The ultimate survival food – Bugs you can eat (if you have to)

By Stef Zisovska
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When it comes to finding food in a survival situation, bugs are not a bad idea. Don’t make that “No, not me!” face, because when it comes to the point where your life depends on it, you will swallow these lovely little lumps of protein and nutrition.

If you have no other choice and bugs are the only thing on the menu, then you must eat them and convince your friends and family to do it too. There are different types of bugs and not all of them are edible, so this is a perfect time to learn all about your new diet, aren’t you excited! Don’t panic they are just small insects full of proteins that can save your life in an emergency.

Avoid bugs that have bright colors because they are usually signaling to a predator that they are toxic. Also, avoid bugs that have hairs and any that have a bad smell.


When you are not sure if the insect is edible is better not to eat it. Or, cut a small part, eat it and wait for few hours to see if it’s ok. If no symptoms develop, it’s ready to go. Every time you can, cook your bugs to kill parasites and bacteria. Bugs are everywhere, easy to catch and they are not that bad.

Grasshoppers and crickets  

Grasshoppers and crickets are a great source of calcium. They are easy to spot all over the country and the best time to catch them is early morning when they move slowly. You can catch them in a bottle with a big throat. Before eating them remove the head and the legs. You can boil them or roast them.




Easy to find and catch. Boil them before eating to kill the acids they contain. You would need about a hundred ants per person. Ant eggs are also edible and sometimes easier to collect.




They live in the woods and contain fewer parasites than other insects. The best way to enjoy a termite meal is to roast them.


Termites Photo Credit


Roasted grubs will be your friend’s favorite wilderness dinner. You can find them under rocks or in rotting logs.



This terrestrial crustacean tastes a bit like a shrimp and can be found all over North America. It lives under rocks, logs or rotten leaves.


Woodlouse Photo Credit


Ready to dig out your lunch? You can find them in any soil and enjoy their protein-rich bodies. Boil them first, a taste of a live worm in a mouth is not pleasant at all.


Earthworm Photo Credit

Avoid slugs and snails because they eat toxic plants and mushrooms. If there are no other choices, boil them well and if there is time feed them with edible plants for a day before cooking and eating them. Personally, I’d always eat a snail over a slug.

Bugs are not our favorite food but when there’s nothing else they are a very welcomed addition.

Try not to get lost and be left hungry in the wilderness. Otherwise, an insect meal will be your only choice and you will learn to like it.


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