Social Question

jfos's avatar

Do you eat bugs?

Asked by jfos (7352 points ) September 1st, 2009

I’ve heard from multiple sources over the course of my life that most insects/bugs are rather nutritious, as they are high in protein. They’re also free.

I’m wondering if anybody actually seeks bugs to eat. Or if anyone happens to stumble upon a bug somewhere, if would they be inclined to stop for a quick lunch.

I wouldn’t be against doing this, but I’ve never done it before.

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57 Answers

sakura's avatar

Not intentionally but I’ve eaten the odd fly when cycling :) Not very tasty, and I don’t remember getting an energy boost from it either!

teh_kvlt_liberal's avatar

I’m not Andrew Zimmern
But I would if I had to

ubersiren's avatar

Not on purpose. There are more visually (and tasty) appealing ways to eat protein.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Don’t be that person.

bhec10's avatar

The only insects I eat are french flies!

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

had chocolate covered ants, wasps, spiders, and scorpions before, they actually weren’t bad, very bland and vanilla, and it takes a bit to get over the look and the crunch

syz's avatar

Only here, for the most part.

Oh, and termites in Belize.

sandystrachan's avatar

At night while i am asleep , we all eat bugs then .
I would easily eat bugs as food if supplied , wanna supply some ?

Facade's avatar

No, I don’t eat bugs.

jfos's avatar

@sandystrachan Go outside there’s a vast supply. Unless you live in the tundra.

ragingloli's avatar

I have eaten a little spider once.
She was on my ice cream, and I was like, why bother removing the spider, too much effort. So I ate her together with the ice cream.

Piper_Brianmind's avatar

Worms. Delicious and nutritious. They wiggle around in your mouth like spaghetti with bad mojo. You can get a big bucket of em at fishing stores. It’s even better if you eat them in public. Throw em on a nice cheese pizza, share with your friends. K I’m grossing myself out. Just eat shrimp, the bugs of the sea! Seriously, don’t be that person.

casheroo's avatar

Not intentionally. And I like to pretend I don’t accidently eat them any other time.

Trance24's avatar

@ragingloli YOU MONSTER! =[ Poor little spider…lol

I have a feeling if I had the change I would try something like chocolate covered ants. I mean really they can’t taste like much they are so tiny, and covered in chocolate. Anything else I am not really sure, but maybe. It is also a touchy situation for me, since I am a vegetarian.

syz's avatar

Drat! I’ve been trying to find the government guidelines for acceptable levels of bug parts in processed food, but no luck yet.

We all eat bugs.

sandystrachan's avatar

@jfos I wouldn’t eat bugs from outside , god knows what has been sprayed on them . Chances are someone somewhere has sprayed insecticide.

casheroo's avatar

@syz Ugh, I’ve seen that site (I can’t find it either) sooo gross! I think it was rasberries and blueberries that I never wanted to eat again.
edit: is it this link? http://www.fda.gov/food/guidancecomplianceregulatoryinformation/guidancedocuments/sanitation/ucm056174.htm

Yetanotheruser's avatar

I have had chocolate covered ants before (not a favorite), the occasional bug when cycling or otherwise going into the wind with my face unprotected, as well as the various insect parts allowed in processed foods.

I have watched Andrew Zimmern, and if I found myself in a survival situation I would have no problem eating various bugs.

One of my favorites: Mudbugs, a nickname for crawfish.

jfos's avatar

N.B.: I’m not gonna “be that person”. I’m just curious and I’m positive that there must be at least someone on here who eats bugs.

Jeruba's avatar

Show me a tutorial on how I can wash them and cook them (and maybe de-leg them) and I’ll consider it.

In a survival situation I would probably do a lot of things I don’t contemplate now because I don’t have to.

My son’s science teacher in junior high gave extra credit at the beginning of each year to a student who would volunteer to eat a bug.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

There was an old lady who swallowed a fly…

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

In a survival situation, I would if I had to. As for now, nope. I’ve been asked several times by people if I’d ever tried eating my Hissers, but there ain’t no way. Roaches have a tendency to store excess urine in their body fat. Eating a cockroach, even the friendly Madagascar Hissing kind, is well, gross. Who wants to see what bug piss tastes like? Even if offered a million dollars, I think I’d have to pass. Besides, I’ve named them, how do you eat a pet with a name?

