Almost every time I mention eating insects somebody goes eek I won’t eat them. Well the first thing I have to tell you is that you eat insects almost everyday. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has an allowable limit on the amounts of insect material that can be in your food. See the following chart.
|Are Bugs A Part of Your Diet?|
|Apple butter||5 insects per 100g|
|Berries||4 larvae per 500g OR 10 whole insects per 500g|
|Ground paprika||75 insect fragments per 25g|
|Chocolate||80 microscopic insect fragments per 100g|
|Canned sweet corn||2 3mm-length larvae, cast skins or fragments|
|Cornmeal||1 insect per 50g|
|Canned mushrooms||20 maggots per 100g|
|Peanut butter||60 fragments per 100g (136 per lb)|
|Tomato paste, pizza, and other sauces||30 eggs per 100g OR 2 maggots per 100g|
|Wheat flour||75 insect fragmnets per 50g|
|Source: The Food Defect Action Levels: Current Levels for Natural or Unavoidable Defects for Human Use that Present No Health Hazard. Department of Health & Human Services 1989.|
Now that I have upset a few people, let’s talk about eating insects. First of all, most insects are safe to eat. However there is a few that are poisonous. I will tell you the same thing I have told you about wild plants, find a book and an expert that covers your area. Where I live I have been able to find a very good book on the survival skills of the California Indians that covers both plants and insects. You can spend a lifetime learning about all the different insect species. There is more information than it is possible to cover in detail in posts. However I can give you some basic information and point you in the right direction.
Insects are very rich in fat and protein. While many insects may be eaten raw, they are best cooked. Ants should be cooked to remove the toxins. With larger insects, remove the wings and legs so the sharp spines on the legs don’t injure your throat, or cause you to choke while swallowing.
Insects can be found under rocks, inside dead logs, in anthills, almost anywhere. Be careful when looking for insects, because snakes, scorpions and other biting or stinging critters like the same places. Avoid any insects that are found in animal carcasses, dung, or trash. They may carry diseases or parasites.
The following is a list of some common insects that can be eaten.
Now that you know a few of the edible bugs, get a good book, an expert and go out into your yard and hunt for dinner.