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Edible: An Adventure into the World of Eating Insects and the Last Great Hope to Save the Planet

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  271 Ratings  ·  70 Reviews
Insects. They’re what’s for dinner. Can you imagine a world in which that simple statement is not only true but in fact an unremarkable part of daily life? Daniella Martin, entomophagist and blogger, can.

In this rollicking excursion into the world of edible insects, Martin takes us to the front lines of the next big trend in the global food movement and shows us how insect
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published February 11th 2014 by New Harvest (first published February 4th 2014)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Rebecca Foster
Yes, that’s right: this is a book about eating insects (entomophagy, if we’re being fancy). And not only does it carry a very important message to a world in food crisis, it’s also a delightful read. Like my very favorite nonfiction (such as Donovan Hohn’s Moby-Duck, for instance), it combines many different genres: history, travel, nature, food, and environmental politics, plus a little bit of memoir thrown in – all delivered with a lighthearted, self-deprecating touch.

So, why eat bugs (plus be
Jan 16, 2016 David rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-cooking
Some notes from an outsider who has lived in the Asian bug-eating zone for quite some time and has made peace with it:

– On page 177, Martin says that the food the Thai call kai mot daeng (transliterated in the inadequate Wikipedia entry as “khai mot daeng”) is the larvae of ants. Thai people told me they are the eggs of ants. The inadequate Wikipedia entry says they are the eggs and pupae of ants. (This led me to realize that I did not know the difference between pupae and larvae. That's a digre
Feb 22, 2014 Sophie rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I haven’t had this much fun reading non-fiction… EVER. Edible is funny and engaging, and I would totally credit my first bug-eating experience to this book if I hadn’t already eaten that chocolate-covered bug in my college psychology class (mmmm!). Martin’s informal style and witty humor is a much welcomed addition to the non-fiction world, and I’m positive that I would have had the same amount of fun if she’d written about quantum physics or contemporary art (or any other subject that I normall ...more
Michael Ronn
Jul 27, 2015 Michael Ronn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Non-fiction at its finest

I enjoyed this book. It reminded me of Michael Pollan's books, which I love. The author makes a compelling case for eating insects, and she definitely changed my perceptions. But what I loved most was her writing style. It's just beautiful, and I don't say that about much nonfiction. Not only does she make a compelling case, she does it in such a writerly way that's worth reading in and of itself. My only suggestion was that the chapters seemed to lose focus at times, ju
Nancy O
Jun 11, 2016 Nancy O rated it it was amazing
This is an absorbing, enlightening, and entertaining look into the world of entomophagy. I'm ready to try cricket-based protein bars and fried mealworms. The book was written by an extremely knowledgeable anthropologist whose foray into eating bugs occurred when she was a grad student in Mexico. The world is starving; bugs are plentiful and make up earth's largest biomass, and are much easier to farm than livestock. I'm headed to Petco tomorrow for some mealworms.
Atila Iamarino
Jan 03, 2016 Atila Iamarino rated it it was ok
Shelves: animais, comida
O tema é muito legal, curti a ideia de que comer insetos é uma das soluções pro impacto que estamos causando. Fiquei curioso para experimentar, recomendo para quem se interessa também. Até aí o livro é excelente. Mas é um argumento que se desenrola muito mais rapidamente do que um livro demanda. O resultado são páginas e páginas descrevendo como são os insetos que ela comeu e onde. Também deu uma escorregada nas explicações científicas de alguns conceitos.
Jul 22, 2014 Amber rated it it was amazing
It was a surprisingly fun read. I want to eat! I appreciate and enjoy the pandora station she recommended in a side note.
Jan 31, 2016 Peta rated it really liked it
A quick entertaining read. I like that it included a section on how to grow your own and a few recipes.
Science For The People
Featured on Science for the People show #284 on September 26, 2014, during an interview with author Daniella Martin.
Lots of convincing and inspiring stories that we should consider eating bugs as a nutritional, delicious, economical, and green alternative to meat. I'd eat bugs.
Nov 18, 2016 Becky rated it it was amazing
My only problem with this book was that it ended. I actually think that I could have spent another ten or 20 hours listening to the author travel around the world and try bugs, describe the way in which cultures eat/view them, and the way they are being sustainably raised. There were so many times that I wish she had gone more in depth, but if she had, it might have started to get too pedantic. Overall, I just loved it, she writes and narrates with enthusiasm and comes off as very genuine.