Not me, that’s for damn sure.

I don’t eat bugs, but I do keep them as pets.

MissAusten's avatar

I’ve never intentionally eaten an insect, and hope to never be in a situation where I’d consider it. Even covered in chocolate, it just doesn’t sound the least bit appealing.

My son has a bug book that talks about what bugs are eaten in certain parts of the world. The book claims that up to 80% of the world’s population eat insects every day. For example, in Thailand you can buy fried insects by the bag. The book shows pictures of grasshopper kebobs, cheese-flavored mealworm chips, and barbecued pupae. For the past 2000 years, people in China have eaten dead, fungus-infected caterpillars.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try this:
Crispy Mealworm Stir-Fry
Serves 2
2 handfuls of mealworms
1 onion, diced
1 red chili, medium strenght, finely sliced
1 tbsp sesame oil
dash of tamari
Heat a little oil in a hot wok. Add the onion, chili, sesame oil, and tamari. After one minute, add the mealworm grubs. Fry a further two minutes, then serve with Chinese greens and boiled rice. Chef’s tip: Always prepare the larvae by leaving in a container in the freezer for 48 hours. Rinse under cold water before cooking.

@Jeruba I also have a recipe for Bee Grubs in Coconut Cream if you’re interested!

Also, if you google “insect candy,” you can find websites that sell chocolate covered bugs, or lollipops with grasshoppers or scorpions in them. Someone gave my son a grasshopper lollipop for Christmas. He started to eat it, but before he got to the bug (which I’m not sure he would have eaten), he put the lollipop down and it disappeared. I suspect my mother-in-law, who was horrified by the lollipop, secretly disposed of it.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

Here’s a link to some bug recipes.

Jeruba's avatar

Nice find, @Yetanotheruser, and an excellent reality check for those of us who fancy ourselves truly open-minded.

Yup, gag reflex is still in good working order. Thanks for the functionality test.

Darwin's avatar

I haven’t knowingly eaten bugs but I have watched my father eat lightly roasted Rhinoceros Beetle larvae offered to us when we were invited to dine with a Huaica family in the jungles of Southern Venezuela. He said they were crunchy on the outside and sweet and creamy on the inside.

OTOH, my sister was a translator and editor for a Mexican cookbook full of recipes for bugs. Apparently the Aztecs went in for bugs in a big way. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the title, and it is difficult to purchase insects for eating in most markets.

Also, I understand that a holiday is declared in Korea when the grasshoppers come to town, so everyone can gather up a bunch to roast and eat.

LucG's avatar

Ate a few fried crickets once. Was actually quite good, but not something I’d do on a regular basis. Culture, I suppose.

In parts of Mexico it’s commonplace. In Oaxaca they were offering them with a beer, like chips. And I saw them as a first course option in one of the better restaurants.

cheebdragon's avatar

Only in my sleep.

dpworkin's avatar

I’ve tried them. They are not terribly objectionable, and they are said to be quite nutricious, but I didn’t enjoy the experience enough to want to go out of my way (say, to Thailand) to repeat it.

YARNLADY's avatar

squeamish don’t read this I once cooked my malt o meal even though it had bugs in it, because I decided they were safe to eat, after being boiled.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

Everyone who eats packaged foods eats at least parts of bugs. They don’t taste so bad.

noodle_poodle's avatar

no not on purpose tho apparently people often eat spiders in their sleep….word can not describe how much that upsets me

Jeruba's avatar

Better to eat than to be eaten.

YARNLADY's avatar

@noodle_poodle According to most internet references about eating spiders in our sleep, that is a myth. However, there are other unpleasant, microscopic things that feed off of us, and that alone is enough to make me squirm.

gailcalled's avatar

See Chocolat, the movie made about the last days of French West African Colonialism in Camaroon during the early 1950’s. A young white girl has a black man as her servant or house boy. They hang around together a lot.

