What Happens When You Eats Bugs for 31 Days
by Laura D’Asaro and Meghan Proulx
You may know Laura D’Asaro as the co-founder of Chirps, the holder of several unusual world records, or that girl riding a scooter down Mission Street dressed as a benevolent green insect.
Or perhaps, to my bewilderment, you have never heard of her.
If you have yet to be acquainted with the whimsies of one of the world’s most emphatic bug lovers, you soon will.
Laura is embarking on a four-week-long journey where no freckled co-founder has gone before, one we will be documenting extensively.
For three weeks beginning on June 12th, Laura will be incorporating insects into every meal she eats.
Be it breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, or snack, there will be bugs. Everything Laura eats will be tossed, mixed, boiled, blended, baked, cooked, fried, sauteed, or dipped in bugs.
We know what you are thinking. “That’s not that hard!” Well, Laura agrees, which is why for her fourth week from the 6th to Friday the 13th of July, Laura will be taking her bug journey to the outer limits and eating nothing but bugs.
Why is this happening and why now?
For the last five years, Laura has dedicated herself to the effort of making entomophagy (the practice of eating bugs) mainstream.
This unlikely cause has been her life’s focus ever since she was an undergraduate studying abroad in Tanzania. While there, she was one day perusing through winding aisles of fruit at a market in Arusha when a particular stall caught her eye. In it sat a woman selling fried caterpillars. Though Laura was and is a strict vegetarian, curiosity got the best of her. She bit down on the skewered insect and thought “this tastes like lobster!”
After her time in Tanzania, Laura immersed herself in all the research she could find on the topic of entomophagy. She discovered that insects are one of the most (if not the most) sustainable sources of protein on the planet and that 2 billion people are already eating and enjoying them around the world.
Since then, Laura and her cofounders have strived to spread the word that insects are delicious, nutritious and sustainable.
Laura, Rose Wang, and Meryl Breidbart created the first-ever cricket chips called Chirps. The three co-founders have won numerous awards and acclamations, won a deal on Shark Tank, and are continuously striving to shift our broken food system one bug at a time.
However, one question that Laura frequently gets asked has recently been nagging at her:
“So how many bugs do you eat a week?”
As a leader in the industry, her answer of roughly 25-50 crickets per week has always felt inadequate.
Always looking for a challenge, Laura has decided to take it upon herself to see how possible it is to make insects a staple in her diet. Laura wants to know just what will happen when she beefs up all of her meals with bugs. How will her mind, body, and life react to this change? When all of her friends are celebrating the Fourth of July with hot dogs and seven-layer dip, how will they react to her snacking on grubs?
To prepare, Laura went to the doctor to get a physical, get her blood work done, and took a B12 and Iron test so that we could keep track of her health. For the entirety of the 31 days she will also be keeping a journal to check on her mind and feelings, since those are important, too.
Disclaimer: As most people know eating vast quantities of one thing is not necessarily good for you even though there are thousands of varieties of different edible bugs with numerous health benefits. Incorporating bugs into your everyday diet can be an incredibly nutritious way to get protein, vitamins, and essential amino acids. However, an insect-heavy diet may not be right for everyone.
It is also possible that those with a shellfish allergy could be sensitive to insects, since both are arthropods.
We definitely do not recommend that anyone eat nothing but bugs for a week like Laura will. We just really want to see what happens.