They're a great source of protein...

I read a random article a while back, about a pizza place in Maryland that was putting those periodical cicadas on pizza. Naturally, some folks were outraged, some were grossed out, and the health department definitely came knocking on their door. I don't know if you've ever seen one of those things, but you'll definitely know when you crunch down on one.

According to a piece in the BDN, we folks in Bangor, Maine and beyond have bug eating in our not-too-distant past. Apparently way back, folks would eat bugs to help stave off scurvy. Seems crazy. Especially when learned in school, that eating Vitamin C rich fruits will take care of that issue.

If my choice is a lemon or a bug, the answer is pretty obvious to me. But I suppose fresh fruit wasn't readily available then. So what sorts of things can you eat around these parts that won't make you sick. I've seen Bear Grylls eat caterpillars and almost die of the squirts on the side of a mountain. That doesn't make me anxious to try.

Grasshoppers and ants.

But around here, grasshoppers and ants are a totally safe bet. Full disclosure, I did eat an ant once on a dare. It wasn't so bad. It actually tasted a bit lemony. Apparently grasshoppers taste kind of like green peppers, which I'm not a huge fan of anyway. Maybe grasshoppers on a pizza?!

Photo by Elegance Thika on Unsplash
Photo by Elegance Thika on Unsplash

Stink bugs and conifer beetles.

Although another candidate I'm not as willing to try is the stink bug. According to the article I was reading, stink bugs have an unexpectedly delightful flavor similar to a green apple Jolly Rancher. I'm not sure I'm willing to put that to the test though, personally. Some mysteries are better left unsolved.

Photo by Viktor Talashuk on Unsplash
Photo by Viktor Talashuk on Unsplash

You can even eat Toe Biters.

Also edible, are those giant water bugs. AKA the toe biters. Now this could be some sweet revenge. Have you ever been bitten by one of those things, with those monster jowls? Eating one could prove to be quite a satisfying feeling. Revenge is a dish best served cold..... dead cold in this case. With salad dressing.

National Park Service
National Park Service

June bugs.

They're totally safe too. You can cook them up all sorts of different ways like sauteing, roasting, etc. I imagine when they're fried, they probably have a nutty, squishy flavor. I'm not sure squishy is a flavor, but it's one I'm willing to try in this case, haha.

All that said, remember a couple basic safety tips. First and foremost, if you have a shellfish allergy, DO NOT eat bugs. This is where you realize that lobsters are basically big bugs that live in the water. Also, not all bugs are delicious. Stay away from brightly colored insects. They can be bitter and nasty.

And above all, do a little research before you just run out in the yard, or into the woods out back, and make sure you're being safe. And although you're like safe to eat bugs raw, it's always a good idea to cook them just to eliminate the possibility of food poisoning. Or in this case, bug poisoning.


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