Why are ants edible

Are all ants and termites edible?

The practice of eating insects is known as entomophagy. References using this term can include many insects. I've narrowed it down to ants and termites as much as possible, although some of the general advice and information includes ants, termites, and other insects.

The short answer is that not all ants and termites are safe to eat, but most of which you are likely to encounter in the forest or at home are likely to be edible.

That's because there are 2,000 different types of edible ants in the United States and up to 12,000 worldwide. According to the National Institutes of Health-Pub Med, 45 termite species from four families were recorded for termites, 43 of which were used in human nutrition or for feeding farm animals.

To be on the safe side, many sources say that field guides are highly recommended before looking for anything that certainly makes sense. There are several guides to choose from, each with different ratings. I leave it to you to investigate.

There are a few things to consider when choosing food.

* Warning: Although many insects are edible, entomophagy carries some risks. If you are allergic to shrimp, shellfish, dust, or chocolate, never eat an insect. Even non-allergic people should never eat a raw insect unless they are in a survival situation. Certain insects store compounds that make some people sick. some are poisonous; others can be carcinogenic. Be just as careful with insects as you are when collecting mushrooms. Know your insects!
Source .

Some advice is a little vague, saying things like

Before ant hunting, make sure you know which ones are safe to eat and hunt in the area. source

To determine what to avoid, an inter-source agreement is that insects that are brightly colored, furry, or strongly smelling should be avoided. The color can be a signal to predators that they contain poisons that would also be toxic to us. They also tend to be the spiked insects, including ants. Even if they are safe to eat, we can injure ourselves.

Secrets of Survival offers a good summary:

Experts say that insects with bright colors like red, orange, and yellow are not safe to eat. Their coloring warns predators that they are poisonous. Because of the risk of eating poisonous insects, it is best to swear off only red, orange, and yellow insects. On the other hand, black, brown, and green are typically colors of insects that are safe to eat.

Also, if you spot a strong odor around an insect, it is a sign that it is likely not a safe insect to eat.

Many sources say not to eat wild insects that are already dead, especially if you plan to eat them raw. This is mainly because you don't know what killed her. If they have been killed by pesticides or sick animals, they may be carrying something that could make you sick. People who encounter busy anthills usually trust that these ants are safe enough to try. Home ant rearing is also a common way to safely include ants in your diet and is practiced around the world for this purpose.

There is controversy over eating fire ants. Many sources classify them as edible, but since they fall into the spiked insect category, they are not your first choice and leave them alone if you have other options. If you're ready to eat them, take some time to remove the spines first. Also note that they secrete more of what gives ants their sour taste, so some people find them less palatable. On the other hand, they are also spicier, which is one reason people choose them.

They are eaten all over the world, so it is sometimes avoided by people who are just not used to them. This is a report from an American family entitled Yes, We Ate Fire Ants in a Cambodian Village! They visited a local family and immersed themselves in the culture, which included eating many foods that Americans don't typically eat:

Eating fire ants was not in our known realm of possibility or desire.

There we were helping prepare lunch, and suddenly the chance to eat fire ants was before us. Would I have the courage to do so?

The ants were lying in a heap that wasn't in cold water. We were invited to eat them raw and alive. Oh oh.

I can tell you firsthand that the hard part is taking them out of the bowl and actually putting them in your mouth. In case you're interested, at first glance you're a little pissed off.

People around the world also eat ant larvae. They are known to be very safe and delicious. They don't have the sour taste that develops as the ant matures. You can find them in clumps in the ant nest, either above or near the center of the colony and under rocks at the edge of the nest. Sources recommend looking specifically for them as they are a delicacy like we have never tried before.

Ants can be cooked or eaten raw. Their natural taste is sour and like vinegar. So if they're cooked with other ingredients in particular, they'll taste better.

According to edible insects for humans, ants can be roasted, roasted, fried, baked, used in salads, coated with chocolate, or smeared with honey butter. The most popular recipe on the internet with ants is called Ant Brood Tacos. If you try these tacos get back to let us know how they were!

As for termites, which are the second most common-eaten insect on the planet, I couldn't find a way to tell which ones are edible just by looking at them. As I said above, that's probably because most of them are.

As with ants, they can be cooked or eaten raw.

Termites can be cooked in a number of ways: fried, steamed, roasted, or boiled. Of course, you can also eat them raw when you're on the go.

Nova, on the Public Broadcasting Service Network, interviewed a family who traveled the earth eating insects. This was taken from a discussion of termite eating in Uganda.

Peter: In Uganda, snacking on termites is like robbing the refrigerator in the US, only robbing a termite mound is more work.

Belief: Chop into a waist-high termite mound first to reveal tunnels. second, cover the tunnel entrances with a cloth; third, wait while termites from soldiers attack the invading cloth; fourth, peel away fabric, pick up insects and eat them.

Peter: Not bad - crispy and nutty - but the bites are too small to determine the taste. This snack is not for the squeamish.

As with ants, edible termites include those found in and around the home. Unless you have sprayed them with pest control or insecticide, there is nothing wrong with eating them.

In other countries, termites have been valued for their diet and medicinal properties. There are larger species than the ones I've seen and they can build huge mounds over the earth. In my forest neck you will find termites in and under tree trunks lying on the ground. Pine seems to be the preferred wood. They prefer warmth and are more likely to be found in sunlit areas of the forest floor. In my case, the termites were collected under mulch debris, but some logs can be split open with hatchets or machetes and tapped on the side to cause the termites to fall onto a tray or collective surface.

The next time you go for a walk in the forest, turn over branches and logs that are lying on the ground or explore a tree stump. You may find these little animals are widespread and abundant, and if you dare, pick one and give it a try!

Further information and recipes can be found on the Internet. Here are some sites that I liked:

Infolific Wilderness Survival
What to do when you have no food
Edible beetles in the wild
Edible Bugs That Might Help You Survive
Secrets of survival
Mother Earth News
Urban Survival Site