Did you all know that those delectable crustaceans we commonly eat: crabs, lobters, shrimp, crawfish, etc. are close cousins of spiders? :eek: Ever noticed the hairiness on the underside of a dungeness crab is like that of the tarantula? Even shaped like our hairy friend the tarantula. :confused:
When I was in Shanghai and its surrounding region two years ago, I was presented with a shellfish that looked like a cross between a crawfish and shrimp from the top. When you turned it over, it looked like a lobsters from the bottom. It had two rows of tiny legs all the way down its tail until you got to the last set. The last pair of legs all of a sudden get long and bend exactly like that of a brown cockroach. I still shiver at the memory of it.
I think I saw a similar documentary a few years ago about diets around the world that include insects, bugs and spiders. In the nutritional breakdown insects, bugs and spiders offered precious protein in places in the world where large mammals (cows, camels, sheep) could not be slaughtered and eaten. How could you slaughter a water buffalo that provides milk and plows your fields? The narrator also said that western cultures (European and Northern American) are the last holdout to the bounty of bugs, grubs, insects and spiders, which actually makes no sense considering that eating cows that consume a large amount of resources is so costly and environmentally destructive and less healthy.
But of course, having grown up in a western culture, I can't seem to bring myself to eat a bug but will gladly scarf down a dozen blue crabs. And I'll duly get grossed out when I see that documentary again. But the conservationist in me will think twice about buying a steak this week. I guess I'll eat all my vegetables.