These insects run through the markets of Thailand, South Africa and South Korea offered separately as crunchy snacks to locals and bold travelers. They are highly rich in protein and may be considered as a good food supplement to boost energy. In case you can't make up your mind, a "bug-pack" may be suggested consisting of all edible insects you can munch on while appreciating great views and nature tripping. Larvae and Caterpillars of these insects were also considered as a rare delicacy, either as soup or added flavor to paste.
Farmed by an old Japanese lady in Kyushu Island, the Giant Japanese Hornet is used to make honey. This is a completely incredible honey - literally! The Giant Japanese Hornet is the largest species of wasp in the world, and it contains special enzymes in its body which are reputed to increase strength and energy levels. Giant Japanese Hornets have one of the most incredible stamina's of any living creature and this stamina can be temporarily passed into the system of those who consume it. In fact, so certain are the Japanese of its properties, that the Japanese athletes consumed Giant Hornet enzymes before competing in the 2000 Olympic Games. No attestation was made, however, that the medals won were attributed to the honey. This honey is collected in a farm on a remote Island in Southern Japan; the hornet is placed on a needle to enable the enzymes in its body to be released into the honey. The honey is very fluid and tastes delicious, somewhat like honey that has been mixed with port or brandy. It is suggested that the honey taken with your favorite alcoholic beverage, but may be used as one would to any other honey. It is said to give a pick-me-up effect.
Worms are not insects. However, these worms belong to the species of arthropods classified as insects, edible insects! These are not flatworms, ringworms, earthworms, leeches or other kinds of parasitic worms that first come to mind. Worms originating in England are made tasty treats for tea time. These tasty little snacks are oven baked and not fried. Good new for the health buffs and gym rats.
The worms, from the class of insects and order tricladida, are farm raised specially for human consumption and are fed on a diet of select grains and cereals. They taste very similar to toasted popcorn and are seasoned with BBQ. For the Esses and Hombres in Mexico is a treat that surely makes anyone gone loco. A Tequila flavored lollipop, which contains the same real edible worm, makes a very extraordinary kick on every shot of lollies. it's a delicious candy version of Mezcal with a worm in the bottom of the bottle. It makes a tasty and nutritious addition to the candy. Chupa chups is not the only one with surprises on every stick. Last, the natives of South Africa fancies Mopane worms from the order Lepidoptera. Mopane's are a staple part of the diet in Southern Africa. They are harvested twice a year and commonly sold in the local markets. The mopane worm is the brightly colored caterpillar of the Emperor Moth, which is one of the world's largest moths, and the caterpillar lives on the leaves of the Mopane tree - hence the name. The worms are hand picked or shaken off the trees. The local collectors squeeze them to remove bright green 'guts' and then they are cooked in a cauldron of salty water until the water has evaporated, they are then dried in the sun. Once dried, they can be stored for many months. Their protein content is three times that of beef, weight for weight, and they are traditionally cooked in a stew containing tomatoes and onions. The biggest worms have the best flavor as they contain more fat. The texture is similar to tofu or soy meat and they taste a little like dried fish, but they seem to soak up the flavor of whatever they are cooked with. Mopane's can also be eaten as they are as a snack like, 'jerky'.
5. Spiders and Scorpions
Spiders and Scorpions belong to the class of Arachnids. They are not insects; one distinction would be they crawl on more than six limbs. Most spiders and scorpions, however, are insectivores. Following the food chain where energy passes from one to another, the benefits derived from eating insects will much be the same as eating spiders and scorpions.
Tarantulas, a large spider, mainly eat insects and other arthropods, using ambush as their primary method. The biggest tarantulas can kill small animals. Most are harmless to humans, and some are popular in the exotic pet trade while others are eaten as food. These spiders are found in tropical and desert regions around the world. A village in Cambodia harvests these spiders from the forest, de-fanged one by one and sold in the market. Tarantula's are fermented as wine and was said to be a cure for back pains and sleepless nights. But the most popular is to make it hot and crispy. Deep fried Tarantulas are sold like a take out snacks for 10 cents a piece. People travel far for this native delicacy. A gourmand would hand pick this unusual treat and according to them, the best ones have crunchy limbs and the protein rich bodies still juicy.
A close relative of spiders are scorpions. Scorpions have a long and slender body with a segmented tail that ends in a bulb-like poison gland or stinger. Scorpions are nocturnal, usually hiding under stones, bark, wood or other objects where they wait or search for prey. Chief foods are small insects, spiders, centipedes, earthworms, and other scorpions. The body juices of the prey are eaten by the scorpion. Then the scorpion end up in a cold plate waiting to be devoured for its extraordinary effects. Scorpions are considered an exotic delicacy in regions of China, Japan and Thailand. Usual preparation is the same as spiders, deep fried and salted. In Japan, baby scorpions are eaten live as a thrilling practice. Simply grab the scorpion by its tail, still with the stinger, bite it, munch it and taste its juices. That's a taste of its own medicine. In China, farm raised yellow scorpions are prepared to fit the modern way of living and a possible score with the ladies: Oven baked and hand dipped in Belgian dark chocolate. The experience is something like having a break with Kitkat; a crisp wafer like texture and a pleasant nutty taste similar to walnut. Offer the lady with a drink, a very dramatic Scorpion Martini with the scorpion as alternative to olive; pure grain vodka infused with yellow scorpion specially bred in southern china. The scorpion is first put through a special detoxifying process then infused in the vodka for 3 months, the scorpion imparts a pleasant soft woody taste to the vodka, it also effectively smoothes off the sharp edge. Alcohol infused with a scorpion is said to possess many excellent health properties when drunk, such as helping to increase libido, lowering blood pressure & helps remove toxins in the bloodstream. Scorpion vodka is best served straight from the freezer, but it is also a pleasant partner to a simple mixer such as tonic. Once you have finished the vodka you can then move on to the scorpion which has been carefully detoxified so that it is 100% safe to eat. Then offer her a treat, a toffee scorpion candy. Score!
The insects are suggested to be farm raised with a controlled diet rather than having one from the wild. This is to ensure the health of those who eat them that the insects are free from any toxins arising form pesticides or from infectious diseases they may carry.
Entomophagy is a big part of the culture of those mentioned countries and its people. Eating insects and its health and medicinal benefits have been passed for centuries by their predecessors. For some, it is a way of life. For others, it is a means of living. For a certain few, it is for survival. Modern Entomologists are researching extensively these insects as possible source of food and not merely as a food supplement. Insects are abundant and easy to farm than cows, chickens or pigs and require little amount of space. "In terms of nutritional content and simple cost-effectiveness it would be much more sensible to raise bugs than cattle." "It takes a lot of fodder, a large field and great effort to raise a single cow. Since insects eat little, don't require much space and breed so rapidly, it would cost a lot less to produce the same amount of protein" (a Beetle a day, July 6, 1999).
Studies show and has constantly given warnings of a possible widespread of famine in the next millennium. Can eating insects help…