Can you eat grasshoppers?
In this short article, we will answer the question, “Can you eat grasshoppers?” and also give you information on the nutritional value of grasshoppers, their taste and how to cook them.
Can you eat grasshoppers?
Yes, you can eat grasshoppers safely since most species are edible (1). Grasshoppers are traditionally consumed in several countries including Mexico and Uganda.
Grasshoppers are packed with proteins and have little fat and carbohydrate content (1), thus, they may provide plenty of nutritional benefits. Moreover, they can also be dried and saved for a year in a survival stockpile.
What is the nutritional composition of grasshoppers?
Grasshoppers are rich in nutrients. A 100 g portion of dried Arphia fallax mexican grasshoppers provide (1):
- Protein: 71.3 g
- Fat: 6.5 g
- Crude fiber: 11.6 g
- Carbohydrates: 8.1 g
What are the culinary uses of grasshoppers?
In most cultures, grasshoppers are cooked and then eaten as a fried or roasted delicacy.
What do grasshoppers taste like?
Grasshopper taste is often claimed to be difficult to describe, even for people who are used to consuming them (2). In addition to the variation in species and ways of cooking, each person seems to have a different perception.
To some, grasshoppers can have a mild taste like prawn, while others find them citric. In general, they seem to take up the flavour of whatever components they were prepared with.
Grasshoppers can be crunchy or chewy, based on how they are prepared.
What are the benefits of eating grasshoppers?
Grasshoppers are rich in protein and minerals and have much lower cholesterol levels than beef or chicken. Also, they are associated with some health benefits in traditional medicine, like improving diuresis (1).
How can grasshopper farming help the environment?
Farming grasshoppers is also good for the environment as they can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and they can transform low-value organic by-products into high-quality food (3).
Are there any health risks from eating grasshoppers?
Some grasshoppers have large spines. If not removed before consumption they may cause intestinal damage. In addition, food allergy has also been reported (1). Thorough cooking may also be needed to kill any parasite in the animal.
How to cook grasshoppers?
You can obtain grasshoppers from local markets in several countries or on Amazon.com and other online shops (e.g. look for “chapulines sazonados de Oaxaca”). Often, they are ready to eat.
If you have limited material, the simplest method to cook grasshoppers is to roast them over a bonfire. For this purpose:
- Use a long stem roughly the diameter of a finger.
- Divide it longitudinally in the center, leaving the tip and a long handle attached. This forms a clamp where you can embed the grasshoppers.
- Be certain to remove the outer covering, as this can add an unpleasant flavour.
- Next, clamp the grasshoppers in the stem and keep them over a campfire for approximately ten minutes to assure they are cooked well.
If you own extra tools and ingredients, there are various ways of cooking grasshoppers.
- Roast them in an oven for about 1 to 2 hours. This also lets you prepare greater amounts, which can be helpful and much less time-consuming.
- You can also fry them in a pan, with oil and flavorings of your preference.
- Garlic can also be dried and stored making a great stock of seasonings for long term survival circumstances.
- They can also be deep-fried, although this is possibly the least productive way in a survival situation.
In this short article, we have answered the question, “Can you eat grasshoppers?” Also, we dealt with the nutrional value of grasshoppers and theirthe taste, and provided some hints on how to cook and prepare grasshoppers.
1. Paul A, Frédérich M, Uyttenbroeck R, Hatt S, Malik P, Lebecque S, et al. Grasshoppers as a food source? A review. BASE [Internet]. 2016 Jan 1 [cited 2023 Apr 12]; Available from: https://popups.uliege.be/1780-4507/index.php?id=12974
2. Chapulines, ¡una experiencia inolvidable! [Internet]. El Sabor de Oaxaca. 2021 [cited 2023 Apr 13]. Available from: https://www.elsabordeoaxaca.com.mx/chapulines-una-experiencia-inolvidable/