HOW EATING INSECTS FOR SURVIVAL
If you know a thing or two eating insects about survival (and if you’re reading this site right now, you probably do), then you know that being prepared for anything can be the difference between life and death. And if there’s one thing we bet you didn’t think about prepping for, it’s eating bugs.
Don’t get grossed out — eating insects is actually pretty easy once you get the hang of it. And honestly, what’s not to love about weird grub?
In a survival situation where food sources are scarce and the only way to keep yourself alive is by scavenging what nature has to offer, well…you might just have to consider it!
As long as there have been human beings on this planet, there have been insects—they’re an important part of any ecosystem. And while many people would rather avoid them than have them dependent on them for their survival, bugs are actually one of the most efficient protein sources on the planet—and could be our best bet when SHTF!
Choose your Insects!
There are many different types of insects that you can eat, and they’re available quite literally everywhere – even in your own back garden! These are the most common insects that are eaten:
- Wasps/bees larvae
How to hunt for insects at a good location?
To maximize your bug-hunting efficiency, you need to learn how to look in the right places—and the best times to look there. Insects are cold-blooded, so they prefer warm weather; typically, they’ll be most active during midday hours.
However, many insect species are nocturnal (active at night), and not all insects live outdoors. The specific locations you should check depend on the time of day and your latitude.
Naturally, the greatest location to look for insects is on the ground. Here are some other places where you might be able to locate them:
- Rotting wood to find termites, beetles, and grubs (larvae of beetles)
- Non-movable areas like mailboxes, boulders, and concrete slabs
- Dark undisturbed spaces like attics, walls, and basements
- In grass, dirt, and plants
Collecting the Insects…
Collecting insects is a relatively easy task and you can collect them in any type of container, but you must ensure that there are no holes or tears that would allow the eating insects to escape. You should also be careful not to damage the legs and wings of your catch.
You may want to use netting or cloth over the mouth of your container while you capture them so they do not fly away when you open the container. In most cases, it is easiest to trap your food rather than chase and kill it outright.
Basic Insect Cuisine (Cooking bugs like it’s normal…)
There are many ways to prepare insects for cooking. One way is to deep-fry insects. This is not just an attempt at making bugs taste better—the heat from deep-frying kills any parasites and generally keeps the food safer for consumption. Plus, who doesn’t like fried food?
You can also put cooked insects in stews, salads or soup. They can used in a stir-fry or roasted in the oven with other items—be sure to pick up some barbecue sauce and breadcrumbs if possible!
And yes… Insect Flour! The first step in making insect flour is to dry the insects in the oven. Place the prepared insects on a cookie sheet that has been lightly greased and placed in a 200° oven. Allow the insects to dry until they are brittle and can easily crushed. The process usually takes between an hour and three hours. Now, using a blender or coffee grinder, ground them until they have a consistency comparable to wheat germ.
You now have flour that can used in practically any dish, including breads, soups, stews, and salads.
Which Insects Are Non-Edible?
In addition to knowing which insects are edible, it’s important to know which ones are not.
Here are some helpful tips for identifying non-edible insects:
- Disease-carrying insects like flies, mosquitos, and ticks
- Insects with bright colors (like red or yellow) often secrete venom and should avoided.
- Insects that covered with hairs
- Poisonous insects that bite or sting
- Insects that have a strong odor or bad taste
If you have any doubts about an insect’s edibility, chop off a piece, cook it, swallow it, and wait a few hours. Eat a bigger slice and wait a little longer if you don’t see any symptoms. It’s probably OK if nothing occurs.
Raising and Growing Insects for your Own Supply
How does someone raise and grow insects for survival? The first thing you’ll want to do is find them freshwater—bugs made up of over 70% water, and they’ll need a constant supply of it to survive.
After that, the key will be providing them with a constant supply of food. Most bugs eat a variety of different things, but there are a few basic staples that most different kinds of bugs can eat: seeds, leaves, fungi, fruit, small animals (like tiny snails), and other insects.
You’ll want to make sure you have these things on hand if you want to raise and grow insects for survival.
Ready for bug-snack?
It is surprising how many edible bugs are out there, and eating them is not hard to do.
There are over 2,000 species of insects that considered safe for human consumption. There are a wide variety of insects out there, and each has its own unique flavor and texture. When cooked or prepared properly, they can be a great source of protein.
When the SHTF, your options for food will be slim to none. You can’t eat gold or silver, so you better prepared for when food is scarce.
Imagine how much more interesting your life will be if you develop a taste for eating bugs.
By now, you should feel more than ready to start eating insects! Just remember that in a survival situation, you don’t always have the luxury of choice. If you find yourself in an area where there are no insects to eat, as long as you know how to identify which ones are safe for you, you can still take advantage of your surroundings and eat what’s available.
As always, use common sense when eating anything in the wild! But most importantly, have fun with it! You’re surviving—and maybe even thriving—in the wilderness by taking advantage of the local wildlife.
You might not be doing this for very long (maybe just until help comes or until you find a way out), so make the most of it.
This post is sponsored by Medical Gear Outfitters