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Eating Insects

Does the thought of biting into a crispy grasshopper make your mouth water? How about a fried silk moth pupae or a roasted termite? Don't knock it until you try it.

Just the thought of eating insects - fried, roasted or even chocolate coated might gross you out. If you've been following the show Survivor you witnessed contestants choking down live larvae and other weird looking insects. All of the Survivors are still alive and kicking so obviously it won't kill you to eat an insect or two.

The name for insect eating is entomophagy. Although everyone around the world, except North Americans, have been eating insects for years the term is not common. Insects are an abundant food source we are not taking advantage of. Some people would prefer the slaughtering of insects rather than to cattle and poultry.

There are 1,462 recorded species of edible insects. That's not including the thousands that haven't been tasted yet. What you might not know is that some insects are actually nutritious. The nutritional value is different for each insect. The fact that you would have to eat several insects to get the full benefit might stop people from going on an insect diet.

Insects are rarely dipped in chocolate and eaten. They are usually cooked alive and then peeled much like crab or lobster. Yummy! The legs are usually plucked off. Larval insects (baby insects in the form of a worm) are eaten more often than full gown adults. Ants, grasshoppers and crickets are always eaten as adults. One scary insect making its way onto the dinner table is the adult scorpion. The stinger is cut out before they are cooked. Like all meats, it is recommended insects are cooked to avoid parasitic infections. Insects can be fried, roasted, ground up and freeze-dried. You can also get lollipops with insects in them. Remember to do your research before biting into your first insect.

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