs by providing a run-down of how to cook everything from cockroaches in pink vinegar soup, to moth pupae covered in sugar to pizza covered in water bugs.

What do you think? Does a sugar-covered moth-pupae get your mouth watering? Even if you think Chef Uchiyama has gone off the deep end, his enthusiasm and creativity are certainly cause for a second look at that plate of crickets. Have you ever eaten insects during your travels? Tell us about your experience in the comments.

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Food Poisoning: Meet the Bugs

There is nothing like an episode of food poisoning that can wreck one’s trip, change priorities, or–if it takes more than two days–even reconsider one’s view on euthanasia. I have been there many times, either myself or in spirit with other people. Yes, there was the cheap sushi in New York, the grocery store pre-cut water melon in Portland, the chicken satay in Amsterdam, the sandwich at Arby’s, and the Lord-knows-what in Egypt (this one lasted for weeks and I contemplated death several times).

Because I like to know my enemy, I enjoyed this article on ivillage.co.uk entitled “How to avoid food poisoning while travelling”. Most of the tips are quite obvious, although often hard to fully control: washing your hands, avoiding tap water (ice, fresh vegetables washed in fresh water), avoiding uncooked meat and unpasteurized milk, etc. The piece I found interesting is the description of the different “bugs” and their symptoms: Norovirus, E-coli (see picture), Salmonella, Campylobacter and Bacillus cereus. The little buggers look so harmless on screen…