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CURRIN -5 Edible Insects That Could Save Your Life

When you’re trying to survive out in the wilderness, desperate times call for desperate measures. One thing that (hopefully) all preppers know, is the importance of bringing enough food along on all of your trips.

When you’re trying to survive out in the wilderness, desperate times call for desperate measures. One thing that (hopefully) all preppers know, is the importance of bringing enough food along on all of your trips. Hopefully, you never find yourself in a survival situation, but if you do, you can always rely on these insects to give you some protein.

Ants

ants crawling on sticks

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Most ant species are edible, but remember to stay away from fire ants (the bright red ones). Ants have a sour taste to them because they secrete a type of acid when they feel they are being threatened. To reduce the sourness, roast the ants right away. There are actually some stores in the U.S. that sell chocolate covered ants. Hate to break it to you, but you probably aren’t going to find any chocolate covered delicacies out in the wild.

Nutritional value

  • 14g of protein
  • 5.7 mL of iron per ounce of ant

Where to find them:

  • Anthills
  • Around trees
  • Under rocks/debris

How to attract them:

  • Briefly put a stick in the anthill
  • Drop some sugar water around their whereabouts

Slugs

slug sitting on a leaf

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If you like escargot, then you might as well give their cousin a try. Slugs aren’t quite insects, but they come close enough, and when you’re out in the wild it doesn’t really matter anyway. There are a few important things to know about slugs though. Slugs can host rat lungworm, a potentially dangerous parasite. To avoid getting rat lungworm, all you have to do is cook the slug. It’ll probably taste better cooked anyway.


Nutritional value

  • Rich in minerals
  • 12-16% of protein for every 100 grams

Where to find them:

  • They’re nocturnal so always look for them at night
  • Around damp areas
  • Under logs and stones

How to attract them:

  • Stake out a wet area
  • They like fleshy foliage so look for natural berry bushes/veggies

Crickets

cricket on a leaf

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Crickets often get mistaken for grasshoppers (which you can eat too) but are browner in color, while grasshoppers are green. In Mexican markets, crickets are sold by the pound, so there’s no reason why you should be worried about eating these little guys. They can be fried, roasted, baked, or even dried and saved for later if you really like them. Plus, if you have Mission 44, you can try out some bacon and cheese flavored crickets to start out a little easier.

Nutritional Value

  • 20.6g of protein for every 100g of crickets

Where to find them:

  • On fields and meadows
  • Along tree lines

How to attract them:

  • Dig a small hole in a cricket-inhabited area and place a jar inside. Put a piece of cricket bait (oats, bread, carrots, beer, almost anything) in the jar to catch them

Termites

termites on a log

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Termites can be found practically anywhere that you see rotting wood. Luckily for you, if you’re stranded in the woods, you basically have a potential feast waiting for you around every corner. Termites have a high oil content, so they have a slightly nutty taste to them, but they won’t taste like peanut butter - sorry.

Nutritional value

  • 14.4g of protein for every 100g of termites

Where to find them:

  • Termite mounds
  • Damp climates
  • Thick forests

How to attract them:

  • Keep rotting wood near your base camp
  • Turn on a flashlight or other light source

Cockroaches

cockroaches in a pile

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When you think about cockroaches, you usually think about them being dirty insects that sneak into your house. But they actually can be quite clean if they’re feeding on fruits and vegetables (so not the ones hiding in your pantry). You can toast, fry, boil or sautee cockroaches - just be ready for a little bit of crunch.

Nutritional value

  • Rich in vitamins A and C
  • Rich in fibers
  • Certain kinds can contain more than 20% protein

Where to find them:

  • Forests
  • Moist areas
  • Hollow trees
  • Woodpiles

How to attract them:

  • Leave out food bits
  • Sprinkle sugar around damp areas
  • Set out fruits

Foraging for food in desperate situations can be life-threatening if you don’t know what you can and cannot eat. If you’re not sure if something is okay or not, it’s best that you don’t try it.


Don’t forget that there’s more to food than just proteins. You can always try some of these wild plants when you’re desperate for food, or be prepared with Mission 44: Bush-Craft (Gathering) Box. You’ll even get some insect snacks to get you started.


Did we miss any of your favorite wildlife snacks? Let us know in the forum!