5 Beetles You Didn’t Know You Could Eat

beetle

Chances are, if you currently live in the United States, you’ve never ingested a bug on purpose – unless, of course, you’ve traveled to another nation that loves to chew on insects. Although there are more than 1,900 edible insects present on Earth, according to the U.N., those in the United States just aren’t into eating bugs. However, countless other nations around the world incorporate bugs into their daily diets as an excellent source of protein. Although the Western cultures and world believe that bugs are particularly disgusting to eat, insects feature protein, fiber, healthy fats, and even minerals – and beetles are particularly delicious and healthy snacks throughout the world. If you’re considering snacking on insects, choose the beetle – and here are five perfectly healthy varieties to try.

1. June Bugs

June Bugs are a common type of beetle, found in many different areas and regions. Many cultures find them to be particularly tasty – they’re safe to eat, and are best cooked over a grill or fire. If you want to find some to snack on, search for them late at night in the midst of plants or plant debris.

2. Water Beetles

A favorite insect food in Thailand, water beetles are large and full of protein. Catch them, kill them, and remove their shells, and you have a healthy snack before you. They’re most commonly fried or roasted, and taste like scallops according to those who enjoy them.

3. Palm Grubs

Although palm grubs aren’t exactly the same as palm weevils, which are actual adult beetles, they are beetle larvae with soft bodies like that of worms. A popular treat in South America, southeast Asia, and the tropical regions of Africa, palm grub are a fatty insect snack with almost 70 percent fat. Fry these beetle larvae when you come across them – they don’t even need the addition of oil – or eat them raw, as both are popular methods.

4. Dung Beetles

It doesn’t exactly sound pleasant to eat a dung beetle, but these insects are considered the best tasting variety of beetle – and they’re one of the most popular bugs to eat all around. Dung beetles are found under fresh cow dung, but before cooking they’re cleaned, dehydrated, and seasoned to make sure they’re safely edible. Typically, dung beetles are eaten fried, but in South America these insects are the perfect side dish to pork and natural vegetables.

5. Longhorn Beetles

Finally, Longhorn Beetles are a popular choice of insect as well – there are more than 20,000 different species of this insect, and they’re all perfectly edible. This type of beetle consumes the wood of trees, meaning their flavor varies depending on what type of wood they most commonly eat.