Back to
Games Index
Environmental Education Activities

Eating Bugs

Descriptions of how to Experience Insects as Food

James Neill
Last updated:
11 Jun 2004

Eating Bugs

  • Many bugs are edible; however bugs are not normally viewed as food in Western culture.  Yet Non-western and indigenous societies have always eaten bugs.

  • Military survival manuals indicate that insects are an ideal food alternative.  Nutritionists likewise report most bugs are good for your health.

  • And there is arguably no more intimate way of getting to know nature than by handling it with bare hands and even, yes, eating it.

  • Most insects are edible.  Open your mind and then your mouth will open.  Otherwise open your mouth anyway and your mind might open too!

  • Another hint: Catching them is half the fun.

  • Start with some research and start slowly e.g., I roasted  a few cicadas this last semester - they taste like chicken, but they've got lots of crunchy bits.  But now I'd be a lot more confident about catching them and eating them again:

  • Why not eat bugs? Bug eating advice for beginners (survival.com)

  • Insects as food (Entymology, University of Kentucky)

  • How to use insects as food (Rhema)

  • Bay Area Bug Eating Society

  • Zach's Bug-Feasting Page

  • You do not need to eat bugs raw - many are tastier after a light roasting.  As with any food, when it is well prepared and presented, it is often more enjoyable.  e.g., read gourmet cooking ideas for cicadas.

Equipment: Source of bugs, e.g, moths, worms, cicadas, ants, etc.

Time: ~30 mins - 60 mins

Brief description:

There is arguably no more intimate way of getting to know nature than by handling it with bare hands and even, yes, eating it.  Most insects are edible and nutritious.  Opening your mouth can open your mind.

 

Photo: Jenna Jadin, a University of Maryland graduate student in entomology, shows off her homemade batch of chocolate-covered cicadas. Peter J. Casey --The Diamondback