Bet You Didn’t Know Beetles Where Used For These Things


There are many types of beetles in this world. They range from harmless little creatures to the very harsh and dangerous for forests, the Asian Long Horned Beetle. But did you know that you could be eating beetles or applying them to your skin potentially every day? I feel like I sensed your jaw drop. Yep, many of us eat beetles and / or put them on our skin without even knowing it. So what am I talking about? How are beetles being used in the way? Find out below.

Red Food Dye

Ever wonder how your ice cream, yogurt, candy, and fruit drinks get their color? Pink, red, and purple are among the colors that beetles can make. More specifically, the red cochineal beetles. These beetles are farmed on large scales, then harvested, then dried, and finally crushed to produce a red dye called carmine. Until this year where the FDA has changed the law, this dye was referred to as ‘artificial color’, ‘color added’ or the classic “natural and artificial coloring.” Additionally to food products, carmine is also used in some lip sticks! Who would have thought that so many of our foods and drinks could be colored with beetles?


Crazy to hear that beetles are sometimes used in workout supplements. It is made from a beetle that secretes an acid like juice which is called cantharidin. This ‘juice’ comes from this beetles leg joints when it is threatened. Seeing as it is very difficult to remove the juice from the beetle, they are simply dried as a whole and crushed to produce a powder. When this powder is ingested, your body excretes the cantharidin in the urine. But this stuff can be very dangerous in higher quantities so it is best to first see your doctor before you take any of these supplements.