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Top 10 Insects People Eat

Written by Top 100 Arena on 2012-07-23
Did you know that our world has much more edible creatures than you have ever imagined? From the big animals to small insects, there are foods everywhere if you just know what to look. Yes, we said insects. You probably already know that there are certain edible insects and many people eat them. The idea might be repulsive to you, but in fact many of those insects are rich in nutrients. We have compiled a list of top ten insects that people eat so that if you are feeling particularly adventurous, you can try these.

10 Tarantula

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Don't let the 8 legs and fur scare you anymore. If you have a fear of these 8-legged suckers, then own it by munching on them. No, we are not kidding. These monster spiders are really edible and in fact, taste quite similar to crab. Tarantulas are very high in protein and immensely popular as a street food in Cambodia. The primary way to cook them is by roasting or frying. More info on Wikipedia

9 Rhino beetle and grubs

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Interesting fact: the Rhino beetle can lift 850 times its own weight. It is one of the world strongest insect, and many Nigerians believe the beetle and its larvae to be full of nutrients capable to give superhuman-like strength. Validity of that belief aside, these beetles and larvaes are very high in calcium, protein, and phosphorous. You can fry them, stew them, grill or roast them. We found a cookbok that suggested cooking them within a coconut shell. You can even use the clarified fat of the larvae as a form of butter. More info on Wikipedia

8 Scorpions

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While they are dangerous and poisonous creatures, you can actually eat them for survival. Many desert-dwellers rely on scorpions as a source of proteins when their rations have run out. Not only that, you can even find scorpions within chocolate and lollipops. But the most common place you may find is within alcohol such as vodka. In fact, in some oriental medicine literatures, it is said that aged alcohol with scorpion in it can help men regain their vigor in sexual department. However, scorpions can be highly poisonous and careful removal of its tail is essential before you eat them. Catching one of them is very tricky as well unless you have antivenom in hand. You can easily find skewered and fried scorpions in Thailand and China. The scorpion-lovers say it tastes like soft-shell crab. More info on Wikipedia

7 Cicada

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Cicada can be rare insects to find as they usually live underground for 17 years before emerging. After they emerg, they will molt into adults and this is when you catch and eat them. After they molt, their bodies are very soft and juicy. Several species of cicada are eaten in Eastern US, Japan, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia and Indonesia. In fact, cicada are very healthy, high in protein and low in carbohydrate, according to Gene Kritsky, a biologist and cicada expert from the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati, Ohio. She also said that cicada are very nutritious and full with several types of vitamins. You can eat them raw, but it's best to steam them as it will maintain their tenderness without having to eat them alive. More info on Wikipedia

6 Termite

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These annoying wood-eaters are buffet snacks for people in Kenya. Unlike in America or Europe, Kenya doesn't have the luxury of many malls with thousands of snacks stores to satisfy your hunger. Termites are also very high in protein and often eaten raw straight out of their hives. It is not a surprising scene in Kenya to see people ripping open a hive and start eating them like a free buffet. More info on Wikipedia

5 Cockroach

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No, these are not the same ones as you find around your house. But there are other cockroach species you can actually eat without feeling disgusted. They are actually very clean (contray to popular belief) and really tasty, especially if you find cockroaches fed on fresh vegetables and fruits. You can eat them roasted, fried, sauteed, or boiled. If you want the best tasting cockroach, find Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches which taste just like greasy chicken. More info on Wikipedia

4 Crickets and Grasshoppers

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Considered as annoying pests by famers and gardeners, these hopping creatures can be cooked in so many different ways for your eating pleasure. Most of the species of these creatures are edible and plentiful in the wild, so you don't have to worry about running out of supply like cicada. Larger species have more earthy flavor because of the plants they feed on. If you feel adventurous, you can even eat them raw. However, some suggest that it is better to mix them with garlic butter. Just make sure you brush your teeth before kissing your beloved partner.

3 Casu Marzu

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This is actually not insects but name of an Italian cheese, which is considered the most disgusting cheese in the world. Made from sheep's milk, this cheese is infected with fly larvae (Piophila casei) to aid fermentation. Only cheese with live maggots is usually eaten since Sardinian aficionados consider Casu Marzu to be unsafe to eat when the maggots in the cheese have died. You can find the cheese cut into thin strips and spread on flatbread to serve with a glass of red wine. The larvae can cheese can launch themselves for as high as 6" (which is why they are called fly larvae) so diners will hold their hands above the sandwidch to prevent the maggots from jumping around. Some people actually remove the larvae before eating, but many don't. More info on Wikipedia

2 June Bugs

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You can eat these bugs in both larval stage or adult stage. If you are not going to be put off by the creepy looking larval stage, go for it. Otherwise, you might want to wait until they grow up and be yummy adults. Native Americans will roast these little buggers over coals and eat just like popcorns. So next time you go to movie with a date, don't buy popcorn. Instead, take a bag of roasted June Bugs and impress your date with your daring adventurous nature. That, or be prepared to find another date. More info on Wikipedia

1 Giant Water Bug

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Also called Toebiter, these bugs are wildly popular in Thai cuisine. You can consume them as whole or as an extract in sauces. If you are eating whole, most cooking options are either steamed or fried. Raw, these bugs smell much like a green apple. If you steam them, the taste is a bit perfumy like banana, with taste that's very similar to that of a fish. If you fry or roast them, then Toebiter-lovers say that they taste very much like scallops. When you are visiting Thailand, be sure to try these as they are cheap treat there and readily available almost anywhere. More info

There you go, 10 insects and bugs that people eat. Nature has given us with many choices for nutrients and proteins. Next time when you find yourself cash-strapped, or bored of usual red and white meat, make sure you try one of the insects in this list. You might actually get addicted and find yourself turned into an insect aficinado.

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