Edible Insects & Bugs: What They Are, Types, Where To Buy, & More

In the guide below, we discuss edible insects and bugs.

We outline what they are, the different types of edible insects and bugs, the major ways they might be eaten, where to buy them, & more.


(Note – the information in this guide is general information only. It is not professional advice, or a substitute for professional advice. See a suitably qualified expert for professional advice on matters such as health and nutrition)


What Are Edible Insects & Bugs?

Edible insects and bugs are insects and bugs that are used for (and safe for) human consumption

Entomophagy is a broad term or phrase used to describe the eating of insects


Difference Between Insects & Bugs

A key difference between insects and bugs is that bugs are a type of insect

There’s different reports online that provide descriptions of the features of both insects and bugs


Different Types Of Edible Insects & Bugs

Different Types Of Edible Insects & Bugs

Some of the most common types of edible insects and bugs might include crickets, butterflies and moths, worms (such as mealworms), beetles, cockroaches, grasshoppers, ants, caterpillars, bees and wasps, and more

canr.msu.edu lists some other types of edible insects

Apart from whole adult insects and bugs, edible insects and bugs may also include eggs, larvae, and pupae


Most Commonly Consumed Species Of Insects

wikipedia.org lists the most commonly consumed species of insects in their guide

Beetles currently top the list when measuring the proportion of species consumed worldwide by %


How Many Types Of Edible Insects & Bugs Are There?

theguardian.com mentions that there is ‘… 900+ edible species of insects’


csiro.au mentions that ‘[there are …] more than 2,100 insect species currently eaten by two billion people from 130 countries …’


Where Do Edible Insects & Bugs Come From?

Individuals can collect insects and bugs via netting and other collection methods.

However, on a mass commercial level, insects/bugs can be farmed at insect farms.


How Can Insects & Bugs Be Eaten?

Edible insects and bugs might be eaten in two major ways:

– Whole/Unprocessed

If insects are prepared in a safe and proper way, they can be eaten whole/unprocessed (with their exoskeletons)

Frying, grilling, and roasting are a few examples of different cooking methods of whole insects and bugs

Some insects are also freeze dried, packed, and delivered to a specific location, and eaten later


– In Different Processed Food Products With Insect Ingredients

There’s also different processed food products that include insect ingredients and insect proteins.

Examples include but aren’t limited to burger patties, mince, pasta, snacks, flour, insect protein powder (such as cricket protein powder), and other food products

Cricket protein powders and other insect powders can also be added to various processed products, or used as a standalone product with other foods, by mixing it (such as in a shake or smoothie), or sprinkling it on top of other foods. They might also be a substitute for regular protein in some instances

wikipedia.org lists some other insect food products made by North American, Canadian and EU producers in their article


*Eating Insects & Bugs Indirectly

People don’t always have to eat whole insects, or eat processed food products with insects ingredients or insect protein to eat food that involves the use of insects

People may eat insects indirectly by eating meat that has come from livestock that has been fed on insect feed, just as one example.


Where To Buy Edible Insects & Bugs

Where exactly edible insects and bugs can be bought depends on the country someone lives in.

However, some of the various ways to buy edible insects and bugs include but aren’t limited to:

– In some food stores and supermarkets (some stores stock specific types of insect food products)

– Online directly from some companies that produce or supply insect food products, or from food delivery services and apps

– At some restaurants

– At some events like sporting events (some baseball stadiums in the US for example sell whole insects)

– From street vendors (in some countries where insects and bugs are widely eaten)


What Are Some Other Uses For Insects & Bugs?

Apart from being edible as whole insects/bugs, or in food products with insect protein and insect ingredients, insects and bugs might be used:

– As Animal Feed

Such as for livestock feed in agriculture


– In Products Other Than Human Food Products

Some pet foods may include insect protein in place of animal meat protein

Insects may also be used for fats in other products like oils and even some cosmetics.


Other Resources On Edible Insects & Bugs

Potential Pros & Cons Of Eating Insects & Bugs

Is Eating Insects & Bugs Sustainable, Eco Friendly, & Healthy?

Can Eating Insects & Bugs Help ‘Save The World’? And, Will We Eat Them In The Future?




1. Various ‘Better Meets Reality’ guides

2. https://www.theguardian.com/food/2021/may/08/if-we-want-to-save-the-planet-the-future-of-food-is-insects

3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insects_as_food

4. https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/eating-insects-safely

5. https://cisr.ucr.edu/entomophagy-eating-insects

6. https://research.csiro.au/edibleinsects/


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