In one scene, ”...he offers her an ant sandwich – large live black ants embedded between two slices of buttered bread -it’s both a dare and a gift. Neither of them laughs as she solemnly eats it.”

Jeruba's avatar

Then, of course, there’s casu marzu.

“Because the larvae in the cheese can launch themselves for distances up to 15 centimetres (6 in) when disturbed, diners hold their hands above the sandwich to prevent the maggots from leaping into their eyes.”

MissAusten's avatar

@Jeruba Yep, my gag reflex is in good working order as well. Bleah!

gailcalled's avatar

For open link to 1988 Chocolat

Click on “external reviews to learn more. My link ^^ was the NYT review. I am registered (free)>

noodle_poodle's avatar

lol what the hell i would so never eat anything that might leap into my eyes if held wrongly

noodle_poodle's avatar

actually wait i take that back oranges do that all the time…its like they aim or something

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@noodle_poodle and @YARNLADY did you know there are creatures that live on your eyelashes? And if they didn’t live there, you’d have even more problems with your eyes and eyelashes than you do now?

There are also tiny mites that live in our skin, and when you feel that sharp stinging pain in your foot, and yet you can’t find anything there, it’s one of those mites digging a little deeper and hitting a nerve. My wife and I have a name for those things, we call them “Damned skin bugs”.

Our bodies our host to a myriad of creatures too small to see, and without them, we would have a harder time survivng. I read this book a long time ago, and it has some fascinating tales of the creatures that call our bodies home.

noodle_poodle's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra thats interesting….have read that before somewhere i think and was mildly nauseated but its just like germs its hard to be grossed out if you cant see feel or hear them…things i cant sense in some way dont freak me out ..spiders on the other hand

YARNLADY's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra—yes, I saw the pictures when I was looking up information about spiders. I have actually tried to “get over” my fear of them, but so far I have only managed to bring it down to a slightly more manageable level.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra Interesting to know that each one of us is our own little ecosphere.

irocktheworld's avatar

Hell No! I freak out alot and I would die! :(
FUCK NO! Never in a million freaking years…I swear it. BUGS ARE FREAKING DISTURBING! :(

gailcalled's avatar

@irocktheworld:Ya gotta find some synonyms for ‘freaking.”

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

:::drops a small harmless spider down the back of @irocktheworld‘s shirt:::

YARNLADY's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra Ya know, that’s an interesting statement. While they are on my back, or crawling across the back of my chair, or even unknowing across my head, I don’t mind them. It’s only when they scuttle down my arm, or across my computer keyboard that they bother me. I can see them on the wall across the room, with just a slightly elevated heartbeat, but if they crawl across the ceiling toward me, my heartbeat heads for much more dangerous territory.

gailcalled's avatar

Why is one able to feel the tickle from the legs of even the teeniest insect, except the nasty Lyme tick? She sneaks around under your clothing, attackes herself and assumes you are happy to donate blood…all with no sensations).

Robles's avatar

Bugs are attracted down the throat of the plant by the smell, and get trapped by the hairs which grow point down and inward, preventing the bug from crawling back out, then digestive sap secreted from the inside of the throat causes the bug to fall to the center of the throat where it is dissolved and fed to the rest of the plant by its interior fluid transport system.

gailcalled's avatar

The gnats are out by the millions; today, while trying to weed, I swallowed several and had some fly up my nose. No apparent aftereffects, yet.

bagelface's avatar

I’ve eaten a few ants before. Not completely on purpose. They were kinda spicy.

I ate a moth once when I was 14 because it was flying around my face and bothering me. Pleh,..powdery. Would not try again.

bea2345's avatar

My husband tells me that roast locusts taste OK: he ate them as a child.

talljasperman's avatar

no… but they put them on pizzas in Toronto and these places

MissAusten's avatar

A few months ago, someone gave my son a lollipop with a scorpion in it. Unlike the time he was given a cricket lollipop, he ate the whole thing. Including the scorpion. He said it tasted just like the lollipop around it. I love that kid. He’s so much fun.

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