In Thailand I ate fried mealworms. Yummy? It seemed a bit like chips. It has little taste without spices and salt. You can say the same about contemporary industrial chicken. So it just seems like an equivalent alternative. The mealworm (from the meal beetle, Tenebrio molitor) lives in nature of decayed wood, but can be a scourge for grain and flour processing companies. They contain a lot of proteins and are excellent food for birds, reptiles, fish and even people. Let them walk on rusks for a day to defecate themselves.

Mealworms can eat plastics (polystyrene, isomo) and break down toxic substances. About half of the polystyrene they excrete as small, partially broken-down fragments, the other half as CO2. They can afterwards serve as safe food for other animals (Stanford University 2019). The HBCD residues (flame retardant hexabromocyclodode) and other excreted commonly used plastic additives still pose a risk to the environment.

Silkworm is a popular dish in Korea (known as Bon Daegi). It is an edible by-product of the silk harvesting process. The mulberry butterfly's worm (Bombyx mori) is, next to the honeybee, a long-established domestic insect.

Various types of caterpillars are squeeze out for the intestinal contents, after which they are cooked and dried in the sun.

Tequila is a kind of mezcal that we drink with a slice of lemon (or lime) and a pinch of salt, without worm. The larvae of a butterfly or moth can be found in Mezcal (agave or mezcal worm) in 2 types.

The white maguey worms (meocuiles) are caterpillars of a butterfly (Aegiale hesperiaris) that lives on agave plants (Central Mexico). The larvae eat the meat from the stems and roots.

The more commonly used red maguey worms (chilocuiles, chinicuiles or tecoles) are the larvae of the moth Comadia redtenbacheri or Hypopta agavis (Mexican state of Oaxaca).

A cornworm (Scyphophorus acupunctatus) from the agave muzzle beetle is also used for this. These Picudo del agave larvae are also roasted and eaten in southeastern Mexico.

The large wax moth (Galleria mellonella) is a moth of the Pyralidae family, the muzzle moths. Wax worms (larvae of the wax moth) are parasites of the hives. Grown on a diet of bran and honey, they are roasted or baked and are rich in essential fatty acids.

Bamboo worms, the larvae of the grass moth (Crambinae) are eaten baked in Thailand.

Fly larvae or maggots you can wipe off the meat, then wash and cook and you have a very nutritious meal.

Earthworms (Lumbricidae) contain proteins with many essential amino acids. You can find them everywhere in moist, humus-rich soil and under stones and wood, or in the compost heap.

They can be eaten raw after a day of fasting or after the intestinal content has been squeezed out. You can also put them in clean and drinkable water for a few minutes so that they rinse themselves. Or let them crawl on moss for a day.

Worms can be dried well and ground into powder for use in soups, among other things. Dried, they can be kept for a while.

Bees, from larvae to adult specimens, are roasted or cooked to neutralize their poison to eat them, and sometimes ground into a nutritious flower. The larvae (full of queen knit, pollen and honey) are often baked in butter.

Wasps have the highest protein percentage of all insects: 81%! In Mexico they are commonly used in dishes. Wasp larvae and eggs were eaten as delicacy by the Chinese royalty.

Dragonflies are baked on a stick eaten in China.

Ants to be eaten: Carpenter ants, leaf-cutter ants, honeypot ants and lemon ants. In Australia the Aboriginals eat honey ants as a sweet snack. They suck their belly with a nectar-like substance. The raw ant tastes like lemon lemonade. In Colombia they eat fat ass ants toasted, just like popcorn and peanuts. And in Thailand the red ant with eggs is a delicacy, preferably salted and in a salad.

Termites (Isoptera) are more related to cockroaches than to ants, and are also edible.

Cockroach: to eat you grow them with fresh vegetables and fruit. They can be eaten roasted, baked, roasted or cooked. Sizzling cockroaches from Madagascar have the taste and texture of fatty chicken.

Giant Water Bug: This insect - which looks like a cockroach - you see a lot in market stalls in Bangkok. They are baked in a spicy sauce and eaten whole or steamed and stored in tins. The taste is salty and fishy.

A very efficient method to catch cockroaches is the "Vegas roach trap". This is a glass jar with a narrow opening, partially filled with coffee grounds and some water. The outside can be covered with rough adhesive tape, making it easier for La Cucaracha to climb inside. The "Vegas roach trap" is insect friendly because other insects are not attracted.

Singing cicadas (Cicadidae, Auchenorrhyncha: around 40,000 species): some species can live up to 17 years, the nymphs live underground on plant roots. After shedding, they would be tender and tasty. They are eaten fried or cooked in the US, Japan, Thailand and Malaysia. They taste like a mix of potatoes and asparagus.

Crickets (Gryllidae) are a family of insects (around 900 species) that mainly occur in warmer regions. They are baked, cooked, and eaten roasted in Mexico, Thailand, Cambodia.

Farmers in the Sahel region who suffer from locusts earn more with the sale of this enemy than with the crop itself. In Thailand, the commercial value of edible grasshoppers is estimated at six million dollars a year.

Rhinoceros beetle (Oryctes nasicornis) is a fairly large lump, approximately 4 centimeters. They are prepared with Thai herbs (lemongrass, lime leaf, galanga and garlic) and some salt and soy sauce.

No insects, but similar, rather strange sources of proteins:

Scorpion (Scorpiones) is an arthropod just like lobster, but not an insect. They are all somewhat toxic, but not all dangerous. They are grown in Thailand and China for human consumption, so that all the poison is removed. They are usually fried on a stick.

Tarantulas are arachnids, so not insects. They (Haplopelma albostriatum) are mainly eaten in Cambodia and Venezuela where they are fried in oil and sugar. The legs are crispy, but the body remains soft and slippery. They taste like crab and nuts.

In addition to snails such as escargots and caracoles, we also have Europe-wide cockchafer soup (Melolontha melolontha) and Casu marzu.