My son has just discovered a book about a boy who eats fried worms. Ever since then he has been after us to let him eat worms. As parents we would be idiotic to serve him worms. But apart from that there is nothing wrong with eating a worm. People have done it for as long as the world has been spinning and there are still millions of people who eat items like this everyday.
As a kid we all knew that one boy who would eat bugs and other weird things. While you might have been that person, the odds are you simply watched. Be that as it may, there are some seriously edible bugs in your own backyard. While I am not going to be offering a buffet for these items, it is always a good idea to know every possible food source. Consider it a vital survival skill!
There could come a time when all we have to eat are the plants and bugs hiding in our yards. So wouldn’t it be a good idea to know what is safe to eat ahead of time? Here is a quick list of 6 bugs you can safely eat. While I will not promise they are tasty, I can assure you that they will offer some nutrition during a time when you might need it most.
The grasshopper can range in size between 1-3 inches. Some are a little bigger but most fall within this range. They are typically light green as well. Grasshoppers are easy to catch. The best option is to take an old jar, add some small veggies, and just sit it out in the yard around dusk. By dawn your jar should have some grasshoppers in it. Many people still eat these everyday and they are very common in southern Asia. They can be fried, stewed, baked, or even eaten raw. Grasshoppers are a quick bite of protein and they are surprisingly palatable (at least from what I’ve read!).
Ants are typically red or black. The red ants are known as fire ants and they are best avoided. However, you can eat most black ants without worrying about any health risks. Ants are really easy to catch. Sugar water works well or you could just sprinkle around some bread crumbs. When all else fails, just jab a stick in an anthill and after a few moments, pull it out. You will likely have several ants crawling up the stick. Ants can be eaten raw, fried, roasted, or even dipped in chocolate. They are said to have a nutty flavor. The good news is they are tiny so you can swallow them quickly and barely taste anything at all.
- Sow Bugs (Rolly Pollies)
These little bugs are a favorite of kids. They are around ¼ inch long and they will roll up to the size of a bb when they are threatened. When they eat they will stretch out like a worm. Sow bugs live under rotten wood or even under rocks that have been stationary for a long time. These bugs are best toasted. Once they have been toasted you can eat them by the handful.
Obviously you don’t want termites anywhere near your home. However termites are a very nutritious food. Their hills are notoriously large and typically contain millions of termites. The best way to attract a termite is with rotten or decomposing wood. In several portions of the world, termites are sautéed with onions. Other options are toasting them and then coating them with olive oil and your favorite spice.
Crickets are a close ancestor to the grasshopper. Crickets are very well known by their high pitched sound that will keep you awake all night! The sound is actually there back legs rubbing together. Crickets are completely edible, but they are best roasted. Some countries actually consider crickets to be delicacies and even dip them in chocolate!
Maggots are the larvae of flies. They are disgusting. However they are very nutritious. Again, they are eaten all over the world. It is best to attract these boogers with rotten food. The flies will lay eggs and then the maggots will grow from there. Keep in mind that they will take on the flavor of whatever they were eating. If the food source was very smelly you might consider covering these things in hot sauce. Personally, I think I would have to be really close to starvation to ever eat a maggot, but survival experts often teach that they are a life saving food in a pinch.
The idea of eating bugs is disturbing to some people. I understand that. But I also understand that millions of people around the globe eat bugs and they live just fine. If the SHTF and you have no food, then bugs will be all you have to choose from. At least now you know some of your options!
Have you ever tried eating insects?