NEW YORK – It's being called the future of food.
Cooking with crickets, worms even roaches just to name a few. Eating insects is nothing new in some parts of the world, and now it's picking up steam in the U.S.
But is it culinary trend or food sustainability?
The squeamish factor aside, eating insects is actually a science. It’s even got a name, “Entomophagy.” Now there’s a web series devoted to it.
“Buggin Out” debuted on YouTube Tuesday night. The show follows the adventures of Brooklyn's Don Peavy a.k.a “CHEFPV.”
"I'm cooking with crickets, millworms, honeyworms. And roaches are the most delicious thing ever!" Peavey said.
In the show, he collects the insects in the wild, prepares them as cuisine and educates viewers about the many benefits of eating bugs.
Peavy has cooked for celebs like Spike Lee, Madonna and President Obama. Now he's changing how we eat food. He explains his path from haute cuisine to insects.
"I'm more of a culinary thought leader trying to get people to think differently," Peavy said.
Peavey wants to transform what we eat and what we think about what we eat.
"Food is political. It's a lifestyle, it's medicine, and it feeds the soul. If we can increase people's appetite for insects, we can decrease the demand for traditional meat," he said.
Peavy has always been ahead of the trends. He was a vegan long before it became hip, he was doing juice cleanses decades ago. He's trained and special diet such as gluten-free and vegan cuisine. His interest in cooking with insects also began a while back. But it goes beyond a trend.
"The message is to open your mind: sustainable, sustainable, sustainable," Peavy said.
As the world population continues to grow, entomophagy is more than a scene out of a reality survival show. Feeding all those mouths has become increasingly difficult. Eating bugs is about food sustainability and a possible solution to global hunger issues.
Peavy wants to educate people and send the message eating insects is normal. It's the food of the future but also the food of old. In fact, 80% of the world population has been ingesting bugs as part of their normal diet.
At his show's launch party Tuesday night in Lower Manhattan, over 100 taste testers were on hand to try: cricket pasta with mealworms bolognese, tempura fried hornworms, insect fondue, cricket sliders, honey worm chocolate chip cookies and chirpchos canapé with cricket filled tortilla chips.
A specialty insect infused cocktail "Hophattan" was served. In the drink, bourbon and "critter bitters."
Taste testers were impressed.
"You could taste a little something," Christian Alcantara said." You could see a little something but it's still pretty good."
"I thought it was great I couldn't tell I was eating bugs at all, it was similar to what you usually taste crunchy salty or sweet," Mary Sophia said.
Peavey is trying to change how people view entomophagy. He says eating bugs shouldn't be a delicacy or a competition in a reality TV competition.
"I don't want people to look at this like a challenge, this is something I want people to see as a viable food source," Peavey said.
Peavey doesn't want people to just eat insects, he wants it to become a part of their routine diet. He says insects are actually high in vitamins and minerals.