A 47-year-old man has revealed that he is addicted to eating bugs. David Gracer said that he has consumed over 5,000 insect species in the past 11 years.
The married father-of-one from Providence, Rhode Island, told reporters on TLC's My Crazy Obsession that he keeps a constant stock of cockroaches, scorpions and fly pupa in his basement freezer to satisfy his frequent cravings.
On the show, Gracer shows how he uses a net to hunt for his insect treats and how he "painlessly" kills them using a freezing method.
Gracer, who teaches English, acknowledges that his diet is strange to many people.
"I get told that I'm crazy, or sick, or weird, and I mean that's what it is to be in an unpopular position," Gracer said on the show.
However, he compares his diet of creepy crawlers to people eating marine crustaceans, which he points out are also significantly more expensive.
"There is this complete double standard that people have," he said. "Bugs, as long as they're in the ocean - crabs, shrimp and lobster - are just fine to eat and people can spend quite a bit of money for them. But whereas bugs on the land, suddenly it's all ewww."
His wife, Kim Jason, told TLC's My Crazy Obsession that she's worried about her husband's growing obsession.
"David's interest in eating insects just kept getting bigger, bigger and bigger," she explained.
The Gracer family basement contains over 12,000 insects, including 20 different species. On the show, Gracer is seen showing off numerous Ziploc bags and Tupperware boxes containing his precious treats of edible bugs.
Picking up a Tupperware box, Gracer tells viewers that the two enormous scorpions in the container taste "kind of like this weird plastic". Afterwards, he grabs a large Ziploc bag packed with dead grasshoppers and says that they will last for at least a week, but not more than two weeks.
Gracer, who is an entomophagist, or a person who eats insects as food, has been promoting or entomophagy since 2001. He claims that a bowl of grasshoppers has more vitamins than beef, is lower in fat and uses significantly fewer resources to produce.
Gracer has presented lectures on the subject of entomophagy in conferences worldwide and has also landed numerous television appearances.