Edible Insects . . . It's What's For Dinner

Yummy!

Larva and maggots are the best protein you can catch and eat, so tasty!
Larva and maggots are the best protein you can catch and eat, so tasty! | Source

More Protein Than Beef

With soaring food prices and a limited budget I have learned to be creative when trying to get more protein in my diet. In Edible Insects . . . It's What's For Dinner I will explore a great way to gain more protein while promoting Green Living.

Insects have a real bad reputation as a food source and I for one just don't understand the prejudice. Sure there is the sickening crunch with the first bite, but the juicy insides more than make up for a little texture and fiber. Trust me the taste will literally grow on you and in you for that matter!

After all the hardest part about eating bugs is catching them however with a little creativity that can easily be solved. If you leave bread crumbs, leftover pizza or rotting fruit in a jar overnight inside or outside by the next day you will have plenty of tasty morsels to choose from in the morning.

One of my favorite edible insects is roaches, because as a single guy I'm not the greatest housekeeper, so all have I to do is turn on the light and be quick to have a midnight snack. Since I enjoy the crunch, I do my best to capture them live and then just pop them in, still twitching!

Once you pop, you can't stop!

Say for instance you start a crock pot full of veggies to cook overnight but are a little light on the meat, not a problem . . . just turn out the lights, wait for the little buggers to show themselves, hit the switch and start grabbing them. You don't even need to kill them just thrown them in with the veggies and the heat will kill them if they don't drown first.

On a more serious note . . .

"It's estimated that the average human eats one pound (half a kilogram) of insects each year unintentionally,"

says Lisa Monachelli, director of youth and family programs at New Canaan Nature Center in Connecticut.

Cricket Anyone?

Crunchy on the outside, juicy on the inside and good fiber.
Crunchy on the outside, juicy on the inside and good fiber. | Source

Frugal Lifestyle

I love to fish and often use crickets, grasshoppers and worms for bait, but I never knew what to do with the leftover bait. Well, learning to live a Frugal Lifestyle I decided what the heck, whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?

Entomophagy: Is the consumption of insects as a food source. I kid you Not!

Now grasshoppers and crickets pose one significant digestive problem, although the legs go down fairly easy, they don't come out all that great. So I have learned to spit them out before swallowing, kind of like sunflowers seeds. Sure there is an art form to this but you can get the hang of it fairly quickly.

Now I don't care for worms but on the other hand I hear they slide down easily! You will probable want to chew them first as feeling them crawling around in your stomach could be quite unsettling.

I haven't tried minnows, but what are sardines after all and since we are talking about insects, I will stay on point.

Now since some of you might think that getting your protein in raw form is a little gross, I would suggest that you simple take your leftover bait home using them in stir fry, baking them in the oven or as I mentioned throwing them in the crock pot! They can also be used to spice up any roast as a garnish or putting them on pizza.

The sheer diversity of recipes edible insects can be used for is simple staggering and most often your guest will never know the difference.

One of my all time favorites is to mash up a bowl of roaches (crickets if you prefer) and when they have reached a gooey texture making them into patties for the grill. Your neighbors will love you and be asking for your recipe, of course if they are prejudicial as mine are they may never talk to you again and threaten you with a lawsuit.

I have found that most humans are very finicky with their food, so I would suggest that you don't tell any dinner guest what they have just eaten edible insects until after dinner. Be sure to have your camera ready as the look on their faces is usually priceless.

However be fore-warned that some of my dinner guest have gotten quite hostile and of course some still don't know, so don't tell anyone it'll be our secret, Shhhh!

Maggots

Once you get past the squirming they are a real treat, or if your a wimp you can steam them.
Once you get past the squirming they are a real treat, or if your a wimp you can steam them. | Source

Grubs, Larva and Maggots

I saved the best for last, larva, grubs and maggots are quite possible the best tasting edible insects you can find. Like a delicious veal, these are the delicacies of the edible insect world and are to die for, literally, kind of taste like shrimp

Most insects prefer to lay their eggs in rotting vegetation or corpses to supply their offspring with nutrients when they hatch. So when looking for these delicacies kick over a bloated corpse or rotting log and you can usually find a smorgasbord of tasty morsels.

Finding bloated corpse's can be problematic, but I have a simple solution . . . road kill. You heard it here first, why let a perfectly good corpse rot in the Sun or become buzzard bait, after all the Native American's used what nature had to offer. Simple pull your car over and if you're a little squeamish about getting your hands dirty, kick the smooshed corpse over and reap the bounty!

I call it Kick A Corpse For Protein, catchy huh?

Maggots are my favorite and you will be tempted to eat them on the spot but try to refrain as the rotting flesh you retrieve them from can sometimes taint their succulent meat. I have found the best way to prepare them is like shrimp, by steaming them with just a light coating of garlic butter they can be scrumptious!

