Entomophagy. Yes, the practice of eating bugs. Over 2 billion people across the world divulge in eating insects. While some see this as a delicacy, it can also increase the chance of survival in the wilderness. Bugs are a huge source of protein, carbohydrates, and nutrients that are essential for survival.
Emergency food (eating bug’s)
With more than 1,400 edible insects, it is important to have some ground rules before heading out for your next wilderness meal. While there are no hard and fast rules for eating bugs, there are some general practices to follow when deciding what’s on the menu. As a general rule, avoid bright colored insects, slow moving insects, insects with a pungent smell, and hairy insects. (Note: there are exceptions to these rules, but if you are unsure it is in best practice to avoid them.) Also, people with shellfish allergies should avoid any insects if avoidable. Insect’s that are carriers of disease, (ticks, flies, mosquito) should also be avoided.
In the wilderness, having a digging stick, or a “Seine” can make finding insects easier. You can make a make-shift Seine by tying a t-shirt or cloth with sticks to make a net to catch active bugs. Look for bugs in decaying wood, leaves, and grass. When possible, find a way to cook insects. Boiling or cooking will help kill any bacteria or poison that they are harboring. Beetles for example, (or any hard shell insect) may contain parasites, but if cooked, it will negate the effect.
So, on your next wilderness adventure, if you find yourself in need of some protein, some of the best bugs you could look for would be earth worms (if swallowed whole, or made into a paste it will help avoid the gag factor), grubs, termites, crickets and mealworms.