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Old 06-27-2009, 11:53 PM
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Amiel Amiel is offline
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Default Edible & Non-Edible Bugs???



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True enough, this section is about plants, but I didn't happen to see a section called "Edible & Non-Edible Bugs". My point being is that not all your food will be plants and I don't know which bugs can be eaten. What I do know is that many bugs contain lots of protein and vitamins, so please list edible, or for that matter non-edible bugs, just be sure to distinguish which is which.
Old 06-28-2009, 11:16 AM
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Old 06-28-2009, 02:21 PM
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I think this is a great post.....Alright bug folks chime up....I need to learn a little bug info too. How to prep and cook (if needed) would be useful also.

I would have a hard time eating some types, but at least I will have some knowledge of what to eat. (of course we know that if your hungry enough those worms will taste like steak)
Old 06-28-2009, 02:30 PM
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The general rule is, don't eat it if you don't know what it is.

Some creatures you should avoid are:

Bugs walking boldly around on the floor. If they walk around in the open it is a sign that they have nothing to fear and therefor might be poisonous.

Creatures with very flashy colors. The combination of bright color and poison is common in nature, because it teaches predators quickly what animals are poisonous. If a bird eats a bright red bug, and it gets sick, it will never eat a bright red bug again. If it's brown then it doesn't have as much effect, because almost all bugs are brown.

If they smell unpleasant it's usually bad for you, but the opposite isn't necesserily true.

There are more of these rules but these are two I can think of.
Old 06-29-2009, 04:39 AM
deaglan deaglan is offline
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i've learned a bit about insects over the years, and I have eaten just about every variety of edible insect i have seen.

when i'm in the bush, if i go looking for bugs, i try to stick to hiding bugs. underneath rocks and fallen logs are safe places.

this is my criteria for insects:

- no interesting colours or shapes on the body (there may be exceptions, but I just stay clear)

- anything with hairs will irritate your stomach, and your anus. but i do eat hairy caterpillars by squeezing the body and eating what squeezes out (best fried on a flat rock in a fire, or mash it up and mix it with something)

- beetle grubs are very tolerable, not bad tasting, and can be easily found. just look for loose bark on a tree, they like to hide in there. crack open a rotten log, this is also a good place to find them.

- underneath rocks or fallen logs, lots of good bugs can be found. some of the safest to eat bugs can be found in dark/damp areas. but you will also find snakes, spiders, and scorpions there, so be careful.

- if it agitates your skin, or leaves a rash, this is not something you can eat.

- only eat living bugs, or bugs you killed yourself. if you found it dead, dont eat it.

- always remove wings, and any exo-skeletons (the back of a beetle is not very digestable). if the whole body is hard, it is best to eat only the inside.

- beetles can bite hard. I always discard the jaw/head.

- most ants are edible, but there are so many varieties, so dont even try to identify them. most have poison, so i always roast them before eating. they dont taste like much, so be creative.

- grasshoppers and crickets are very edible, just remove wings and their antennas. you can eat the antennas, i just dont like them.

- ive always been told Termites are edible, i just wont ever eat them. give it a try if you must. i suspect they are like beetles, so i guess remove the shells. i think they bite, but im not sure ive never touched the filthy things.

- bees are fine to eat. i just dont like the hairs, so i roast them to burn the hairs off. the wings are probably fine to eat, but i dont. too much work to gather if you ask me. but if you've smoke-raided a bee-hive, they are really free-bees

- im not sure about flies. ive been told they carry more germs and viruses than you can count, so ive just always steered clear of them.

- never eat mosquitoes. they carry many viruses.

- ive read that anything living on the underside of a leaf is likely to be poisonous. i dont know why, or how true that is.

- never eat anything you find eating dung, hanging around a dead animal. obvious reasons.

if youre not very keen on eating mushy bugs, best thing is to mash them up and mix it with something. or try to find some edible vegitation, and wrap up the bug. grubs and fish taste just fine. if you dont enjoy bugs, just try to be creative. if you have the luxury of bringing something like peanut butter, or honey, you can really enjoy about anything.

my favorite way to cook bugs is to suspend a large flat rock over a fire (resting on the logs is fine). heat it up until it is hot enough to cook on.

one time i spent 3 weeks in central BC along the Fraser river with some friends. we mostly ate salmon, and wild raspberries. but we tried to make insects part of our daily diet. the area had large amounts of Beetle grubs. we got used to mashing up Beetle grubs into a paste, and spreading it over a fillet of salmon.

we had figured out the calorie count at the time, but i dont recall. but i do remember we determined that 2 tablespoons of beetle grub mash had more protien than a whole salmon.

hope that was of some help. im not an expert, but ive learned enough to keep myself alive, and ive never been sick as a result of eating bugs. but i do live in Canada, and there arent as many poisonous bugs as there are in the US.
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Old 07-02-2009, 06:24 PM
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worms are good, but clean alot before eating, get the dirt out of there tract system
termites are yummy, especially there larve....
crickets and such, boil them or cook them... they carry parasites adn other types of infectious bacteria and disease...
ants are great, minus the cow ant, furry ones with red and black

boil or cook everyting to get rid of parasites....your body and stomach and intestines will thank you in the long run....
Old 07-03-2009, 04:10 AM
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im not big on worms, but if you experience a fruitless bug-hunt, you always know where to find worms.

a good way to clean out worms is to starve them, you can just squeeze out the crud in the center. but if you leave them in a jar overnight, with no food, they will empty themselves out.
Old 07-06-2009, 09:20 PM
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yea completely avoid this little creature, it's actually a wingless wasp. The cow ant's sting can very possibly put you in a hospital with or without alergy...looks like a giant fuzzy ant with red and black stripes although the red can sometimes be orange.
Old 07-06-2009, 09:34 PM
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I know tarantula grilled on an open fire is excellent. You crack the shell like a crab and scoop out the meat. Comes out like peanut butter
Old 08-06-2009, 11:38 PM
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Bugs make for some excellent fishing bait. Why roast a grasshopper when you can smoke some catfish?
Old 08-07-2009, 07:44 AM
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I'll second termites. I wouldn't eat any that have been eating on treated wood, but out in the wild...yum!