So am
Karen Germain
Sep 11, 2014 Karen Germain rated it really liked it
Can bugs be the answer to our growing food supply and environmental problems? In her book, Edible, Daniella Martin makes a compelling case for the need to ease the western world into the idea of consuming insects as an alternative to meat.

What I really enjoyed about Martin's book, was the plethora of factoids. My reading was constantly interrupted, as I had to share little tid-bits with my husband. For example, did you know that Japan has the world's biggest, deadliest species of Hornet and that
Alana Voth
Sep 17, 2014 Alana Voth rated it it was amazing
Daniella Martin's Edible is a fun, informative, and inspiring read that chronicles Martin's travels across the globe as she encounters a host of fascinating people doing innovative things, like eating insects. Martin is an adventurous soul who believes in and practices entomophagy. Her passion and enthusiasm are contagious. Likewise, Martin's arguments for entomophagy are hard to ignore. As Martin points out, we'll have to change how we eat soon, whether we like it or not, because our planet ...more
Feb 04, 2014 Alli rated it it was amazing
Edible is a really interesting look at entomophagy. Daniella Martin begins by explaining why insects should be a normal part of the human diet from both a nutritional and ecological standpoint. She provides a sound, logical argument for the consumption of insects.

This is the hard part to wrap your brain around, even for someone who doesn't mind insects or see them as creatures to be wiped out. I was interested to read Edible because my son, who is now ten, has been fascinated by insects for the
Mar 23, 2014 Dean rated it really liked it
Shelves: food, travel
Right from the get-go, Daniella Martin makes a convincing case on the current unsustainable state of feeding the world (particularly in regard to protein) and how utilizing insects as a mass food source is a healthy and reasonable option once the Western populace can overcome the obvious 'ick' factor. Over the course of 9 chapters Martin provides compelling argument on several fronts:

1) We're already consuming insects on a regular basis (eg - FDA regulations that allows food manufacturers to inc
Jim Kahn
Jun 24, 2014 Jim Kahn rated it it was amazing
"Entomophagy" may sound like something scary, but the act of eating insects has been common throughout human history and is still common practice in many parts of the world that have been minimally effected by Western culture. This is very unfortunate because not only are insects the fastest, cheapest, and most environmentally friendly way to grow protein, there is also nothing inherently 'icky' about the practice.

The author relates the history of human (and our ape predecessor) entomophagy and
May 30, 2016 Camilla rated it it was ok
I have to admit: I didn't love this book. It was okay. The subject is even wildly compelling for me. So, it means something that I struggled to get through this. Well, I struggled through the first 100 pages or so. And, considering that the story itself is only about 160 pages...well, you can do the math. I definitely didn't love this book.

She starts off as too much of a treatise and less of a narrative. For pages and pages she details the FCR (food conversion ratio) of cows to beef, pigs to por
Aug 20, 2015 Melissa rated it it was amazing
Part travel guide, part foodie adventure, part environmental pamphlet, "Edible" was a fascinating, funny, and very persuasive book on the how and why of insect eating. I've eaten a bug before (white chocolate covered mealworm - tasted like crunchy chocolate), so it didn't take much to convince me that eating bugs is, and should be, the way of the future. Environmentally, nutritionally, sustainably, gustatorily... It all just makes sense.

