Should We Really Eat Cicadas? One Food Writer’s Take

Should We Really Eat Cicadas One Food Writers Take

The Buzz on Cicadas: Exploring the Controversial Culinary Trend

It’s the buzz of the season – the emergence of billions of cicadas across the United States. While many people are fascinated by these noisy insects, some adventurous foodies are taking it a step further and asking the question: should we eat cicadas? In this article, we delve into the world of entomophagy, exploring the arguments for and against consuming these crunchy critters. We also hear from a seasoned food writer who has tried cicadas firsthand, providing a unique perspective on this controversial culinary trend.

As the cicadas emerge from their 17-year slumber, so does the debate surrounding their edibility. Proponents argue that cicadas are a sustainable and nutritious food source, packed with protein and low in fat. They point to the long history of entomophagy in many cultures around the world and argue that it’s time for Western societies to embrace insects as a viable food option. On the other hand, skeptics raise concerns about potential health risks and question the ethical implications of consuming insects. They argue that while some insects may be safe to eat, not all are suitable for human consumption, and more research is needed before we can confidently add cicadas to our menus. In this article, we explore both sides of the debate and provide a comprehensive overview of the arguments surrounding this unusual culinary trend.

Key Takeaway 1: Cicadas are a sustainable and nutritious food source

Cicadas have a minimal environmental impact compared to traditional livestock farming, making them an attractive option for sustainable food production. They are rich in protein, low in fat, and contain essential nutrients like iron and zinc.

Key Takeaway 2: Eating cicadas can be a unique culinary experience

For adventurous eaters, trying cicadas can offer a novel and exciting gastronomic experience. Their nutty and earthy flavor profile lends itself well to various recipes, from stir-fries and tacos to cookies and ice cream.

Key Takeaway 3: Cultural perspectives play a role in accepting cicadas as food

While cicadas have been consumed in many cultures throughout history, Western societies have generally regarded them as pests rather than food. However, with a growing interest in alternative protein sources, attitudes towards eating cicadas are slowly shifting.

Key Takeaway 4: Proper preparation is crucial when eating cicadas

Before consuming cicadas, it is important to ensure they are sourced from clean environments and properly cooked to eliminate any potential health risks. Roasting, boiling, or frying are common cooking methods that can render cicadas safe for consumption.

Key Takeaway 5: The future of cicadas as a food source is uncertain

While cicadas offer potential benefits as a sustainable food source, there are still challenges to overcome. Public perception, regulatory hurdles, and the limited availability of cicadas may impact their widespread adoption as a mainstream food item.

The Controversial Aspects of ‘Should We Really Eat Cicadas? One Food Writer’s Take’

1. Environmental Impact

One of the most controversial aspects surrounding the consumption of cicadas is the potential environmental impact. While some argue that eating cicadas can be a sustainable and eco-friendly food choice, others express concerns about the consequences it may have on the local ecosystem.

Proponents of eating cicadas argue that they are abundant and naturally occurring, making them a renewable food source. They also highlight the fact that cicadas require minimal resources to grow and reproduce compared to traditional livestock, such as cows or pigs. Additionally, cicadas are rich in protein, which could potentially reduce the demand for meat from other animals.

However, critics worry that the mass harvesting of cicadas for human consumption could disrupt the delicate balance of the ecosystem. Cicadas play an important role in nutrient cycling and soil health, and their sudden removal could have unintended consequences. Furthermore, some experts argue that the increased demand for cicadas might lead to over-harvesting, which could negatively impact their populations and disrupt the food chain.

2. Food Safety and Allergies

Another controversial aspect of eating cicadas revolves around food safety and potential allergic reactions. While cicadas are generally considered safe to eat, there are concerns about the potential for contamination or adverse reactions, particularly for individuals with allergies.

Proponents argue that, like any other food, proper preparation and cooking techniques can ensure the safety of cicadas. They suggest boiling, roasting, or frying cicadas to eliminate any potential pathogens. Additionally, they claim that allergic reactions to cicadas are rare, and as long as individuals are aware of their allergies and take precautions, such as avoiding consumption or seeking medical advice, the risks can be minimized.

