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Bugs: It's What's for Dinner

Case Western Reserve University science historian Alan Rocke, PhD, specializes in weird food—teaching about it, not eating it. He says he sticks to good ol' American fare, like cheese—though many in China may think that's repulsive.


Across the globe, there's a tremendous variety in culinary preferences and definitions of what foods are considered normal, Rocke says.

Take insects, for example. In temperate regions, such as the United States, bugs are often considered dirty and grotesque. However, in tropical regions like Thailand and Kenya—where giant spiders and scorpions abound-insects are a delicacy.

"It's kind of mysterious why we, as Americans, love shrimp, lobster and crawfish, which are all arthropods, yet we despise other arthropods, like giant spiders," Rocke says.

Rocke predicts globalization will have an impact on Americans' food choices. And some day, he says, maybe we'll overcome our aversion to insects—after all, they're chock full of protein and are eco-friendly to boot.

What's the strangest food you've ever tried? Tell us about in the Comments section below.

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