10 Bugs You Can Eat in a Food Crisis


In a food shortage, or when SHTF, there are many bugs that you can consume. For example, when the famine hit Ukraine in 1933, it is estimated that nearly 25 percent of people were feeding on insects at least once. For many, it was their ticket for life. Could you do it if you didn’t have any other choices?

Insects may sound gross. But as the famine sets in, your outlook may shift rapidly. Things that you don’t consider to be food might start looking edible now.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) nearly 2,000 insect species are already part of the diet of at least two billion people. The most commonly eaten insects are caterpillars, ants, bees, wasps, grasshoppers, locusts and crickets. All stages of insects are consumed, for instance ant eggs and pupa, beetle grubs and moth caterpillars.

Related: 10 Expenses You Need to Cut Now for the Upcoming Economic Depression

About The Bugs You Can Eat

Did you know that you can eat some tiny bugs which are tasty and scrumptious? There are actually some cultures that regard these tiny creatures, insects, and worms as a delicacy. On any of these insect delights you might try to find an upscale restaurant to nibble for gastronomic purposes only.

Those who have eaten insects for survival say they’re really disgusting and some bugs taste fine. However, even really disgusting insects can help you sustain life while you wait for salvation. More than anything, it is truly a mental challenge.

Raising a particular breed of insects to meal size is cheaper and faster than raising a cow. More so, insects have more protein per size than larger animals, and different minerals that humans need but do not naturally produce. Here are the nutrients of most of the bugs you can eat.

But still, even in a survival scenario, many of the bugs you come across shouldn’t be eaten. You do not eat bugs that are commonly associated with carrying diseases (flies, mosquitoes, ticks). Avoid bugs that use poison to trap their prey or to protect themselves (some centipedes, scorpions, and spiders). If you’ve caught bugs from standing water, boil them before you eat. Avoid colored or smelly insects too.

In fact, you can support yourself very well with bugs so you can give them serious consideration when you are without food.

10 Bugs You Can Eat in a Food Crisis

Here are 10 bugs you can eat in a food crisis – well-known in some countries as snacks or proper meals:

Wax Moth Larvae

lesser wax moth - Achroia grisella

These larvae are colored in white and have a soft tender flesh. In some oil, you can roast the larvae with peanuts, and eat them alone or with rice. Since they feed on honey bee wax the larvae taste sweet. The larvae are very small in length and, when roasted, they give a distinctive flavor. Some chefs add pretzels while others tend to use other varieties to please their clients. You may be surprised to know that the wax moth larvae are very popular for their taste and sweet flavor among the upscale customers.

Brown House Crickets

House Cricket Information - How to Get Rid of Crickets

These creatures can be found for up to two inches in length. You may roast them crispy or strip off the wings and legs. A chef was particularly fond of changing half of his bits of Chocolate Chip for these insects and cooking them. Others put it on a toothpick and dip it in chocolate. “They taste the way you’d expect a cricket to taste” is the standard response. They were often likened to a doughnut: crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The legs and wings are usually not eaten.


If You're Tempted to Eat Raw Centipedes, Don't

One of the varieties one wouldn’t eat would be a centipede. Not so. They can be found as popular street food in China. Usually they’re threaded on a skewer, kebab style and eaten like that. One way to cook them is to dip them in boiling oil or dry-grilling them. They have a unique taste too, which can be quite acidic. Any daring visitor to China is supposed to try this unusual food but be careful about the circumstances you buy it.

Edible Ants

Black edible ants | Edible Insects For Sale

Ants are another hot popular dish at any upscale restaurant, including modern countries. There are several types of edible ants and they have interesting names like Lemon ants, Carpenter ants, and honey pot and leaf cutter ants. Like every other vegetable or meat dish the edible ants are fried. Some of the world’s cultures tend to consume raw ants over cooked delicacies. Honeypot ants can be eaten raw before serving the customers, while the leaf cutter ants are toasted. Edible ants are sold at cinemas in some countries.

Related: Safe Drinking Water Strategies for Preppers


Bucket List of 23 Edible Bugs Around the World

It’s weird to think of eating these majestic creatures with their iridescent wings, but in some countries they’re considered a delicacy and are nutritious too. People from Indonesia and China capture these insects by waving a stalk covered in palm sap so they settle on it. They are cooked winglessly. They’re cooked mainly by boiling or frying them. Cooked dragonflies is often served with rice or vegetables. Although it is usually advised that foreigners order only what they can eat. Typically they end up eating bugs of curiosity.


Bühler Expands Insect Portfolio by Mealworms - Quality Assurance & Food Safety

Do you want to eat meat that is sweet, juicy and savory? You should give mealworms a try. Typically, these worms feed on grain, and are tiny. A mealworm’s total length is less than an inch. They are known to absorb the aromas of the ingredients they are fried in. You may cook them in oil, or use butter to get a taste of sweet meat. In case you don’t like the taste with which the mealworms were raised, just let them starve for twenty hours and then cook them with whatever ingredient you like best.


FAO data - photo - Edible caterpillars (Forestry Mediabase)

The only bug I’ve tried is the Caterpillars. I ate it raw and it’s completely not pleasant. The hairs make this even more unbearable. Don’t try this! Be clever, and cook them before eating them. Cook caterpillars. Chinese chefs are skilled and distinguish in separating the hairy portion from the body.

Dried mopane worms (a caterpillar species) are seen as a delicacy in Botswana. Mopane worms can be soaked to rehydrate until crunchy or cooked with onion, tomatoes and spices before being fried. The flesh is yellow, and the gut can still contain dried leaf fragments which are not toxic to humans. The taste of dried leaves not removed is very reminiscent of tea leaves. To improve the taste, dried mopane worms are sometimes canned in tomato or chilli sauce.


Global earthworm map: Largest dataset on soil biodiversity to date

Kids put a lot of stuff straight into their mouths! But maybe they know what the adults forgot. Earthworms are brimming with protein and iron. Croatia does have a restaurant where cooked earthworms can be eaten. Worms in the process digest dirt which extracts nutrients. If you don’t want to eat a little dirt then bisect the worms laterally and before cooking clean the dirt from them. The earthworms are specially farmed on site, so they are not wild worms. Earthworms are supposed to be protein-filled and low in fat, so some researchers have said they’re a good choice.


Do you know that chocolate contains dead cockroaches? | Weird food, Edible insects, Cockroaches

If you like their taste, you can eat them raw but many people prefer to cook them with rice or alone nicely and gently. Specially for gastronomic purposes, cockroaches are raised and these tiny creatures are fed on fresh vegetables and raw fruits to keep them healthy and shrubby. You may eat toasted, or fried cockroaches. The roasted cockroaches taste like fried chicken to some people, and are very delicious when sautéed.

Bee Larvae

honey bee larvae, apis mellifera, grub, bee, hatch, brood, pupae, close-up, detail | PikistBee larvae are prized in many cultures as tasty morsels. All they eat is royal jelly, pollen, and honey. The larvae, when sautéed in butter, taste much like mushroomy bacon. Adult bees may also be eaten, often roasted. In China, ground bees are used as a remedy for a sore throat.

Related: What Is Your SHTF Plan?

Without food people will last for nearly a month. As I said earlier, the food crisis can last for years. You have to really think about how to procure your food after you have finished your food reserves. Bugs are a healthy choice to eat! But that doesn’t mean this is all you have to eat. Survivors are opportunists, and never can turn down an easy snack, even if it’s a cricket. Collecting food in a survival situation or food shortage is also a combination of several different items, including bugs that you can eat.

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