Wild Food School

Entompohagy Courses

Eating Insects & Edible Bug courses at Wild Food School

The Art of Eating Bugs

Eating Insects? Shock horror! Bugs for breakfast? Yuk!  Well actually insects are used as human food by more than 2 billion people worldwide. In some African regions it is estimated that edible caterpillars make up more than 40% of the animal protein in the human diet, while many other species of insects also have high nutritional values.
Certain countries such as Mexico and Thailand have a very long history of eating insects as food, where they are seen simply as part of the normal diet. In Mexico, for example, ant eggs are traditionally harvested around March - April and form the popular dish of escamoles, and look something like large grains of rice when cooked (pictured further down, right).

In Thailand you will find edible insects such as crickets (Gryllidae), and particularly the Giant Water-Bug (Lethocerus indicus), commonly snacked on to accompany a glass of beer - very much like we eat pork scratchings or peanuts in the pub. In fact, the taste of fried crickets is somewhat like a superior pork scratching, though you might like to accompany them with a garlic or chilli dip to spice them up.

Eating Insects - Fried short-tailed crickets


Watch the Video on YouTube here.

Eating Insects - Bamboo generates its own edible bamboo caterpillars

As mentioned, some edible insects have very high nutritional values...

The larval stages of Rhynchophorus phoenicis (a palm weevil) contain around 60% crude fat and 9 to 10% protein, while the caterpillars of Usta terpsichore provide around 40gm of protein per 100 grams according to one research paper, and protein content of more than 70% is quoted in another paper. Many other edible bugs are rich in sources of palmitic, oleic, linoleic and stearic acids, and combinations of minerals and vitamins.

So, why NOT eat bugs! Eating insects might just be really good for you.

Eating Insects - Deep-fried crickets are a snack in Thailand Eating Insects - In Mexico ant eggs are a delicacy

Bug Eating / Entomophagy Courses

Wild Food School runs introductory day courses on the in's and out's of eating insects (technically, eating bugs is known as entomophagy) and details will be found on the 2013 course schedule. To stay informed about the Edible Bugs days drop an E-mail now to be added to the list.
Eating Insects - Bamboo worms or caterpillars are edible Eating Insects - Termites are a significant food in some parts of the world
Eating Insects - Edible silk worm pupa - a by-product of the silk industry

Edible Insect Examples

Above (left) bamboo caterpillars and (above right) a species of termite. Termites form an important human foodstuff in certain parts of the world.

Immediately left, cooked silkworm (Bombyx) pupa in Korea. They are also popular in Japan and eaten in parts of India where the silk industry is present. Below left, silk worm pupa in more detail. In Thailand you'll frequently see street vendors with them threaded on skewers for grilling.

Below right, chapulines on sale in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Below that (horizontal image), desert locust. Again, many locust species form a major source of protein in some cultures around the world.

Edible Insects - Silk Worm pupa are eaten in parts of South-East Asia. Edible Insects - Chapulinas on sale in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Edible Desert Locust
Edible weaver ants
Above: Edible Weaver Ants.
Cooked edible ant eggs
Above: Cooked ant eggs are a delicacy in Mexico.
Man Eating Bugs - Edible Shield Bug (Pygoplatys sp.) Man Eating Bugs - Edible mole cricket (Gryllotalpa sp.)
Man Eating Bugs - Edible dung beetles

And More Edible Bug Examples...

The red bugs above left are a type of Shield Bug (Pygoplatys sp.) from South-East Asia. To be perfectly honest they are not the tastiest of insects.

Directly above a Mole Cricket (Gryllotalpa sp.) which derives its name from the mole-like forepart of the front legs.

To the left edible Dung Beetles.

Bon appetit!

Man Eating Bugs - Pygoplatys auropunctatus - Edible Shield Bug

Dates and details of the 2013 Wild Food School EDIBLE INSECT & BUG DAYS
will be found on the 2013 course schedule.

To stay informed about the Edible Bugs days drop an E-mail now to be added to the list.

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Copyright © M. Harrison 2013