Why Not Eat Insects?

In 1885 Vincent M. Holt published a small pamphlet, in which he explained his theory of "entomophagy" (the eating of insects as a food source).

This little book is still in print and read mainly I feel for its eccentricities. So, it is a great pleasure to bring it into the digital age with this site.

Holt argued that the nutritional content of insects could help the dietary inadequacies of the "working man". He also cited that many cultures incorporate insects in their diet, and questioned peoples squeamishness on the subject.

Sadly for him the Victorian's didn't agree so "slug soup" and "wireworm sauce" have not made inroads into the national cuisine. But this is still an interesting read. In particular I would point you to the menus he produced.

As Holt himself writes ..."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."

Mark Warner - 2007


In entering upon this work I am fully conscious of the difficulty of battling against a long-existing and deep-rooted public prejudice. I only ask of my readers a fair hearing, an impartial consideration of my arguments, and an unbiassed judgment. If these be granted, I feel sure that many will be persuaded to make practical proof of the expediency of using insects as food. There are insects and insects. My insects are all vegetable feeders, clean, palatable, wholesome, and decidedly more particular in their feeding than ourselves. While I am confident that they will never condescend to eat us, I am equally confident that, on finding out how good they are, we shall some day right gladly cook and eat them.