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View Poll Results: Do you eat bugs?
I have dabbled in this. 8 40.00%
All the time. 1 5.00%
Never! 0 0%
Not intentionally. 11 55.00%
Voters: 20. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-07-2018, 10:39 AM
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You always see these survival shows where people are starving while looking for a meal, meanwhile, they are slapping bugs all around them.

That got me thinking, is there a good resource for learning which bugs are edible and how to prepare them... specifically in regards to the Northern United States?

Post your videos or book suggestions below. I assume some of you have inside information into the subject as well!
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Old 09-07-2018, 10:46 AM
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Ant's, Grasshoppers, etc.. no big deal. Until I really need to, I just can't get past the initial "pop" of those large grubs. However, I know when starving, those suckers will be delicious. To my knowledge, the only poisonus insects are some species of caterpillar. And from what I've seen, every one of them are the hairy/fuzzy variety. Stay away from hairy caterpillars and you should be okay. All normal insects can be eaten and the most nutritious are going to be crickets, grasshoppers, etc. Then after them, ants/termites, bees/wasps, gnats/mosquitoes, etc.
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Old 09-07-2018, 01:22 PM
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Interesting...

So @Americas Patriot, how do you eat them? Are you cooking them, eating them raw, etc. Do you take off parts, or leave them all together? Are they dead?

Also, do you know of any issues with parasites, etc.

Finally, what about earth worms? How about beatles? Are they edible too?
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Old 09-07-2018, 02:03 PM
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If they're slapping them the insects are probably mosquitoes midges, fleas, ticks, biting flies - blood suckers most are a vector for something oogy.
I've inhaled mosquitoes they are spicy.
I don't see a calorie spent to calorie return ratio return.

I've intentionally eaten June bugs, crickets, grasshoppers , grubs and earthworms

Roasted across the board, except earthworms, rinsed them off with fresh water and swallowed whole be sure they are head first otherwise the hairs catch in your throat.

I got the June bugs from watching the kids when they were toddlers they just parked themselves under the bug zapper and chowed down. Nutty flavor, if the legs are left on they play Hobbs with hemoroids when they come out.
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Old 09-07-2018, 02:35 PM
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Forgot
After roasting, pop the head off the grubs they are hard enough to chew logs. Could probably break a tooth.

Beetles I avoid them too many species have chemical defenses
Stink bugs , cantharides = Spanish fly , a urinary tract irritant and can mess up kidneys

Mealworms are frozen to euthanize them ground into flour.

I've seen Andrew Zimmern eat giant water bugs and scorpions, on a stick.
Also ant larvae tacos.
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Old 09-07-2018, 03:23 PM
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I don't make it a habit of eating them, but I have a few times. The crickets and grasshoppers I pulled the heads off. Doing this pulls the innards out (removes any parasites... and the yuck factor). Afterwards, you can skewer them and roast them over a fire. Doesn't take long and they get crunchy like bacon. Ant's, i've just eaten whole. Ants are sweet and the larger, transparent ones are really sweet. I've never cooked grubs, but I've tried them raw to see if I could stomach it. I did, but wasn't liking it too much. I'm sure roasting them and putting them in with some grasshopper bacon and greens would be much better.

I've yet to try maggots and they are supposedly one of the best superfoods you can eat...

I've purchased all of them in the chocolate covered variety. Ants are like eating chocolate covered rice krispies.
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Old 09-07-2018, 03:51 PM
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we used to catch the large red ants..... for vehicular infestation prank not to eat... but would work.

Red ant holes or any other mass burrower we would dig a hole next to the mound, place a GLASS jar in it and bury it to the rim. would be really easy get get almost a quart of ants that way.
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Old 09-07-2018, 06:52 PM
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Insects? Not unless it's life or death.

It's the reason we stockpile real food.
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Old 09-07-2018, 08:26 PM
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If millions of people in other countries use insects as food and as seasonings, I certainly can. I would be crazy to ignore a free and readily available nutritional storehouse that will allow me to extend my food rations. (Ha. No worries about theft, either.)

In a long term SHTF situation, taking advantage of alternative foods to maintain good health becomes much more than just a matter of stepping outside my comfort zone and into a survival zone; it's not a bad idea to explore various food sources "just in case."

I would have no problem eating bugs to supplement my provisions if needed. But I would definitely want to remove the "ick" factor by roasting/toasting them over heat. Then after removing wings and legs, I would crumble the cooked and dry insects into an unrecognizable powder which can be used to increase the fat and protein content of other foods, or even in water to make a nourishing broth.
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Old 09-08-2018, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by IamZeke View Post
Insects? Not unless it's life or death.

It's the reason we stockpile real food.
'Mudbugs' are "real food".
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Old 09-08-2018, 07:57 AM
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I've certainly eaten my share of mud bugs, but that's about it..

Other than a few things I've eaten in China and Taiwan.

Those toasted grasshoppers on sticks don't look bad though.

Ideally I would feed the bugs to a chicken, then eat the eggs and chicken.
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Old 09-08-2018, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Major Mjolnir View Post
'Mudbugs' are "real food".
We call them crawfish here. I actually had to look that mudbug word up.

