Last Call: It’s time for each of us to decide whether we would eat the murder hornet

Illustration for article titled Last Call: It’s time for each of us to decide whether we would eat the murder hornet
Photo: Photography by Shin.T (Getty Images)
Last CallLast CallLast Call is The Takeout’s online watering hole where you can chat, share recipes, and use the comment section as an open thread. Here’s what we’ve been reading/watching/listening around the office today.

Brooklyn Bugs is an awesome organization any way you slice it (or saute it, or deep-fry it, or sprinkle it on top of popcorn). It’s a group of “edible insect ambassadors” whose mission is to “raise appreciation and awareness for edible insects through delicious, educational, and creative programming.” We’ve marveled at their culinary creations before, which are not only beautifully plated, but protein-packed and surprisingly sustainable. Just look at this gorgeous chocolate mousse made from black ants, termites, and grasshoppers, among other things:

Now, of course, there’s a different bug in the news: the notorious “murder hornet” that has arrived in North America from its native Asia, where it is responsible for the deaths of 50 people each year. But just because this bug can be fatal and is large enough to span the palm of your hand doesn’t mean it can’t be turned into a healthy, hearty snack. And so, Brooklyn Bugs has been cooking them up into some fascinating entrees and profiling the creations over on our sister site Lifehacker.

For those wondering whether a venemous murder hornet is safe to eat, the article assures us it is. “The harvesting and processing denatures the venom, so commercial murder hornets are fine to eat raw—however, folks with shellfish allergies will probably be allergic to some edible insects as well,” writes Ryan F. Mandelbaum. You can eat them raw, or, as Chef Joseph Yoon of Brooklyn Bugs has done, wrap them up in some spring rolls or use them to top a bowl of ram-don. Or use them to garnish a glass of sake.


But this is all hypothetical—until it isn’t. You “can” eat them this way, sure, but that doesn’t mean you will. Might the murder hornets become a delicacy here in North America, as they already are in Japan? That’s for each of us to decide. If given the chance (and sufficiently stylish plating), would you eat the murder hornet? I don’t know if this helps, but Chef Yoon likens it to the taste of popcorn without the butter. If you’re not immediately curious, then what circumstances would need to arise for you to consider snacking on this humongous winged bug?

Marnie Shure is editor in chief of The Takeout.

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Dr Emilio Lizardo

I’m of two minds on this. Part of me says “hell no!” but part of me says “fuck no!”