Historically speaking, humans have been eating insects for millions of years. To this day, well over 1/3 of the human population relies on bugs for protein and other vital nutrients. You may be consuming all kinds of bugs that get ground up in flour or make their way into frozen vegetable packages.
In fact, it is estimated that every person in the United States consumes over two pounds of bugs each year without realizing it. Beer drinkers eat even more bugs because just 10 grams of hops contains over 2500 aphids; and this number is acceptable to the FDA.
So, what wouldn’t you count on them for off-grid survival?
Grasshopper colors range from light to a dark green, and 1 to 3 inches in size. These insects have 3 pairs of legs, and the rear set is much longer and stronger than the others.
Grasshoppers have wings on their back to assist them in traveling across long distances. Their heads have two antennae, which they use for navigation. They are found on grassy fields, meadows, and along the forest tree line.
To attract them, use a jar or other container and put it on its side. Put fresh leftover vegetables or other edible foods in the jar for bait. Set the trap and put it out at sunset. At sunrise, there will be grasshoppers in the jar. Do not forget to put the lid on the container. You can also catch them by hand. This way is much slower, and you have to start before dawn.
Grasshoppers can be deep fried, roasted, or baked. They can be eaten like this or added to sauces or stews. Some like them with a little salt and vinegar.
Ants are red or black in color, and about 1/4 inch in size. They also have antenna on their heads and 3 pairs of legs attached to an hourglass body.
Ants are found in anthills. Catch them by putting a stick in the anthill, wait a minute, and then remove the stick. Put the ants in a jar by shaking the stick. The ant larva can also be eaten.
In order to attract them, use sugar water, peonies, or any kind of food. Ants can be roasted, toasted, or dipped in chocolate.
Special Notes: Not all ant species are edible. It is best to stay away from fire ants and other poisonous ant colonies since they can easily attack and kill you if the swarms are large enough. Before hunting for ants, make sure you know which ones in the area are safe to eat and hunt.
Sow Bugs (also known as Rolly Pollies)
Sow bugs look like little gray balls the size of a BB at rest. They open up to about 1/4 inch when in motion, but still remain fairly round looking. When eating, they stretch out to look more worm-like.
Rolly Pollies are found under rotten wood, stones, or anything that has been sitting on soil for a while. So place rotten wood, stones, or other materials on the surface of the ground to attract them.
Sow Bugs are best cooked toasted to very crispy. Then they can be eaten by the handful, and they can be consumed raw with pepper or hot sauce.
Termites are about 1 inch long with 2 wings, 2 pair of legs, and antennas on their head. Since termites live in rotting wood, keep some near your base camp. Another way to attract them is to have a light source that is surrounded by a fine mesh net.
Termites are best toasted in a pan with olive oil and your favorite spices.
Crickets are brown in color and have three pairs of legs. The rear most legs are larger than the others and are used for jumping. Cricket wings are used primarily for communication, and not for flight. Crickets are found on fields, meadows, or along the tree line.
To attract the crickets, put a jar on its side on the ground. Put flour, fresh vegetables, or other bait in it. Put it out at sunset and recover it at dawn. Be sure to cap the container.
Crickets can be fried, roasted, or baked. They can be eaten by themselves, or put in stews and sauces.
Maggots are about 1/2 inch long, brown in color, and are the larva of flies. They are found in rotten meat, fish, or poultry.
To attract them, lay a piece of rotting meat or fish on the ground and leave it until you see maggots covering the bait. Then, scrape them off the bait into a jar.
Maggots can be fried, roasted or even eaten raw. Their taste will depend on what they were eating. If they were on something noxious, cover with hot sauce or strong herbs.
When you first hear about eating bugs for survival purposes, you may feel grossed out and nauseated. It is very important to realize that you are already eating bugs in modern processed foods.
Therefore, if you have any hesitance about consuming bugs listed in this article, consider that you may have already savored their delicious flavorings, and benefited from their nutrient rich bodies.
This article has been written by Fred Tyrell for Survivopedia.
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