So what can I eat?

With there being billions of different species of invertebrates with hundreds of different ways to defend themselves from becoming lunch for others.

So what the hell can I eat as an entomophagist.

Here are 8 groups of animals that are commonly eaten;

1. Beetles

These are possibly the most commonly eaten animals. the most commonly eaten ones are the larvea of darkling beetles, known as mealworms. These animals can be eaten in all life forms, from larva to beetle.

other verities of beetles eaten can range from long-horned, June/may bugs, dung and rhinoceros beetles. It is noted that these animals can easier obtained and eaten where they are naturally found. Importing of some of these animals can be pricey, and obtainable only in set times of the year.

It needs to be noted that these animals have long life forms and can live for a long time so they must be sourced sustainable from a responsible trader.

2. Bees and Wasps

There is more to bees than honey. Indigenous people from Africa, Asian, South America, Mexico and Australia have all been recorded eating both bees and wasps. Stingless bees are the most commonly eaten, these animals can be eaten at all stages, egg, larval, pupa and adult. They are commonly noted to have a nutty flavor, they taste like peanuts/ almonds, wasps are noted to have a more pine nut flavor.

3. Grasshoppers, Crickets, and Locusts

A firm favorite of many entomophagists. these animals are a near second to being the most consumed. There are a lot of different kinds, and they are excellent protein sources. These animals are normally used as a poster food for entomophagy and can commonly be seen in most entomophagic restaurants. Locusts are a common food source as they can become swarms that have the ability to devastate countries food supplies. In these countries that are struggling with food security these swarms of animals can be a lifeline.

fried locusts.jpg

fried crickets on a market in Cambodia. photo by Thomas Schoch

4. Butterflies and Moths

These flying insects are high in both protein and iron . The best known example of these insects are the agave worms that are found in the bottom of Mescal, a Mexican liquor. These agave worms are found between the leaves of agave plants. These butterflies are highly sort after for both food, and for the drinks, they are commonly cultivated to protect them from over harvesting.

5. Ants

These may be small but they are known to be eaten throughout the world. With many being harvested during their breeding season, when the males and females fly


Deep fried ants photo by Stephanie Sadler



6. Water Boatmen and Backswimmers

These animals are commonly seen on social media. These beetles lay eggs in the stems of plants, these eggs can be dried and used to make Mexican caviar, it tastes like shrimp. They can also be eaten fresh for a seafood flavour.

7. Flies and Mosquitoes

Not exacally the most popular animals to be eaten. This family also contains termites, commonly eaten. Depending on where these animals are raised, in water or even on cheese (some flies are developed on cheeses) they have the ability to take on the flavor of their surroundings.

8. Stinkbugs

These might seem like a odd choice to eat given their name but these insects apparently add an apple like flavour. They are also valuable source of iodine.

Share your insect-eating stories in the comments.

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