Eating Grasshoppers: Is it worth it?

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Insects aren’t on the menus of most North Americans or Europeans, but they are for much of the world.  They are plentiful, filled with protein, and often quite tasty.  I decided the eating grasshopers would be a fun way to put insects to the gourmet test.  If you follow my YouTube channel, you might know that I sometimes partake in some of the local terrestrial invertebrates.  It’s odd really, that we are so happy to eat lobster, oysters, and shrimp, but not big crunchy grasshoppers. 

Of course, what’s the point of eating bugs if you don’t put it on YouTube, right? You can watch the video, read on, or both.

The idea behind my bug sampling is that I’ve spent a lot of time reading about eating them in survival books, but never actually tested them.  So, in the name of science, or being a guinea pig, or something, I try them.

It turns out eating grasshoppers isn’t too bad.  I gave them a quick coat of olive oil and garlic, threw them on the BBQ, removed their legs and wings and gave the little buggers a try.  Turns out, they taste a lot like roasted pumpkin seeds.  The larger ones had a bit of a chemical taste.  A viewer suggested removing heads before cooking to pull out their digestive tract, which might have removed the taste.

Eating Grasshoppers isn't so bad
BBQ’d grasshoppers ready for sampling

I should also note that while most grasshoppers are edible, some aren’t.  Avoid brightly coloured ones. Also, cook them to remove parasites.  Some sources say that their proteins start to change as soon they are dead, so it is best to cook them quickly after you kill them, or even cook them alive after a few minutes in the fridge to slow them down.  I opted to kill them in the freezer before eating.

Conclusion?  Eating grasshoppers isn’t too bad.  I’d do it again.

If you’d rather skip the bugs and munch on some wild plants, try Easy Spring Foraging in the Pacific Northwest. It features mostly plants that grow all over the temperate Northern Hemisphere.

Update, April 2019:  I tried some courtesy of Botanical Delights in Puerto Vallarta.  No funny taste.  Just chilli, garlic, lime, and, salt. Yum!!

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