I had to do some SERE training in the Jarheads at the old Panama base. I did the bug/snake/lizard meal thing. I was quite underwhelmed and have no intention of having to do anything like that again. Ammo, snares, plants, and fishing line are my fallback plan when my food runs out. If they aren't beneficial for gardening then a bug needs to be sprayed and swept into a dustpan.
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Old 09-08-2018, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by IamZeke View Post
We call them crawfish here. I actually had to look that mudbug word up.

I had to do some SERE training in the Jarheads at the old Panama base. I did the bug/snake/lizard meal thing. I was quite underwhelmed and have no intention of having to do anything like that again. Ammo, snares, plants, and fishing line are my fallback plan when my food runs out. If they aren't beneficial for gardening then a bug needs to be sprayed and swept into a dustpan.
I agree with you in heart and stomach - but after SHTF my head tells me that there is just to much all important fat, protein and calories in insects to ignore them.
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Old 09-08-2018, 10:26 AM
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I agree with you in heart and stomach - but after SHTF my head tells me that there is just to much all important fat, protein and calories in insects to ignore them.
Per the chart I am just having a hard time trying to image what a kilogram of house flys look like..... and do you eat them with a spoon out of a bucket?
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Old 09-08-2018, 01:33 PM
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Per the chart I am just having a hard time trying to image what a kilogram of house flys look like..... and do you eat them with a spoon out of a bucket?
Lol, I'm going to try to pass on the house flies. The chart is from the 2014 book: "Mass Production of Beneficial Organisms - Invertebrates and Entomopathogens" Chapter 18: 'Insects for Human Consumption' by Marianne Shockley(1) and Aaron T. Dossey(2) (1)Department of Entomology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA, (2)All Things Bugs, Gainesville, FL, USA
The plan is to dry and grind meal and wax worms and add them to the soup pot, preferably when the children aren't looking.
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Old 09-08-2018, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrizzlyetteAdams View Post
...(Ha. No worries about theft, either.)

In a long term SHTF situation, taking advantage of alternative foods to maintain good health becomes much more than just a matter of stepping outside my comfort zone...not a bad idea to explore various food sources "just in case."
Brilliant! Imagine 'marauders' Do make it into your camp, and raid whatever 'pantry' you have, and they Find.... Buckets and Pitchers and Jars-full of Bug bodies, worms and grubs.. You might have to end up 'mopping the kitchen floor' after the creeps run screaming, but.. You'll prolly still Have yer 'Last-ditch eFood'...

..but, Seriously, totally agreed with your second statement, there, and That's what makes this a Great thread..

..Me, personally, have not ventured much past mealworms, crickets and grasshoppers (all cast-iron pan roasted) and Did try snake once (..really Does 'taste like chickn' but would not hesitate to try tarantula (..though, That would make me kinda sad.. and other-such..

..Oh, and mealworms are pretty good in Tequila.. and/or Beer..

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...I am just having a hard time trying to image what a kilogram of house flys look like.....


..Yeah, ya'll can Keep the 'house flys', I'm good / tryin to quit..

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Old 09-08-2018, 10:36 PM
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Are horn worms edible? They do eat nightshade plants.
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Old 09-09-2018, 02:56 AM
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Originally Posted by timesarechanging View Post
Interesting...

So @Americas Patriot, how do you eat them? Are you cooking them, eating them raw, etc. Do you take off parts, or leave them all together? Are they dead?

Also, do you know of any issues with parasites, etc.

Finally, what about earth worms? How about beatles? Are they edible too?
AP is correct about the furry caterpillars. Everything else to my knowledge is safe. Careful with critters with barbed legs like grasshoppers. Also, the head and spine should be removed. I forget which species it is that carries the parasite, so I just treat all hoppers the same. Pinch the head while gently pulling and it all comes out real easy.

As for cooking its best to use insects in soups, stews, or mixed into rice or noodles.

Roasting is pretty darn good imo for grasshoppers and cicadas.

As are crickets sauteed in a butter garlic sauce.

I've even tried maggots. They pop when you eat them unless you cook the hell out of them until they burst. Again a butter garlic sauce makes them quite good. A good washing followed by soaking in salt water is advisable, depending on where you get your maggots.

Ants....meh. Too much trouble.

Worms. Very gritty. A good trick is to pinch off the head. Hold em upside down, pinch gently, and work your way down. Gets most, but not all, of the disagreeable gritty poop out. Even with a cleaning these are very disagreeable. Best in soups/stews.

Never tried bee's or wasps. No thanks.
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Old 09-09-2018, 04:41 AM
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Most of these bug meals are just cooked keratin. Same stuff in your nails and shrimp shells.

I know from cooking shrimp still in the shell that if it is thin enough the hot oil makes it thin and crispy. With salt it starts to taste a bit like a potato chip. So why go to all that nastiness and just eat your shrimp shells instead?
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Old 09-09-2018, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Offrink View Post
Are horn worms edible? They do eat nightshade plants.
Yes, can't speak for all 'hornworms' but both "Manduca quinqueaculata" aka 'Tomato Hornworm' (black horn) and "Manduca sexta" aka 'Tobacco Hornworm (red horn) are edible after purging a few days on green peppers or more involved diets you can find online. Green Deane suggests using caution for hornworms found in an actual tobacco field because of the possible nicotine load.
I found some large ones on my tomato plants last week but chickened out on eating them. Not hungry enough, yet.
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