SHARYL ATTKISSON: With Halloween around the corner, you'll be hearing a lot about giving kids healthy treats. But if sugar-free gum and granola bars don't grab your little goblins, here's HealthWeek's Andrew Holtz with another suggestion.
ANDREW HOLTZ: Bugs! Creepy... icky... scary... bugs! Only in a horror flick would you find somebody eating the disgusting varmints.
DAVID GORDON: "I hope you're all hungry today. Everybody hungry?"
ANDREW HOLTZ: But wait. In this third grade class, in Port Townsend, Washington, bugs are not only on the lesson plan... They're on the menu!
DAVID GORDON: "The other thing we're going to be cooking with is... Bugs, that's right. Crickets, in fact."
ANDREW HOLTZ: David Gordon's a bit buggy. He's a nature writer whose latest book, "The Eat-A-Bug Cookbook," extols the virtues of insect cuisine with recipes from around the world.
DAVID GORDON: "We're actually kind of the oddballs, because in Africa, and in Asia, and in South America and Australia, there are people that eat bugs." "Mmm, I think you're going to like this."
ANDREW HOLTZ: A sprinkling of dried ants from China atop the cricket orzo.
DAVID GORDON: "What's a picnic without ants, you know?"
ANDREW HOLTZ: And the kids are ready for a taste. "Can you describe the taste?"
GIRL: "Kind of like shrimp."
ANDREW HOLTZ: Learning to cook insects requires a few new culinary skills. Today's specials... grasshopper kabobs and scorpion scallopini.
DAVID GORDON: "Insects are very rich in protein. They are pretty much pure protein, zero fat. When they are dried, they are actually, I think, six times more protein rich than a lot of our conventional meats."
ANDREW HOLTZ: Not only that, but in many countries people believe insects have medicinal properties.
DAVID GORDON: Scorpions, like the ones we've cooked today, are sold dried to ward off a number of ailments. And things like centipedes are supposedly great for curing serious problems like tetanus.
ANDREW HOLTZ: But David says there's no scientific data to back-up those health claims. "Do you just munch them whole?"
DAVID GORDON: "You know, I just go the whole way there."
"Okay, I need another volunteer."
ANDREW HOLTZ: David says bugs will probably never make it big in American cuisine, and that has more to do with cultural habits than nutritional facts. Because for most of us, bugs are still something we'd rather squish than sauté.
SHARYL ATTKISSON: And one word of caution: Don't try eating any bugs you have crawling around your house or the yard. They may contain pesticides. Instead, if you really want to sample some good bugs, Gordon recommends buying them from a pet store or a commercial supplier of food insects. That's all for this edition of HealthWeek. Next time, on a special edition, controversies in children's health. Should your child get a chicken pox shot? Are drugs the only answer for attention deficit disorder? And what's the best way to treat ear infections? Tune in and hear what the experts have to say. Until then, thank you for joining us. I'm Sharyl Attkisson. Be well!
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