Can you eat grasshoppers?

In this short article, we will answer the question, “Can you eat grasshoppers?” with an in-depth analysis of grasshoppers, the taste of grasshoppers, how to cook and prepare grasshoppers, the nutritional composition of grasshoppers and the health benefits of grasshoppers. 

Can you eat grasshoppers?

Yes, you can eat grasshoppers after removing their wings and legs. Grasshoppers are considered a great survival food. They are packed with proteins and have little fat and carbohydrate content thus, provide plenty of health benefits. They can also be dried and saved for a year in a survival stockpile.

What are grasshoppers? 

Grasshopper belongs to a group of jumping insects that are found in diverse habitats. They are medium to large in size that can be found in the greatest numbers in grasslands, lowland tropical forests, and semiarid regions. 

Adult grasshoppers are 1 to 7 cm in length, based on the species. They have varying colours ranging from green to olive or brown and may have yellow or red lines.

Grasshoppers can have a mild taste like prawn, but mainly have a flavour of whatever components they were prepared with. 

Grasshoppers can be crunchy or chewy, based on how they are prepared.

The nutritional composition of grasshoppers

Grasshoppers are rich in nutrients. A 100 g of grasshoppers provide:

  • Protein: 20 g 
  • Fat:  6 g 

The benefits of eating grasshoppers 

As grasshoppers are rich in protein and minerals and have much lower cholesterol levels than beef or chicken, they are considered a healthy option for survival.

Eating grasshoppers is also good for the environment as they reside in forests and other natural habitats, instead of cultivated farmland. While the environment will not be your first concern in a survival state, it will feel easier to have food sources that do not require a very specific man-made habitat, making grasshoppers a perfect option to eat.

How to cook grasshoppers

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 centre, 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 flavourings 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.

How to prepare grasshoppers

Separate the head and entrails: Many people prefer to separate the head and entrails at the start. Although the entrails are safe, there is a danger of parasitic infection. But, if they are properly cooked they do not pose any risk.

Separate the wings and legs: While they are not harmful, they are also not edible and get stuck in the teeth, making the entire experience unpleasant.

Rinse the grasshoppers before cooking: Rinsing will wipe away any filth and dust.

Which grasshoppers should be avoided?

Many of the grasshoppers are safe to consume without any toxins. Some are poisonous which can be easily distinguished by their bright colours and slow movement. 

Hence, concentrate on the grasshoppers with plain colour which may require more energy to capture, but will ensure a safe snack for you.

Finding Grasshoppers

The easiest method to capture grasshoppers is to simply pick them using hands. They can be easily located and captured during the day, as they are least alert when it is cold.

Another simpler method is to place a woollen or flannel shirt or blanket in the place and then hunt the grasshoppers upon it. This will make them easier to capture as they get caught on the threads just sufficient to slow them down.

Trapping Grasshoppers

You can also use traps to hunt grasshoppers. For instance, a large mason container with some attraction, such as a fruit or vegetable to attract the grasshoppers. This way, you will be able to find several of them the following day. Then you can directly put the lid on the container to capture the grasshoppers.

Conclusion

In this short article, we have answered the question, “Can you eat grasshoppers?” with an in-depth analysis of grasshoppers, the taste of grasshoppers, how to cook and prepare grasshoppers, the nutritional composition of grasshoppers and the health benefits of grasshoppers. 

References 

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.