Did you know that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows for a certain amount of insects in all processed food as long as it doesn't pose health risks. What is known as micro-livestock often finds its way into vegetables and other food and is deemed unavoidable.

For example, chocolate can have up to 60 insect fragments per 100 grams, tomato sauce can contain 30 fly eggs per 100 grams, and peanut butter can have 30 insect fragments per 100 grams (3.5 ounces), according to the FDA.

So in conclusion if soaring food prices have you down or the budget doesn't allow for your favorite meat, learn to eat Insects . . . It's What's For Dinner.

Insects . . . It's What's For Dinner

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Comments 29 comments

Insane Mundane profile image

Insane Mundane 4 years ago from Earth

Holy shit! Oops, I mean, yeah, this was very informative! I've heard of chocolate-covered grasshoppers before and people eating worms or insects in the wild for survival, but dang, you really hit home here and covered this subject quite well.

In all honesty, you make the Chinese look better when people are fearful of eating cat teriyaki as opposed to the fictitiously claimed chicken-on-a-stick! LOL! At any insect-like rate, you made a good point when you said "For example, chocolate can have up to 60 insect fragments per 100 grams, tomato sauce can contain 30 fly eggs per 100 grams, and peanut butter can have 30 insect fragments per 100 grams (3.5 ounces), according to the FDA."

Just think, I enjoy store-bought peanut butter and most of us know that there is a certain amount of rat shit in that, how sad, I know... So, when compared to fecal matter in our commonly sold food products, a few worms or grasshoppers never hurt us as of yet, ...yeah, surely not...

The maggot thing threw me for a whirl, though... You at least cook 'em first for ya guests, right?

After hearing about the maggots, the roaches at least sound better!

LOL!

This has got to be the most caveman-like eccentric hub, known to HubPages, ever... LOL! Yikes! Uh, well, I commented on it like I promised, good luck with the others... Hey, lets try cooking some catfish for starters, next time, before you introduce me to your insect salad, eh? Ha-ha!


somethgblue profile image

somethgblue 4 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee Author

Ok, I took another excursion on the Duck this afternoon (new Kayak) and I gotta say it is one dirty river. I caught a brim, a small mouth bass and a catfish all on spinners.

Let me know when you want to do some fishing as I'm sure you know the good spots around here, I've only lived here for 8 months!


jandee profile image

jandee 4 years ago from Liverpool.U.K

Thank you for your kind invite for Dinner.

Unfortunately I have to go a really classy Bistro where they have the very best red from South West Fr.

I shall think of you though and maybe some other time, when your economic situation has improved! I will reconsider.

Enjoyed your invite,

from your friend jandee....


Insane Mundane profile image

Insane Mundane 4 years ago from Earth

You caught a catfish using a spinner bait? That's cool, and is about as strange as me catching my biggest smallmouth bass ever, using a freakin' bread ball on a barbed hook!

Yep, the water around here is quite polluted, oops, I mean dirty.

Hey, I don't think Jandee is down with your insect salad & maggot stir fry. She might prefer the lobster, crab, or some exotic fish that you speared in the Atlantic with a sharpened wooden stick, though, unless you use some type of insect dipping sauce for that, as well. Ha!


somethgblue profile image

somethgblue 4 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee Author

What is a crab or lobster other than a Ocean insect, it is all about perspective, baby!

That is not the first time I have caught catfish on lures, I caught a bunch in the Harpeth on plugs and artificial minnows as well as spinner bait.

Jandee lives in England she isn't coming to the States to eat insects, she's playing with me . . . now if she invited me to England for a visit I wouldn't care what we ate, I'd be on the next plane!


jandee profile image

jandee 4 years ago from Liverpool.U.K

Meet up in Cuba my friend! eh!

jandee


jandee profile image

jandee 4 years ago from Liverpool.U.K

Fishing with your split-cane rod,

Who ???

Martin? Michael? Steve?


somethgblue profile image

somethgblue 4 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee Author

I'm a little slow today Jandee . . . I didn't get the reference, it is a day of resting the brain!


RobSchneider 4 years ago

"it is a day of resting the brain" - your brain is at rest every day, Nutard! If insects were good for us, they would be on the FDA's food pyramid and available in supermarkets and fast food outlets.


somethgblue profile image

somethgblue 4 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee Author

Just because they call it a chicken McNugget doesn't mean it has to be chicken, speaking of which . . . when do you rest the McNugget you call a brain?

They are available in supermarkets but the FDA doesn't require that you list insect parts as ingredients.

Besides you live in a part of the World that eat insects on a regular basis, your just envious that you didn't use your McNugget and write this article.

