15 Bugs Humans Eat Around The World

Entomophagy (eating insects) is a common tradition in many cultures and households. While the majority of people in Western countries are freaked out by the idea of engorging themselves with creepy crawlies, people in other countries find bugs to be a delicacy. So hold on to your gag reflexes, here are 15 bugs humans eat around the world.

dung beetle

Courtesy of Andi Gentsch/Flickr.com

1. Dung Beetle – Thailand

After a day of excessive turd foraging, villagers like to collect a bowl full of dung beetles. Eventually, the beetles are cleaned off and grilled until they’re nice, crispy, and ready to eat.

grasshopper

Courtesy of William Neuheisel/Flickr.com

2. Grasshopper – Mexico

Because these hoppy bugs are high in protein, they make an excellent nutritious meal in Mexico. The people of Mexico get creative with grasshoppers — eating them raw, stuffed in tacos, flavoring the insects with spices, or boiled.

Other countries that also eat grasshoppers: Uganda and China. 

scorpion

Courtesy of Harvey Barrison/Flickr.com

3. Scorpion – China

And we ain’t talking about no baby scorpions in a whiskey lollipop! Believing scorpions to be a natural medicinal remedy, Chinese people eat the cooked insects on a stick (stinging our nerves).

silkworms

Courtesy of Yoppy/Flickr.com

4. Silkworm – Korea

Beondegi is a popular Korean snack consisting of boiled or steamed silkworms. People love them so much that you’d think they were eating Cracker Jacks.

Other countries that also eat silkworms: Assam, Vietnam, Japan, and China

tarantula

Courtesy of tishamp/Flickr.com

5. Tarantula – Cambodia

Arachnaphobics beware! Despite being a poisonous bug, Cambodians devise a specific way of preparing them and love to munch on these hairy spiders. If it helps, tarantulas are reputed to taste like chicken.

crickets

Courtesy of Frank Fox/Flickr.com

6. Cricket – Vietnam

Jiminy Crickets! Closely related to grasshoppers, crickets are also considered luxurious snacks when deep-fried.

Other countries that also eat crickets: Cambodia and Thailand

coconut worms

Courtesy of Tune.pk

7. Weevil Larva – Philippines

Not even this dish can worm its way into our stomachs. Found in most Southeastern Asian countries, weevil larva makes a nice, plump, and juicy meal that can be eaten raw or roasted.

Other countries that also eat weevil larva: Malaysia, Vietnam, and Papua New Guinea. 

cicada

Courtesy of Sharon Hahn Darlin/Flickr.com

8.  Cicada- China

Skewered, fried, sauteed, or boiled. You name it, China does it to cicadas.

Other countries that also eat cicadas: Congo, Burma, Japan, and Brazil

honeypot ant

Courtesy of D Coetzee/Flickr.com

9.  Honeypot Ant – Australia

Like a Winnie-the-Pooh Goes to Australia episode, the Aborigines of Australia find honeypot ants to be a sweet dessert (especially when the ants’ stomachs are engorged with honey).

hissing cockroach

Courtesy of Liz West/Flickr.com

10. Hissing Cockroach – Madagascar

Eating a cockroach is bad enough, but a hissing cockroach? Fuggedaboutit.

stink bugs

Courtesy of Sid Mosdell/Flickr.com

11. Stink bugs (Jumiles) – Mexico

Pee-yew! Prepared in salsa, stink bugs are a common nutritious ingredient in the Taxco region of Mexico.  The stink bugs are reputed to smell like cinnamon and can be eaten fried, grounded, or raw.

midge fly

Courtesy of Andy Murray/Flickr.com

12. Midge Fly – West Africa

In Western African countries, midge flies are collected to be compressed into a Kunga cake for adventurous eaters.

termites

Courtesy of Sarah Chambers/Flickr.com

13. Termites – Kenya

Apparently termites are not just for the anteaters and honey badgers, Kenyans love to dine on these bugs, claiming the insects have a distinct nutty flavor.

Another country that also eats termites: Aboriginal Australia 

centipedes

Courtesy of Denise Chan/Flickr.com

14. Centipedes – China

With a bite that is potentially fatal to humans, centipedes are eaten like it’s nobody business in China, making this creepy crawly a popular street food on a stick.

beetle

Courtesy of Stu_spivack/Flickr.com

15. Cochineal – United States of America

Sorry to forever ruin your love of red velvet cakes, but cochineal (scale bugs) are used for their crimson-colored natural dye that you would often find in your favorite cake (and in red lipsticks).  Enjoy!


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