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Insects! Why Eat Them?

Updated: Feb 3, 2023

Many people around the world eat insects as part of their daily diet. Pan-Seared Locusts are considered a delicacy, as well as, Bee Larvae which are sought after as a special treat. It is common practice in as many as 13 countries. Most people I’ve encountered, here in the US, think I’m strange because I eat creepy crawlies. I even had a few offers for me to come over for dinner thinking I was too broke to buy groceries.

Most people think of insects as nasty and are a no-no when the topic of eating them comes up. I explain to them that it really isn’t as bad as they think and that even 15 years ago most folks would have thought eating sushi was gross, but look around and every city now has a sushi place and grocery stores sell it in the cold cases. Just like sushi eating BUGS isn’t gross if you take the time to prepare them correctly.

Doesn't adding hot sauce make everything taste better?

There are over 1400 species of edible insects in the world. Here is a short list of ones that are easy to identify.

Nutritional Value per 100 grams.

  • Grasshoppers- Protein (g) 20.6 Fats (g) 6.1 Carbohydrates (g) 3.9 Calcium (mg) 35.2 Iron (mg) 5.0

  • Termites- Protein (g) 14.2 Fats (g) 0 Carbohydrates (g) 0 Calcium (mg) 0.05 Iron (mg) 35.5

  • Weevils- Protein (g) 6.7 Fats (g) 0 Carbohydrates (g) 0 Calcium (mg) 0.186 Iron (mg) 13.1

  • Crickets- Protein (g) 12.9 Fats (g) 5.5 Carbohydrates (g) 5.1 (g) Calcium (mg) 75.8 Iron (mg) 9.5

  • Beetles- Protein (g) 19.8 Fats (g) 8.3 Carbohydrates (g) 2.1 Calcium (mg) 43.5 Iron (mg) 13.6

  • Wood Grubs- Protein (g) 56 Fats (g) 25 Carbohydrates (g) 7 Calcium (mg) 0 Iron (mg) 0

  • Lean Ground Beef- Protein (g) 24 Fats (g) 18.3 Carbohydrates (g) 0 Calcium (mg) 9 Iron (mg) 2.09

The list above shows just a few common insects and their nutritional values as compared to lean ground beef there very close.

Here is also something else that you may find interesting. The US FDA allows a certain amount of bugs or bug parts in the foods we consume daily. If you purchase any food from the grocery store you are consuming bugs.

Insects are easy to procure and are found everywhere. It’s as simple as looking under rotten logs, inside dead trees, under rocks, or just digging into the Earth.

Some can be eaten raw, but I always suggest cooking them to reduce the risk of consuming parasites. As a rule of thumb, avoid insects that are known disease carriers such as ticks, mosquitoes, and flies to name a few. Also avoid insects with eight or more legs, that are brightly colored, or have fine hairs.

So before you try it make sure you know what you're eating with anything that’s not store-bought or the norm have someone with experience show you what to eat and how to prepare it.

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Joshua Barnes

Founder & Director of Operations

Woodsrunner School. LLC

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