If you can’t hunt, fish, or snare for protein, I bet you can catch some of these little guys. What little guys am I talking about? I’m talking about insects. Let the squeamish turn away! We’re about to delve into the world of edible insects and it just might save your life if you happen to be out and lost in the bush. Only harvest insects from areas safe from pesticides. All insects must be cooked to be made safe from contaminants that may cause illnesses such as parasites and infection.
- Grasshoppers and Crickets – These vary from locusts that are not edible. Locust will swarm together in a pack, whereas a grasshopper will be out on its own kind of doing its own thing. To prepare a grasshopper or a cricket, pull off the legs and antenna and twist to remove the head. Some go further and take the wings off the back and push the spit up out of the grasshopper in particular. Wash the grasshopper or cricket body, place in a bag with spices if you have those, and fry in a frying pan. I have eaten grasshoppers before in a salad. They are tasty. They have a nutty flavor and are high in protein.
- Grubs – These can be found easily when pulling apart a rotting log or snooping under leaf litter on the woodland floor. They are fat little wriggly things that are white. Grubs can be roasted over a fire or pan-toasted like grasshoppers. Of course, always wash them off first. Most grubs are high in protein and fat which gives you a mostly complete macronutrient profile.
- Earthworms – Although most people would rather use them for fish bait, myself included, they can be eaten. During the Medieval Period, people used earthworms as a remedy for the infirmed. Earthworms are very high in protein and can be found anywhere you flip a rock over. Digging down into damp soil will also help you find a handful, but it takes a lot of work. When it rains earthworms typically come to the surface soil so you can just pick them up and collect them. Earthworms taste like dirt because they eat dirt. They have to be boiled multiple times to remove everything from inside their bodies. Once you have done this, you can roast them, dehydrate them, or eat them the way they are. Dried earthworms can be made into a powder that you can add to your meals if all these previous methods are unpalatable.
- June Bug – The humble June Bug buzzes around and seems to be forever lost. They can be found almost everywhere through June and sometimes till August. They too, are edible but catching them may be a bit more difficult than the previous bugs on this list. They’re nocturnal and are attracted to light, so if you have a flashlight, you’re in luck, you just caught dinner. They are best when grilled or sauteed. I have found taking the little legs off makes them more palatable.
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