If you are hungry enough, you will literally eat almost anything; there are multiple stories of starving people eating bark off trees and grass to survive.
Before you get to that stage, though, there are a plethora of insects you can eat; here are a few and how to prepare them.
Possibly one of the first insects you might think of eating. Crickets are easy to catch, and are part of traditional diets in many cultures.
Traps are the easiest way to catch crickets. Put some sugar in a jar, then sink it into the ground in an area with crickets or lay the jar on its side. Leave the trap set overnight. In the morning, if the bait is successful, there should be crickets waiting to become your breakfast.
You can keep crickets over time by putting a breathable lid on the jar.
Alternatively, you can use a non-permeable lid to suffocate them.
Crickets are traditionally dry roasted and eaten plain with maybe a sprinkle of salt.
But if you are hesitant about biting into a cricket, you could dry roast them, powder them, and add them to soup or stew for the extra protein and fat they contain.
With hopping insects, you will need to remove the spiky part of the back leg and sometimes the wings before consuming. Otherwise, they can cause irritation.
If you ever drive through a field late in the summer with grasshoppers coming left and right through the windows, you’ll understand why they’re a convenient source of emergency food. Grasshoppers can be hand-harvested in the early morning when they are cold and easy to catch, or you can use a net.
Grasshoppers can also be caught by setting a trap with lights at night. The light will attract the grasshoppers to your backdrop, preferably a slippery surface set into a straight-sided container. Galvanized metal sheeting set in a clean trash can would work. When they try to get to the light, they will slide into the trash can.
As far as eating them, grasshoppers can be prepared in the same way as crickets.
Ants and Termites
Depending on the area, ants and termites can be quite prolific. Ants should always be killed as quickly as possible as they secrete acid when stressed, which changes their flavor. The flavor of the ant also depends on the type of ant.
One simple way to harvest ants is to poke a stick into an ant nest, pull it out, and knock the ants off into a sheer-sided container. Roasting and frying work well with ants. Add a little salt and you can have an imitation salt-and-vinegar “ant chip.”
Ant larvae are also edible and have none of the acid secretions that the adults do. Depending on the type of ant, you can often find easily harvestable clusters of larvae inside the ant nest, either at the top or close to the center of the colony.
Termites often act like ants, but they’re harder to find. Flying termites are attracted to light and could be collected in an infested house simply by lighting a candle in a dark room and being prepared to catch them. As with ants, roasting is always good.
Sounds delicious right?
Unfortunately, if you get to the stage where insects are on the menu, it means your situation is dire and how something tastes or mental hangups will not likely be a factor.
In a pinch, insects can meet your dietary needs, but you must make sure you prepare them properly.
To learn more about eating insects to survive, please visit the Urban Survival Site.