Now, I'm not going to start cricket farming in my basement
Doug Fischer
Apr 29, 2014 Doug Fischer rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
A truly informative and delectable book! A educationally remunerative endeavor that has evinced the advantages and benefits of eating bugs - on the level of an individual and bug consumption's salubrious effects, in addition to the worldwide impact. "Edible" conflates world hunger problems, agricultural drawbacks and limitations, dieting/nutritional issues, and pollution and environment woes to deliver an engaging, well-researched book with a vehement conviction. For me Martin, with the help of ...more
May 13, 2014 Laura rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this book. The writer is engaging and opened the doors to additional reading on this subject. The read is fun and never boring. Eating insects worldwide (which we all do now in some form due to the FDA guidelines)in the near future could be the answer that will feed and add to our current food supply. When living in areas of the world where the food supply is lacking in nutritional values insects can certainly add to the table. Food is food and its only our discomfort with insects (we so ...more
Feb 15, 2015 Marsha rated it really liked it
This book gives a very interesting prospective on why eating bugs can actually be good for the individual and good for the environment. As population grows, sustaining food sources may decline and so looking at bugs as an edible food source will become more realistic. Already there places in the world - even in the United States - that serve bugs for food. The author states that it is the food presentation that might make the bugs be more appealing. The author has traveled all over the world and ...more
Jun 29, 2014 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Fascinating subject, written with a really engaging and realistic approach. The author makes a great case for why insects can and should become a more primary source of protein in the human diet, but without being all preachy and holier-than-thou about it. She's not advocating for insects because she's against meat "with a face"...she enjoys meat, treats vegetarians/vegans with respect and offers up some psychological reasoning for why more of us AREN'T eating insects, all while making some ...more
Mar 02, 2014 Peggy rated it it was amazing
In this book, the author persuasively articulated the benefits of adding insects to our diet. I found that the topic was meticulously researched and clearly presented from every angle. The author incorporated creative and entertaining citations. A very effective use of a Table in the book provided the nutritional breakdown of many different insects, beef, chicken, and fish for comparison and contrast. I received this book free through Goodreads First Reads and I am glad I had this opportunity to ...more
Sep 12, 2016 Vicki rated it it was amazing
Edible, by Daniella Martin, is a fabulous read for anyone interested in nature or sustainable living. Martin takes what might initially be a squeamish topic for some-- eating insects -- and transforms it into a an engaging tale of how the widespread adoption of this food source can be better for our health and the well-being of a planet stretched to the limits of its resources. Of course, as Martin argues, eating insects is not new or particularly noteworthy in many non-Western cultures. To her ...more
Mar 22, 2015 Tori rated it really liked it
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. Especially for those wary of eating insects, Edible is a great introduction to the concept. Martin’s style of writing is witty and conversational, and she includes enough numbers to to prove all her points but not so many to make you dizzy. With books like this that try to be both an introduction and a case for a certain diet or way of life, (such as In Defense of Food), shorter is always better. And if you are so moved by her case to start eating bugs, ...more
Aug 11, 2014 Daniel rated it really liked it
This was another great find on the library's new book shelf. Daniella Martin takes us on a delightful trek from Mexico's chapalin colorado (red grasshopper)to the bug eating clubs of Japan. There is even a section on how to raise your own crickets, meal worms,and wax worm grubs (yum). I prefer non-fiction to fiction and this type of book is my meat and potatoes, or in this case, meal worm taco. The only fault I can find in this book is that Daniella is no Mary Roach who has spoiled all of us ...more
May 11, 2014 Ang rated it really liked it
Fascinating! And a super quick read. I'm definitely interested in possibly adding a small amount of insects to my diet--I just have to overcome the ick factor that we all seem to have now (as opposed to once upon a time when most humans probably ate bugs). This book definitely gives you resources for eating bugs, whether it be ordering snacks from purveyors (Don Bugito, Chapul) or cooking them in your home. There's even a section with recipes! Anyway, this should be required reading. I think ...more
Kevin Post
Dec 18, 2015 Kevin Post rated it it was amazing
Excellent read. I finished it in one sitting. I've read numerous books on a variety of dietary habits (i.e. veganism, paleo, Mediterranian, etc) and no other book on dietary ideals is more convincing than Martin's work. It will change the way we think about food security and the environmental impact of agriculture and the meat industry. I had several epiphanies.

Who this book is for:
For those looking for a solution to the numerous problems we face globally in a taseful (delicious) manner.
Anyone w
Jun 01, 2014 Megan rated it it was amazing
I usually don't read nonfiction. I made an exception after getting this one on my phone's kindle app.

The author presents a convincing argument for eating "bugs" (insects and arachnids) in this well-written book. She shares her own stories about getting into entophagy, some hard-to-swallow facts about the current meat industry, and a rebuttal for veganism. Martin's stories take the reader around the world, looking at old traditional ways to cook bugs and newer, contemporary dishes. Bonus for tho
Jun 20, 2014 Joan rated it it was amazing
I've never even thought about eating insects, but this author makes a good case for doing so. I never imagined that there was a whole world where people care so much about eating bugs!!

I liked her case. I never thought bugs could be so enjoyable to eat, but when she talked about cooking them and how they didn't even look like bugs, I thought, well, maybe under the right circumstances I could eat them! I kind of wondered how to cook them in the right way, but she gives recipes.

I liked reading a
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DANIELLA MARTIN is a certified entomophagist, or bug-eating expert. She has been featured in the Huffington Post, The New Yorker, the Wall Streeet Journal, SF Weekly, and AOL News.
More about Daniella Martin...

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“So where does one begin if one wants to eat something as unusual and traditionally reviled as bugs?” 1 likes
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