In Belize we had some that tasted like an after dinner mint!
Old 06-29-2011, 08:16 AM
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Greetings All,

This is the counsel I give my wilderness survival classes about non-edible insects.

1) Fireflies (fam. Lampyridae) are beetles actually; very toxic both for us and all our animals. Occasionally, someone gets the idea to leave their reptile/amphibian cage outside at night by the porch light for easy hunting and to augment their cricket diet. The fatalities from this technique are usually from them eating a firefly.

2) The beetle family Meloidae, the oil or blister beetles. Unlike most beetles, they have a space behind their head where it connects to the first part of the thorax (pronotum) that allows them to turn their heads [not a common feature in beetles]. Also, the hard 'wing covers', called elytra; while they start out [toward the head end] meeting along the central 'seam,' they diverge until at the end of the abdomen, they have parted enough to show part of the segments of the abdomen showing from beneath. This is the source of the toxin cantharidin. We know from the European famines of the late 1800s that about five of these is enough to be fatal to a half-grown child. One of most easily noticed species is jet black (with a gun-metal blue sheen) that is flightless and bumbles across the forest floor, oblivious to predators.

3) The beetles in the family Melyridae, the chlorisine beetles; they provide many of the toxins that dart poison frogs carry after eating them.

4) Caterpillars that are spiked or hairy [although deaglan (above) is correct that you can use the 'insides' of some of them]. Many species [this goes double for the tropics] have venom delivery systems in, or under, the hairs, that maybe stinging hairs.

5) Wasps and bees, including velvet ants, although potentially dangerous in hunting and handling, are edible once the stinger has been removed from the females.

6) I counsel my classes to avoid any insects that are brightly colored and make no attempt to hide.

7) Many insects are toxic because they eat toxin plants and them sequester the toxins in their bodies for their own defense. For that reason, I would not eat insects found eating plants in the following families (unless you have already identified the particular species as edible)

Apiaceae, the carrot family
Fabaceae, the bean family
Euphorbiaceae, the euphorbia or poinsettia family
Convolvulaceae, the morning glory family


In the world of folks who eat insects, termites are the number one favorite, both for edibility and quantity of easily soluble fats and oils.

Hope you find this useful. Thanks for reading.

edibleplantguy
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Old 06-29-2011, 10:06 PM
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edibleplantguy - You sound quite a bit like a buddy of mine that I spent about three weeks with in Maine... His mantra was "If is is bright, stinks, or tries to bite you... Leave it alone. It can probable and will probably kill you. If it doesn't kill you, you will wish it had. You are not a biologist, so stop bothering me with those damn mimic questions too. I don't know for sure which are, and that means you for damn sure don't either." Ha. Good Times.
Old 06-30-2011, 03:38 PM
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Almost any "underwater" insect is edible. Cicadas are edible. wasp, bee, ant larvae are edible. I don't know of any cream colored, smooth larvae that are NOT edible. Grasshoppers, crickets, snails if they're from a clean area, jerusalem crickets katydids, praying mantis, spiders, most beetle larvae, meal worms, most grubs. I draw the line at earthworms, they're for catching bluegills, crappie and catfish.

Scorpions sting, but are edible, Tarantulas are edible, Jerusalem crickets, mantises, and giant water beetles will all bite viciously, but are all edible.

A word to the very wise? COOK THEM ALL!
Old 07-02-2011, 02:17 PM
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a.k.a. rolly pollys or pill bugs that roll into a ball
I have heard that they taste nutty or crustacean like (crabs and lobsters etc.)
They are also easy to find under about anything moist leaf litter,rocks,logs,anything also this isn't probably desirable but if you like them enough you can easily culture them in a container with some dirt and whatever leftover foods or organic material you have and they will eat it,then they have tons of babies and you can eat them up (personally though I'd rather use any bug for fishing though as long as it can get on the hook)
Old 07-21-2011, 06:51 AM
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Greetings All,

For those of us who consider tarantulas to be edible, they do come with a caution. Tarantulas are covered with, and protect themselves with a thick covering of hairs. These hairs are often described as 'urticating' hairs (from the Latin plant genus name Urtica, meaning stinging nettle). In defense, they often rub a leg against another leg or the carapace of the cephalothorax to flick these hairs at their tormentor. These are fiberglass-like needles and if they get lucky and land one in your eye, it will increase your short-word vocabulary for a few minutes.

When meerkcats (suricates) catch tarantulas for food they smash them into dry sand repeatedly until they have worn off most of these troublesome hairs. Roasting over open flame will accomplish the mission as well.

Thanks for reading.

edibleplantguy
Old 07-21-2011, 04:01 PM
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I have quite a few alternative edibles on my website, and a video on eating acorn grubs on You Tube. On my site click on "go to archives" then scroll down to the bottom.

Old 07-22-2011, 04:47 PM
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The only bugs I eat are the ones that live in mushrooms.
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