You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

Coming to a Frying Pan Near You: Worm, Fly and Grasshopper Cooking Oils Jiminy Cricket, that's nasty. Or is it?

By Kim Lachance Shandrow

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If the thought of crunching into a grasshopper kabob bugs you out, imagine eating an egg fried in grasshopper oil. Some extreme eaters already have and, if the iron-stomached entrepreneurs behind the growing entomophagy movement have their way, you might one day, too. Maybe sooner than you think.

We kid you not. Oils made from insects -- flies, crickets and mealworms included -- are shaping up to be the next frontier in alternative cooking oils. Researchers at Wageningen University in the Netherlands recently analyzed oils from the aforementioned creepy-crawlies and, per their findings, they have more than a hunch that oil from crickets is likely the most consumer-friendly option in the bunch.

Related: An April Fool's Day Prank Led This Burger Chain to Start Selling Milkshakes Made With Crickets

After all, millions of people the world over already snack on roasted crickets like peanuts or popcorn. On American soil, gusty gastronomers are starting to suck the chirpy critters down in smoothies and in protein bars, too. Just ask our very own cricket-eater, Kate Taylor. (In case you're wondering, she says crickets, like tofu, mostly take on the flavor of what they're cooked with and, when eaten whole, they're just as crunchy as you'd expect.)

All gagging aside, the researchers say cooking oils from bugs are packed with energy and essential fatty acids and are a rich source of healthy proteins, minerals and vitamins. Nutritionally speaking, they're somewhat of a middle road between animal and vegetable oils. They're also inexpensive and relatively eco-friendly to produce, making them an ideal vehicle for combatting malnutrition and "mitigating the livestock crisis," researchers noted. Bravo. Who cares if they're not cholestrol-free?

To turn the bugs into edible oils, researchers freeze-dried them in liquid nitrogen and ground them into a fine powder in a blender. Then, using some Iron Chef-worthy techniques, they extricated lipids (fats) from the bug dust. Appetizing, right? Then they chewed the fat, literally, sussing out each oil's physical properties and scent and taste profiles.

Related: How Food Makers Are Convincing America to Eat Bugs

Not surprisingly, cockroach oil was the most putrid in the lot, with lead researcher Dr. Daylan Tzompa-Sosa noting that it smelled "especially disgusting," reeking "something like vomit," Food Navigator USA reports. The oil's funk was so rank, she says, that it could never be fit for human consumption. It might work, however, as an ingredient in paints and industrial lubricants. Dang cockroaches, man. Winning since prehistoric times.

The insect oils that scored the best in lab tests came from grasshoppers and soldier flies. They give off a "fruity, pleasant" bouquet, also per Food Navigator USA. Fine, we'll give grasshoppers a pass, but only because they're cute and kids dig them. Flies, though? No. Just no.

What about you? Would you sauté veggies in grasshopper grease?

Related: Would You Eat Burger King's Black Cheeseburger?

Kim Lachance Shandrow

Former West Coast Editor

Kim Lachance Shandrow is the former West Coast editor at Previously, she was a commerce columnist at Los Angeles CityBeat, a news producer at MSNBC and KNBC in Los Angeles and a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times. She has also written for Government Technology magazine, LA Yoga magazine, the Lowell Sun newspaper,, and the former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Coop. Follow her on Twitter at @Lashandrow. You can also follow her on Facebook here

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business News

James Clear Explains Why the 'Two Minute Rule' Is the Key to Long-Term Habit Building

The hardest step is usually the first one, he says. So make it short.


Get Your Business a One-Year Sam's Club Membership for Just $14

Shop for office essentials, lunch for the team, appliances, electronics, and more.

Business News

Microsoft's New AI Can Make Photographs Sing and Talk — and It Already Has the Mona Lisa Lip-Syncing

The VASA-1 AI model was not trained on the Mona Lisa but could animate it anyway.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

Some Costco Stores Are Now Selling a Frozen Item That Looks Just Like a Trader Joe's Fan Favorite

The Frozen Kimbap is a Trader Joe's cult favorite, and now a version can be found at Costco, too.