The idea of eating bugs may repulse you, but when you’re starving and there is nothing else to eat, you will have no choice. Things can change quickly when you’re out in the jungle, with storms hitting instantly, losing your GPS signal, and / or becoming injured. When that happens you may be stranded for an undetermined amount of time. A human can survive three days without food before death, but it’s not a good idea to push the envelope.
The most readily available food to you are insects. Not only that, they are high in protein, fiber, and fats, as well as nutrients, helping you to live long enough to make it out alive.
Before you start chowing down on any bug you see, there are five insects that are safe to eat. They are the easiest to catch and easy to prepare.
Catching ants is easy, and there are usually lots of them around. They are high in protein and amino acids, as well as phosphorous, copper, and other nutrients. Find an ant hill and drop a stick into the opening. As the ants begin to climb on the stick, remove it from the hole and dunk into a water filled container. Repeat until you have enough ants in your container, then boil for about 5 minutes. This will neutralize the acid that is found in ants. Now they are ready to eat.
Locusts are one insect you will find everywhere, and that’s great because they are 50% protein. Compare that to cows, and you’ll realize just how good locusts can be for your body. They also contain fats, carbohydrates, and other nutrients valuable humans.
Locusts are most active during the day and a net is all you need. Once caught, dump into a bucket right away, so they do not eat your net. Now you are ready to dry roast, salt, and serve. Yum!
Crickets are one of the most nutritious insects to eat, with 100 grams of crickets providing 12.9 grams of protein, 5.5 grams of fat, and 121 calories. Containing phosphorous, calcium, and many other nutrients, crickets are easy to catch and eat. Just set a trap by placing sugar into a jar or a deep bowl, and then positioning the receptacle in the ground near their location. Leave overnight, and you will awaken to many trapped crickets for breakfast. They are best dry roasted and salted, and you can store the rest for later meals.
A delicacy in Mexico, Stinkbugs get a bad rep from their name. These insects are highly nutritious and offer many health benefits. They are easy to find and easy to catch, especially during the winter months. Check under rocks or logs to find most of them, but you might find them on open ground. You can eat stingbugs raw. That being said, they taste better after being soaked in warm water for about 10 minutes, and then dry roasted. They can be stored for up to a week for later consumption.
Termites are one of the other top nutritious insects to consume, offering many health benefits. In fact, termites are used medically in some rural parts of the world. Containing antiviral properties, these insects have been used to treat bronchitis, asthma, whooping cough, sore throat, and more. To catch termites, break open a log and shake to get them out, then gather as many as you can. During rain, just place a light in a bucket and they will come to the light. Dry roast for a yummy meals.
While some insects are safe to eat, be sure you know which insects are safe and which are not. Do not go after bugs that are brightly colored or those that give off a strong odor. Most times, those insects are toxic.
Some insects produce toxic chemicals, such as ants. They are only safe to eat after you’ve boiled them for a sufficient amount of time. Be sure to use water that you’ve purified before cooking your insects.
The jungle can be a wild place and it is no place to be if you’re unprepared. Always expect the unexpected and always bring along supplies to get you through. The most important things are water, shelter, and food, in that order. Take along a water purifying device so that you can drink clean water, and to cook your catch. Instead of going after animals in the jungle, insects are more abundant and easier to catch. They also offer great sustenance to the body, with high levels of protein and nutrients. While they may look creepy, they can save your life, and who knows, you may develop a taste for dry roasted crickets or chocolate covered ants when you return to civilization. So be knowledgeable and be prepared always.