More than two billion folks worldwide eat insects on a regular basis, from cooked ants served like popcorn in South American movie theaters to centipedes sold on a stick as street food in China. Except for most of us, here in the U.S., just considering intake a bug is enough to quash an appetite. Then again, we might feel differently in a survival scenario, where insects could be the only factor standing between us and going hungry.
Of course, it’s not as simple as chowing down on whatever bugs you can find. Let’s take a look at what you need to know to remain safe, and perhaps even enjoy your food, if you’re ever forced to eat insects for survival.
What to Avoid
For starters, you clearly need to avoid toxic insects, which could leave you worse than just hungry. How can you tell which are toxic? short of learning how to determine toxic species, paying attention to nature’s signals will tell you lots.
For example, if you choose up an insect and notice a nasty smell, you should take that as a warning sign that it should be toxic. And just as the bright colors of Amazonian poison dart frogs act as a warning for …