Browse By

Eating Insects for Survival

Many of us would pass-up an opportunity to eat insects, especially as part of our daily consumption. I shiver at the thought of ever having to eat bugs. Bugs do not appeal to many as the ideal meal. Most Americans feel eating insects is disgusting, but eating bugs is common in many African and Asian countries, even Australia. While some people find it gross to cook insects, many people from different countries in the world have put aside such prejudices, and they eat insects because of their nutritional value.

Consider caterpillars, they have more protein than beef. Scientific research reveals that some insects and larvae have more nutritious values than most of the food we consume on a regular basis. Let us look at beef and compare it to the nutritional benefits of common insects.

  • Beef provides about 200 to 300 calories per 100 grams.
  • Termites have 350 calories per 100 grams.
  • Moth larvae provides almost 270 calories per 100 grams. They are a great source for a fast intake of protein. They are about 60 percent protein.

Now, most of us would think beef is tastier than plump juicy caterpillars, but it might be surprising to hear others say it taste very delicious. Reportedly, bugs are delicious, especially when cooked. Some bugs have sweet flavors like apple pie, and some insects taste like cinnamon or lemongrass. It appears eating insects is something worth trying, well in some cases.

My point is, if we are forced to improvise and eat whatever we find crawling on the ground, we should not hesitate to cook a few insects. Many people eat bugs as a means of survival, especially when living in the wilderness. I understand, getting rid of our prejudices about bug consumption can be difficult. However, if we see it as a brand new experience helping us survive in the direst circumstances, the experience will be well worth the effort.

Below is a short list of bugs we can eat during survival that can help us stay alive and healthy.


Varieties of ants are eaten just because they are delicious. Surprisingly they taste like smoked bacon. Ants are eaten because they have low saturated fat and are high in protein. Ants, along with cicadas, crickets, grasshoppers, and termites, should be cooked.


Throughout the world, people eat crickets. Many cakes, cookies, sauces and soups recipes include crickets. Roasted crickets are popular in places such as Cambodia, Thailand, and Mexico. Crickets are healthy for teeth and bones. Four crickets have more calcium than a cup of milk.


Yes, Grasshoppers are another excellent choice for iron, zinc and calcium. They provide protein levels a little lower than beef and fish. Nonetheless, they are low in cholesterol and have a variety of vitamins. If they are fried, they have a nutty taste.


Earthworms are consumed raw or cooked. They are high in iron and protein. They are a very popular food in Venezuela.


Jumiles, also known as stink bugs, are not very appealing, but they are high in vitamin B. They taste like cinnamon, so they are not a bad choice when nothing else is around.

Jumiles should be cooked, but don’t be surprised if they are still alive after the cooking process. The are very resistant. Try to get rid of the stink before cooking them by putting them in a jar of water for at least three hours or overnight.

These are just a few bugs we can eat for survival. When catching and cooking insects, following the following rules to keep yourself safe. Try to avoid eating and cooking dangerous insects without professional assistance. For example, cooking scorpions and tarantulas is not a good idea for beginners.

Suggestions for Eating Bugs

Stay away from bugs that carry diseases.

Eating ticks, mosquitoes, and flies could cause serious illness. Even more, it is difficult to catch enough of these insects to satisfy one’s hunger.

Do not eat insects that are already dead.

The reason the bug is dead is unknown, therefore, eating it could be deadly.

Do not eat poisonous bugs

We do not need a lot of explanation here, for the reason is very clear. The exception to this rule is scorpions and spiders, that is, they must already be dead and properly cooked.

Do not try to eat insects that sting or bite.

Generally, it is not recommended to eat this type of insect unless it is already killed and cooked for you. Catching them by one’s self is considered risky. Insects that are the exception include wasps, bees, and centipedes. Still, there are more that 1,200 edible bugs that are safe to catch and eat. Finding something that will not be harmful should be fairly easy.

Try not to eat insects with a bad odor.

Bugs that smell awful use their odor to warn predators to stay away. Why? They are dangerous, so predators should thing twice. If there is nothing to eat, remove the odor from the insects, and cook them thoroughly.

Do not eat brightly-colored insects.

Bright-colored bugs often mean they are poisonous, so it is better to stay away from them.

Keep these suggestions and tip in mind, and surviving off of insects will be a more pleasant experience. Remember people have been eating bugs all over the world for centuries, not just out of necessity, but because the taste delicious too.


Leave a Reply