Humans have been eating bugs for thousands of years. Eating insects is called entomophagy. There are approximately 1,500 species of bugs to eat. Although not very popular in Europe and North America, the practice of raising bugs to eat is widening. In some parts of the world, insects are considered fine delicacies. People living in countries such as Thailand, Africa, Indonesia, Italy and Australia don’t think twice about ordering them at their favorite restaurants or raising bugs at home.
In addition to being very economical, edible bugs are also highly nutritious. They contain more protein than most meats and fish, contain essential amino acids, and are packed with vitamins and minerals. Most are also very delicious! Worldwide, pupae and larvae are the most commonly eaten insect forms, usually consumed with little or no processing. Termites are the second most popular insects eaten throughout the world.
In the United States, however, crickets are the number one choice. They are high in protein and calcium. They can be sautéed, fried, dry-roasted and made into flour. They can be caramel-glazed, chocolate-covered and baked in cookies, muffins and cakes.
Ants are also very popular in the U.S. In fact, there are approximately 2000 different kinds of edible ants. They can be roasted, toasted, stir-fried, baked, used in salads, chocolate-covered or honey-buttered. The most popular recipe found on the internet using ants is called Ant Brood Tacos.
Other edible insects that are gaining popularity in this country are mealworms and flour beetles. There are lots of recipes on the internet that use insects as the main ingredient. Many recipe books have been published as well, that specialize in edible insects.
Raising insects for food can be both satisfying and economical. Cricket breeding kits, ant farms, mealworm breeding kits, and many other insect breeding kits are available online at reasonable prices. If you’d like to breed crickets, don’t forget a mealworm breeding kit. You’ll want to share them with your crickets!