BTW I gave you a huge section of my latest I'm Dreaming of a EMP Xmas, you should check it out, your comments make me look sane . . . your welcome!


jandee profile image

jandee 4 years ago from Liverpool.U.K

I read last week about the new menus we will all be eating very soon and as my brain is resting today ! Can't remember the name ,you are close though. Some sort of fly/maggot.

Going after them in a big way for supermarkets,

jandee


somethgblue profile image

somethgblue 4 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee Author

Considering the Pole Shift may limit food distribution, it will be good to get used to eating them no as opposed to later.

Keep us updated on the availability of purchasing them in the UK and how they taste?


sparkster profile image

sparkster 4 years ago from United Kingdom

Hmm maybe one day!


somethgblue profile image

somethgblue 4 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee Author

Maybe one day you will have to, look for grubs under tree bark on dead or living trees, maggots on relatively fresh corpses and grubs under rotting vegetation.

Those taste the best and provide the most protein, they're not bad once you get the taste of them!


sparkster profile image

sparkster 4 years ago from United Kingdom

So you've actually tried these out then? You're a better person than I!


somethgblue profile image

somethgblue 4 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee Author

Tried out doesn't mean I eat them on a regular basis, what would be the point? All I'm doing is allowing others to understand there alternative food sources, when 'normal' sources run out.

I don't particularly like wild game but would eat it if I was hungry, the problem of course is acquiring it, so if you aren't a good hunter then eat what you can catch and kill.

Now Elk, cougar and certain kinds of snakes are some of the best meat I have eaten but there are no Elk in my neck of the woods, cougar are extremely rare in the wild they see you long before you see them and snakes can be hard to find as well.


stormme 4 years ago

Oh my...! That video you attached at the end, man that was really unbelievable! I mean, those worms were still alive when they were tossed into the frying pan! What were they anyway, worms... or some appetizing kind of maggot specie?

My take on insects for food is, sometimes you ain't got a choice and you need 'em to survive. I was actually vegan for 2 years, but I have no problem having to resort to 'alternate' sources of food, just in case of a catastrophe. I wouldn't try carnivores like cougar, though. Because the higher you go up the food chain, the more toxic it gets...if I remember correctly from Biology class. Cheers!


somethgblue profile image

somethgblue 4 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee Author

What kind of bugs do they eat in your part of the World?


sparkster profile image

sparkster 4 years ago from United Kingdom

I wouldn't mind trying snake.


somethgblue profile image

somethgblue 4 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee Author

Very good, I have tried almost every animal that walks, swims, crawls or slithers and snake is actually quite good. Did you know that snakes since they are directly in contact with the ground are really good earthquake predictors?


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 4 years ago from sunny Florida

I would like to provide a link to your hub on my hub on the same topic. Do you mind? If you do I will not include it. Thanks either way.


somethgblue profile image

somethgblue 4 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee Author

By all means do so and I will go give your hub a read and perhaps put a link in the content or elsewhere.

Recently I tried the mail order kind and wasn't impressed kind of dry and tasteless.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 4 years ago from sunny Florida

Ok thank you...I will not publishing till tomorrow...need to rest my eyes and reread in the a.m. :)


RobSchneider 4 years ago

When I moved to Cambodia in 2007, I was served a delicious salad. I politely picked an ant out of it and then another and another. Everyone smiled and told me they were part of the dish. I ate it, but felt a little squeamish afterwards. Just the other day I had that same salad again and wondered why I had found eating ants so strange. Much stranger is how we become conditioned to think some things are acceptable as food and some are not.


somethgblue profile image

somethgblue 4 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee Author

Agreed and the article was written with tongue in cheek, however I do not have a problem with insects for food as many Americans do.

What's more it could become the meal of choice as the Polar Shift continues.


Sparkster 4 years ago

Not so long ago my mum told me how she used to eat raw sausages, because back in those days it was completely safe. The way that food is processed these days causes way too many problems which didn't exist back then.

Then there's also the fact that foods are genetically modified, stored in tins, there's fluoride in our drinking water, etc. For this reason I believe that taking up a diet such as you have described here would probably be extremely beneficial to health (as you've also pointed out).


somethgblue profile image

somethgblue 4 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee Author

Dude even medicine is getting dangerous, I'm almost afraid to go to the hospital for anything.

If I thought leaving the States would be any safer, I'd be gone!


ptosis profile image

ptosis 3 years ago from Arizona

There is a push for people to accept eating bugs for protein and calling it “mini-livestock”, since the world's cattle is so expensive.

You can take my New York Strip steak outta my cold dead hands!! I seen maggots on squashed furry bodies - how do you get somebody to overcome the Gag Factor?


somethgblue profile image

somethgblue 3 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee Author

Hunger over rules the gag factor every time, what is the longest you have gone without any food, just water?

I managed to go five days but let me tell it is excruciating, clean your body out and fast for three days, just drink water and let me know how it goes?

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