Natalie Solent

Politics, news, libertarianism, Science Fiction, religion, sewing. You got a problem, bud? I like sewing.

E-mail: nataliesolent-at-aol-dot-com (I assume it's OK to quote senders by name.)

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Jane's Blogosphere: blogtrack for Natalie Solent.


( 'Nother Solent is this blog's good twin. Same words, searchable archives, RSS feed. Provided by a benefactor, to whom thanks.
I also sometimes write for Samizdata and Biased BBC.)

The Old Comrades:

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Wednesday, July 14, 2004
Do all that many Telegraph readers want to eat insects? One of the little mini-adverts on the Sunday Telegraph leader page for 11 July took me to a teachers' resources website selling insect candy and snacks. It says:
One of the highlights of our new bug products is Genuine Farm-Raised Bug Candy. That's right campers... there are real insects in those lollies. Now before you turn up your nose, take a moment to think about teaching the most unforgettable earth science, food science or cultural lessons imaginable! Educational Innovations is very proud to introduce our new line of incredible edibles. Keep reading! All of our insect candy and snacks are hand made with great care, using only completely edible, farm-raised insects (no, we do not catch them ourselves). Try them! If you don't love'em, your students will!
The advert below offered Quality Dried Butterflies.

Somewhere in the house I have a reprint of a Victorian book called "Why Not Eat Insects?". You can read it here.The philanthropic author is persuasive almost to the point of persuasion in urging all classes of society to eat insects:

...I foresee the day when the slug will be as popular in England as its luscious namesake the Trepang, or sea-slug, is in China, and a dish of grasshoppers fried in butter as much relished by the English peasant as a similarly treated dish of locusts is by an Arab or Hottentot. There are many reasons why this is to be hoped for. Firstly, philosophy bids us neglect no wholesome source of food. Secondly, what a pleasant change from the labourer's unvarying meal of bread, lard, and bacon, or bread and lard without bacon, or bread without lard or bacon, would be a good dish of fried cockchafers or grasshoppers. "How the poor live!" Badly, I know; but they neglect wholesome foods, from a foolish prejudice which it should be the task of their betters, by their example, to overcome.
but, rightly in my opinion, draws the line at spiders:
Even Spiders have been relished as tid-bits, not only by uncivilized nations, but by Europeans of cultivation. For Reaumur tells of a young lady who was so fond of spiders that she never saw one without catching and eating it. Lalande, the French astronomer, had similar tastes; and Rosel speaks of a German who was in the habit of spreading spiders, like butter, upon his bread. This taste I do not in any way uphold, for the preying spider, which devours his fellow-insects, whether foul feeders or no, should be avoided, as are carnivorous beasts in our animal diet.