Survival Bug Cuisine: 4 Steps To Eating Insects

Insects are eaten in many parts of the world as a simple, everyday snack; sometimes as a delicacy. The survival_bug_eatingpractice of eating insects is referred to as entomophagy, and fair amounts of research has already been done to look at insects as a healthy alternative to the world’s heavy consumption of other protein sources such as beef.

By Alex Coyne, a contributing author of Survival Cache &

Survivalists and food enthusiasts alike might be curious about trying their first bug – and be well aware of the fact that they might have to do so for necessity. Here’s more information about bug cuisine and why it matters…

The Nutritional Value of Insects

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations released a document entitled Eating eating_bugs_for_survivalInsects: Future prospects for food and feed security exploring the history and current facts behind insect-eating; it’s definitely worth a read, and even manages to tell us a little more about the nutritional value of insects. According to their guide, a large, adult mealworm has 206 kcal per 100g; a dried de-winged adult termite has 535 kcal per 100g and a whole raw red legged grasshopper has 160 per 100g.

Also Read: Survival Eating

It’s clear that insects aren’t lacking in nutritional value – and, prepared right, they could be delicious.

Insects to Avoid

Most insects are edible as a general rule of thumb, though you might want to avoid anything that’s brightly colored, spiky or hairy or emits a weird smell as they are likely to be outright poisonous or just not good to eat. For scorpions, you might want to remove the stinger first – and most guides to bug cooking recommend that you cook most bugs, though some – mealworms being one – can be eaten raw.

Ways to Eat Bugs

So, you want to eat bugs? Whether you’re camping, doing it for fun or being forced to seek out bugs for food in a survival situation, here’s our guide to how to find them and what to do with them then…

Step One: Harvesting

Many insects can be attracted with simple bait. A mixture of brown sugar and yeast will attract anythingHydro Flask Water Filter from ants to beetles; fermenting fruit, wine or beer is another option for attracting all sorts of critters. The Insect Sciences Museum of California notes that bugs like to seek shelter in or under fallen trees, plants, leaves, stones and near ponds and streams. Look for them there and take along a jar for collection – accessories like a knife (for separating bark from trees, for example), gloves (for spiky plants) and a net (for flying insects) might also come in handy.

Step Two: Cleaning

Not all insects need to be cleaned before preparing; again, it depends what kind of insect you ended up with. Termites, for example, might need to be ideally de-winged before frying; scorpions can be cooked with the stinger, though it’s generally recommended you remove it. Certain caterpillars and worms might have to be cleaned beforehand, too, by removing their internal digestive systems.

Step Three: Drying, or –

Some insect snacks are dried. A great example is mopane worms, the caterpillar of an Emperor moth found in Southern Africa and traditionally dried and eaten as-is or rehydrated and used in cooking. You can make your own dried insect snacks by cleaning them – in the case of mopane worms, they are squeezed to “pop out” their guts – and placing them on a drying rack, with salt.

Step Four: Frying

The majority of insects will be best fried – at its simplest, in butter or oil and with salt and any accompanying herbs and spices you have on hand. This will, of course, depend on your situation and what you are able to harvest around you. Our best recommendation is to experiment with this, as your taste in bugs could turn out to be as varied as many people’s tastes in vegetables or steak – would you like your caterpillars crispy?

Extra Resources: Articles and Books

Take a look at these links for some more information and great bug recipes. Know of any more great links, recipes or bug-eating stories? Send them our way in the comments below the article!

The Eat-a-Bug Cookbook: 40 Ways to Cook Crickets, Grasshoppers, Ants, Water Bugs, Spiders, Centipedes and their Kin on

Edible: An Adventure into the World of Eating Insects and the Last Great Hope to Save the Planet on

The Insect Cookbook: Food for a Sustainable Planet on

Bugs for Lunch on

Eating Bugs: Bug Recipes and Insect Recipes from Chefs on, April 22, 2015

Awesome Insect Recipes on Bug Vivant

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5 comments… add one
  • Ray August 16, 2017, 6:40 am

    I have gone without food for days and never been that hungry.

  • Roger August 16, 2017, 6:33 pm

    I have ‘sampled’ many different insects, and didn’t ‘like’ any of them, but I could eat them in an emergency situation. The two main points I would make of eating ‘bugs’ are that they are quite small and would require perhaps too much effort “calories spent” to procure enough to sustain you and never eat insects raw, the possibility of illness and parasites is too great; especially in a SHTF-type of situation! GLAHP!

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