The internet is abuzz with the story of Edward Archibold, a 32 year-old West Palm Beach man who died last Friday after winning a roach eating contest at Ben Siegel Reptile Store in Deerfield Beach.
Though the insects consumed during the competition were not raised specifically for human consumption, there are many places that sell bugs designed for people to eat.
In fact, entomophagy, or insect eating, is practiced by most of the world, with many street vendors offering up scorpions on a stick, fried grubs, or sauteed waxworms as a tasty alternative protein. According to a 2010 edible insect conference, over 80 percent of the world's population include insects as part of their diet. Currently 1,400 insects of the nearly one million species have been identified as safe for human consumption.
Whether oven-baked, fried, salted, or dipped in chocolate, these insects are safe and tasty.
These little insects are dried and flavored for your enjoyment.Cricket-ettes come in salt & vinegar, bacon & cheese, and sour cream & onion and are only nine calories per serving -- perfect for a diet-conscious snack! At only $1.95 per package, you might just be saying "Jiminy Cricket -- that's good eating"!
9. Toasted Scorpions
These farm-raised scorpions are detoxified so you don't have to worry about any venom. Oven toasted and lightly salted, they come in a handy tube. About $16.
8. Scorpion Vodka
Forget hair of the dog...next Sunday put a little tail of the Scorpion in your Bloody Mary. After you finish the vodka, you can eat the scorpion (please let us know how you got the sucker out of the bottle). About $18.
At some point in college you've probably "shot the worm" while downing some Mezcal. This agave-based spirit is usually distilled in Oaxaca, Mexico. The worm, by the way, is really a moth larva. (Prices vary.)
6. Canned Weaver Ant Eggs
A favorite in Thailand, these weaver ant eggs are prepared with chilies and served with sticky rice. Described as being "creamy and nutty", they're also said to be quite large with a jelly-like texture. ($8.99)
5. Male Rhino Beetles
Male rhino beetles are one of the largest and strongest insects in the world -- able to lift 850 times their own weight. Now lift one of these giant guys into your gaping yaw and start chewing! Flavored with Thai seasoning and a little soy sauce for your eating enjoyment. ($6.60)
4. Giant Waterbugs
These giant waterbugs, or water scorpions, live in Thailand, eat pond animals, and breathe underwater. Prove to them that you're higher up on the food chain by scarfing down a few of these critters. Hint: take the outer wings off and eat the meat inside. ($5.90)
3. Ant Candy
These cute little cherry-flavored candies look just like an ant farm -- with real ants! Also comes in apple flavor. ($2.99)
2. Chocolate Covered Insects
These sweet treats come four to a package -- one white chocolate cricket and larva and one dark chocolate cricket and larva -- for an assortment of finger-licking buggy goodness. ($2.25)
1. Canned Silkworms
Probably the easiest to find, canned silkworms are readily available in most Asian markets. They're so popular, there's an eHow page on preparing them (roast them, stir-fry them, eat them straight from the can). (Prices vary.)
Here's a video of some guys eating canned silkworms. Their taste description? Nutty -- with entrails..
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