EDIBLE INSECTS: A LIST OF INSECTS YOU CAN EAT

Centipedes being sold in China. Naaaasty.

Centipedes being sold in China. Naaaasty.

Hello Everybody, and welcome to Prepared For That’s 150th post!

In celebration, we will be talking about a subject that is always sexy and popular with the ladies. And that subject is…

Finding insects in the wild that you can eat!

(This is the part where you would usually hear crickets. Unfortunately… we already ate them all.)

Actually, eating insects is common in many parts of the world. In parts of Asia, roasted crickets and centipedes are sold by street vendors. In South America, you may even come across smoked tarantula.

Insects tend to be nutritious meals, high in protein, vitamins and minerals, and low in carbohydrates and fats. For example, 100g of dried caterpillars serves up 430 calories and 53g of protein, and is high in potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and iron.

The protein per calorie ratio is insects tends to be higher than in tradition sources such as meat, eggs and fish, as is the feed to meat ratio (the food you end up getting vs how much you need to feed the source).

While the prospect of this may not get your mouth watering, knowing which insects are edible can be a good survival skill to have.

So let’s get started!

SOME GENERAL RULES OF THUMB

Avoid bright colored insects. Like in other animals, bright colors are a sign that an insect may be poisonous.

Avoid insects that smell or are hairy. These too are signs that an insect may be poisonous.

Avoid insects that sting or bite, as they often contain venom.

Avoid bugs that move around out the open. The more bold an insect it is, the more likely they are to be poisonous.

Finally, avoid bugs that carry diseases- mosquitoes, ticks, flies, etc.

Of course, there are exceptions for every rule, so it’s good to know for sure.

OUR LIST OF EDIBLE INSECTS

Ant on Flower

Ants!

 Ants- honeypot ants, leaf-cutter ants and carpenter ants are all edible.

Bees- Bees taste great roasted. Don’t get stung in the process!

Bee Larvae- saute in butter for a creamy, crunchy taste!

Centipedes- Roasted centipedes are sold on the street in China! I’m not going to lie, that’s sounds freaking disgusting.

Cicad- found in the eastern United States, if you catch them at the right time they are soft and juicy.

Cockroaches- cockroaches can taste good if they are fed the right food and sauteed. I don’t recommend grabbing them from your house or the street, though.

Deep fried crickets in Thailand.

Deep fried crickets in Thailand.

Crickets- fry some crickets and put them on some rice. Melt some cheese on top. Yum! A popular snack in Thailand and Mexico.

Dragonflies- boil them or fry them for a yummy treat!

Earthworms- high in protein and iron. Served in restaurants in Croatia!

 Grasshoppers- high in protein and calcium. Served in Mexico with Chile and lime.

June Bugs- roast them and chomp on them like popcorn!

Pill-Bugs/Potato Bugs- actually descendants of lobsters, and when boiled they similarly turn red.

Silk worms in Korea.

Silk worms in Korea.

Silk Worms- popular in Korea.

Scorpions- fried and skewered and sold on the street in Asia.

Tarantulas- high in protein. Can be roasted, cracked open, and you can eat the meat out of them. Said to have the texture of peanut butter.

Termites- if you’re brave, eat ‘em raw!

Walking Stick- don’t Google image that. Seriously.

Wasps- boil them and serve with rice the way Japanese emperors did.

TIPS TO MAKE THEM TASTE BETTER

Find a way to cook, boil or smoke the insects. They will taste better, and it will help remove any venom, toxins and parasites.

Remove any legs, wings and heads if possible. These parts don’t taste very good, and contain little nutritional value.

If you’re really into this idea, head over here to learn some interesting recipes.

Okay, I’m going to go throw up now.

 

FOR RELATED ARTICLES, CHECK OUT A GUIDE TO HUNTING AND TRAPPING RABBITS AND EDIBLE WILD PLANTS OF NORTH AMERICA.

Good luck and stay prepared!

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Comments

  1. Ok…thank you for sharing this with us. I wonder how much more protein instects have compared to…let’s say..that of a legume? Wonder how many insects you have to eat to feel like your tummy is full? Yes, as a woman…and I’m also guessing men, will be a bit hesitant when it comes to popping a bug into their mouths. If it’s a matter of life and death, you’d probably eat just about anything, including insects.

    • That’s a good question, I’m going to look into it and add that info to the article.

      And yeah, eating bugs is something that is difficult for most people to wrap their head around. But there are places in the world where people do it regularly, so it seems like it’s a cultural thing that can be changed with practice. ie after eating a few bugs, it becomes less gross.

  2. hgfd tfdwf says:

    the advertisements & social media tracker is blocking your article. try to move it where we can read.

  3. swizzle says:

    Do you have a calcium/phosphorus ratio on your bug list, would really be great!

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