Crickets - the Gateway Bug

Back in the early '90s, I got into buying, preparing, and eating caterpillars on a fairly regular basis. They were smoked and crunchy/chewy and delicious cooked in a peanut butter sauce with onions and garlic and hot peppers. On one of many trips through the Central African rainforest, the rickety and over-stuffed bus I was on broke down and some of the women passengers disappeared into the thick trees only to return within the hour with handfuls of caterpillars wrapped in their shawls.  

Termites were also very popular when in season. I remember one late evening when the main thoroughfare in the capital Bangui was filled with kids and teens carrying nets on long poles, catching the termites swarming around the street lights. I tried them a couple times but never became a big enough fan to buy and prepare them myself.

Does this whet your appetite? If so, you're not alone. A 2014 market research report by Mintel found that 26% of non-insect eating Americans would try eating them (21% of Germans; 26% of Americans; 27% of U.K. residents and 52% of Chinese). At a recent gala in Manhattan, the Explorers Club fed spiders on a stick to Jeff Bezos (Amazon) and Elon Musk (SpaceX, Tesla Motors, SolarCity).

Would you turn down a job or defer grad school to start a company that manufactures a food product with crickets as one of the main ingredients? Gabi Lewis and Greg Sewitz did! Entrepreneur Patrick Crowley thinks it's a great idea too!  

If you had to eat an insect of your choosing, would the cricket top your list? According to psychologist Paul Rozin, people would typically choose to eat a cricket over other types of bugs.

If you're looking for some recipes for preparing insects, we've recently added these to our collection:

Do you have any stories about eating insects? How do you feel about the future of insects as a source of protein in our diets?  

Got questions? ASK US! via chat, phone, or email!

Written by Frank on August 13, 2015


Anonymous on August 13, 2015


why say crickets, but show a picture of someone e about to eat a grasshopper?

Leigh Ann on August 13, 2015


I guess when we run out of the food most people in the US eat, we can start eating bugs--will always be plenty of them! UGH! Thanks for the informative & interesting post, Frank!

p.s. once when I was a kid, I was given a dare to eat some ants & I did & they weren't that bad--they tasted like raisins

Lisa F. on August 14, 2015


Since grasshoppers and crickets are from the same genus orthoptera, I think Anonymous is just nit-picking!


So you're saying nits are okay to eat as well? Seems like it could be the caviar of the bug world.


I don't think you want to eat nits (which is another word for lice) in spite of how readily available they would be. I know this for a fact because when I googled "nits and edible," it changed it to "nuts and edible."

Keeg P on August 14, 2015


I'll take mine processed. Also don't like to eat meat if it has bones it. I don't like to shell shellfish either. Sorry, not strong in these areas. :) I did try part of a cricket bar. Thank you

Cute story about the bus and the women.

RobertP on August 15, 2015


I love them. I had some great cricket flour cookies at the county fair as well as some crickets. Tasty and healthy. Let's also not forget the great cookbook :"Cooking with insects.

Amanda Romero on August 15, 2015


Best blog title. Ever.

Leave a comment

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.