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Friday, September 25, 2020

Are Edible Insects a Real Thing?

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When it comes to listing the foods we love, it is rare to give bugs a spot on the list, but things are about to take a different turn. For thousands of years, people around the world have fed on insects. Evidence of entomophagy can be found in various historical and religious literature.

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In Christianity, the Bible recorded John the Baptist feeding on locusts and grasshoppers. While for some of us, the thought of putting a bug in our mouth could be irritating, for others, it is a feast that brings happiness and adventure as they get to hunt for these insects themselves.

But Why Should I eat Insects?

Well, for those of you who find bugs cute and usually have the urge to keep them as pets or just set them free, this post might make you see them as food at the end. So if you don’t want to see them as food, oh well, you know what to do. For those of you who want to try something new, you have found the perfect post.

I usually find insects annoying and want to either hit them with a broom or spray some insecticides on them and sometimes, I just ignore them, but it’s usually a tough decision to make.

I right now I’m thinking, If I had known that insects were edible two years ago, maybe I’d have found them more attractive than annoying. Now that I have seen a list of dishes that look great with bugs in them, I have a change of diet plan.

So back to the question of why you should munch on bugs; because they are right for you and it’s an excellent way to reduce them around the house than spraying insecticides! ( just kidding). Insects have some tremendous nutritional values you won’t believe.

But you do know that you can’t eat every type of insect right? There are good ones, and the ones you should never think of eating. Here is a list of edible insects.


When I see ants, I think of soldiers or the ancient Egyptian kingdom as portrayed in movies. These creatures are reliable, organised, and super intelligent. But, some of them sting hard(Especially those big black ones) and that, I can’t deal with.

Asides Ants being beautiful creatures that you can learn a virtue or two from, they are very crunchy and yummy. Some people say that the green ones have a unique citrus taste that mimics the taste of lemon and all ants are rich in protein.

The next time you have ants swimming in your cup of coffee, smile and gulp it all down because they are harmless. If you want to eat them raw, that’s fine but, if you do not want to risk having ant bites in your mouth or ingesting the bacteria on their bodies, give them fry or boil them a little before you munch. Want them a little spicy? It’s OK to add some pepper, salt, and onions while cooking the ants, or sprinkle some on the ones you prepared without spice.

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You can get canned ants from a mall or hunt for them dipping a stick into an ant hill or hole around you. Once they crowed the bat, drop the stick into a bowl of water. Repeat the process until you have as much as you want.

Grasshoppers and Crickets
Grasshoppers and Crickets
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Grasshoppers and Crickets have been on the menu longer than other insects. The beautiful part is children enjoy playing with grasshoppers whenever they see them because they look friendlier than spiders and other bugs. Crickets, on the other hand, can frustrate ones attempts to sleep with the loud sounds they make.

Now imagine how much more fun you and your kids can have cooked all the naughty little grasshoppers causing a nuisance in your garden and the noisy crickets. It’ll be some tasty vengeance, wouldn’t it?  Grasshoppers and crickets are very proteinous, they have a slightly nutty taste and are great to snack on when you are bored.

To catch grasshoppers easily, Target their idle period which is the early hours of the morning. They hop slower in those early hours, so you do not have to stress too much to catch them.

Crickets love to hide in dark places, under heavy objects and sometimes under tall grasses on holes under trees. Grasshoppers and Crickets carry nematodes, so it is advisable to cook them rather than eat them raw.

Earth Worms

Hold on a minute! But you said insects. I know! But it doesn’t hurt to give this real-life spaghetti a spot under the spotlight. Earthworms are “wormy”, and a capital NO for most of us, but this gently little farmer friends are worth space on your dinner table.

Earthworms can be eaten raw and cooked, and they ate an excellent source of protein depending on what you want. But, it is safer to prepare worms because they carry germs just like other tiny creatures.  Asides that, the thought of chewing on a live worm could make your stomach churn!


The next time you visit China, try one of these, and you will be glad you did. Scorpions are dangerous because of their venomous tails, but once they are dead and properly cooked, they are an excellent option to replace crabs when you can’t get them.

The chances of anyone wanting to go hunt for scorpions to eat is meagre, but if you feel like you want to try out something different and risky, you can set a trap around a scorpions den.

Never eat a scorpion raw and never kill one with bare hands. Make sure to cut off the first two or three rings in its tail, so you do not get harmed by its venom.

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There are different species of larvae or grubs, and they are eaten in different parts of the world. In south-southern Nigeria, these insects are a delicacy many travellers like to enjoy. You can find grubs mostly in dead trees and rotten logs.

Maggots are not to be eaten raw even though that too is possible. They are also rich in protein and oil so you can add them to your sauce, rice, or just fry them and add some ketchup.

Bon Appetite!

Edible Insects
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Disclaimer: This article is purely informative & educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

Emmanuella Ekokotu
Ekokotu Emmanuella is a sociologist and Anthropologist, writer, and fashion model who lives in Benin city, Edo state,Nigeria.
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