Eating grasshoppers, locusts, crickets and cathidines – Mother Earth News

Grasshoppers, crickets and their relatives have played an important role in the history of human nutrition. Due to their universal distribution and ease of catching, they are among the most common insects used in human food. Roasting and frying methods are often used for cooking, after removing the wings and young legs first. Since it has a mild taste, it adapts well to local spice preferences. Spices such as onions, garlic, chili or soy sauce can be added. Intoxicated locust, known as inago, is a favorite cocktail snack in Japan.

Locusts are the crowding stage of short-horned grasshoppers of the family Acrididae. These are species that can reproduce rapidly under suitable conditions and thus become gregarious (i.e. live in herds) and migratory. They form bands like nymphs and swarms like adults – both of which can travel long distances as a plague, ravaging the countryside like Shermans through Georgia.


Among the grasshoppers, there are 10 families, and these families account for about 60 percent of the edible resources among winged locusts worldwide. Grasshoppers are the most commonly eaten insect species due to their wide spread, variety and variety, and ease of harvesting. They come in all colors, often related to their habitat, from green to brown to gray to pink and yellow and all shades in between. Most of them turn an attractive red when boiled or fried, which has led to them being promoted in Thailand as “sky prawns”. As children in the Pacific Northwest we were chasing large, three-inch-long grasshoppers that had a loud crackling sound; remove their legs, wings and head; And boil it in pumpkin pie spice like we did the crawl. They have a mild flavor that takes spice well and is good wild fare simply roasted over the fire. We dressed them the same way, boiled them in salt water, and hung them in garlands in the smoker when we smoked, and they smelled delicious. Once dry, keep them for up to a year in an airtight jar.

Although grasshoppers were widely used as food by Native American tribes in western North America, little is known about the preferred species—if there was a preference. One small way of harvesting insects was for a number of people to form a large circle around a large bed of coals and then shove them toward the fire, where at least some would lose their wings, fall off, and be roasted. Since there are several species of grassland grasshoppers at any one time and place, any roasted grasshopper would likely have been fair game.

Missionaries of the nineteenth century recorded that one of the mass harvesting techniques common to many tribes was a simple process. They were digging a hole 10-12 feet in diameter and 4-5 feet deep in the middle of a 4-5 acre field. Surrounding the field were men with long brushstrokes, and they led the grasshoppers to the center, where they would fall into the pit. A 3-4 acre drive often fills such a hole. A variation on this, similar to the small-scale harvesting above, was to build a light brush fire that covered 20 to 30 square feet. Then the people formed a big circle around it and pushed the grasshoppers into the hot coals. Sometimes a field is set on fire, and the burning grasshoppers are caught afterwards. Or, as in the case of Mormon crickets, grasshoppers can be collected by hand in the early morning, when it is too cold to be active. Crushed locusts were often mixed with cranberries and severely dried to obtain long-lasting pemican – an essential trade commodity among the various tribes.

The spring of 1985 saw countless numbers of Melanoplus sanguinipes washed up on the eastern shore of Utah’s Great Salt Lake. Researcher Dave Madsen notes that “elegant rows of salted and sun-dried grasshoppers stretch for miles along the shore,” with the widest rows over six feet wide, nine inches deep and containing up to 10,000 grasshoppers per foot. Madsen’s team found that one person can amass about 200 pounds per hour, or 273,000 calories per hour of work: a deer or antelope, assuming successful hunting, returns about 25,000 calories for every hour of labor invested. The team then found the nearby caves where the indigenous people came to harvest and winnow the sand from these prepared seasonal dishes, and, according to the coprolites in the caves, they snacked while they worked.

Although grasshoppers in particular are a worldwide staple, they can carry many parasitic worms that can be transmitted to humans, so roasting or boiling is important for more than tasting – just as with eggs and chicken that are cooked Buy it from the store. In a domestic setting, grasshoppers are often captured and kept for a day to be disinfected before being dressed and prepared, but they still need to be cooked.

Recipes abound due to its mild taste that goes with any seasoning, and because of its widespread use as food. Most start with fresh insects that have been boiled and processed or dried/roasted reconstituted by boiling. One of the easiest recipes is to dip it in eggs, then cornmeal, and fry it in oil. After they are dried, they make good finger food with several dips or, with a nod to John the Baptist, dipped in honey.

If your taste buds are to cook Tex-Mex, try this: Get about a thousand baby crawfish, soak them in clean water for 24 hours, then boil and dry. Remove the legs, wings and heads and fry with chopped garlic, onion, salt and lemon. Roll up in tortillas with chili sauce and guacamole. Serves six auxiliary, or about twice that number of diluents. One of the favorite seasonings for locusts is regular soy sauce or sweet and sour sauces with soybeans.

more than Survive on edible insects:

Reprinted from Survive on edible insects By Fred Demara with permission from Ogden Publications.

Survive on edible insects

In this unique guide, author Fred Demara (who instructed readers on which plants to eat Eating while jogging) shares tips for identifying safe insects, determining their habitat, harvesting them by numbers, and preparing them properly to make them safe and delicious to eat on the go. Finding the idea of ​​eating insects hard to swallow? Get rid of it. To sustain life, if you do not have the food you love, it is better to learn to love the food you have.

However, insects are not just an option for survival. As the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations recently pointed out, it might be time to swap your burgers for insects. They’re packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and delicious if cooked properly. (Tex-Mex ant taco, anyone?) Plus it’s abundantly ubiquitous and free to take, making it the perfect survival food.

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