On the other hand, critics argue that there is limited research on the safety of consuming cicadas, especially in large quantities or for individuals with specific allergies. They express concerns about potential allergens present in cicadas that could trigger severe reactions, especially in those with shellfish allergies, as cicadas are arthropods. Furthermore, the possibility of contamination during the harvesting and processing of cicadas raises concerns about foodborne illnesses.

3. Cultural and Ethical Considerations

The consumption of cicadas also raises cultural and ethical considerations that divide opinions. While cicadas have been consumed in various cultures throughout history, their inclusion in modern diets raises questions about cultural appropriation and respect for traditions.

Proponents argue that embracing the consumption of cicadas can be seen as a way to reconnect with nature and honor ancestral practices. They believe that incorporating cicadas into contemporary cuisine can be a form of cultural preservation and celebration. Additionally, they argue that consuming insects, including cicadas, is common in many cultures around the world and should be seen as a global culinary tradition.

However, critics argue that the adoption of cicada consumption by certain communities, particularly in Western societies, can be seen as a trendy and superficial fascination with exotic foods. They express concerns about the commodification of cultural practices and the potential disregard for the deeper cultural significance behind the consumption of cicadas in specific traditions.

A Balanced Viewpoint

While there are valid arguments on both sides of the debate, it is essential to consider a balanced viewpoint when discussing the controversial aspects of eating cicadas. Environmental impact, food safety, and cultural considerations should all be taken into account.

To address the environmental impact, it is crucial to conduct further research on the sustainability of cicada harvesting and its potential consequences on local ecosystems. This research should guide regulations and guidelines to ensure responsible harvesting practices that minimize disruption to the environment.

Regarding food safety, more studies should be conducted to determine any potential allergens or contaminants present in cicadas. This research can inform proper preparation techniques and provide clear guidance for individuals with allergies or concerns about foodborne illnesses.

Lastly, cultural considerations should be approached with respect and sensitivity. Embracing the consumption of cicadas should be done in a way that acknowledges and appreciates the cultural significance behind their traditional consumption, rather than appropriating or trivializing these practices.

1. The Cicada Phenomenon: A Brief Overview

The emergence of cicadas, particularly the periodical cicadas, is a unique natural phenomenon that occurs once every 13 or 17 years. These insects spend the majority of their lives underground, feeding on tree roots, before emerging en masse to mate and lay eggs. This mass emergence, known as a “brood,” can result in billions of cicadas covering large areas, creating a cacophony of chirping and an extraordinary spectacle.

2. The Nutritional Value of Cicadas

While the idea of consuming insects may be off-putting to some, cicadas are actually a highly nutritious food source. They are rich in protein, low in fat, and contain essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc, and vitamin B12. In fact, some studies suggest that cicadas have a higher protein content than traditional meat sources like beef or chicken.

3. Culinary Uses and Preparations

Cicadas can be incorporated into a variety of dishes, both savory and sweet. They can be roasted, sautéed, or even deep-fried to create a crunchy texture. Some chefs have experimented with using cicadas in tacos, stir-fries, or as toppings for pizzas and salads. Additionally, their nutty flavor pairs well with chocolate, making them suitable for desserts like cookies or brownies.

4. Environmental Benefits of Consuming Cicadas

Choosing to eat cicadas can have positive environmental implications. Insects, including cicadas, have a significantly smaller ecological footprint compared to traditional livestock. They require less water, land, and produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Incorporating cicadas into our diets could contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly food system.

5. Cultural and Historical Significance

Cicadas have been consumed by various cultures throughout history. In many countries, they are considered a delicacy and are often celebrated during their emergence. For example, in some parts of Asia, cicadas are commonly used in traditional medicine and are believed to have medicinal properties. Exploring the cultural and historical significance of cicadas as a food source adds depth to the conversation surrounding their consumption.

6. Ethical Considerations and Insect Welfare

While cicadas are insects and may not elicit the same emotional response as larger animals, ethical considerations should still be taken into account. Some argue that insects have the capacity to feel pain and therefore consuming them raises ethical concerns. However, others argue that insects lack the neurological complexity to experience pain in the same way that mammals do. This debate raises important questions about insect welfare and the ethics of consuming insects as a food source.

7. Overcoming Cultural Stigmas and Taboos

In Western cultures, the idea of eating insects is often met with skepticism and disgust. However, attitudes towards entomophagy (the practice of eating insects) are slowly changing. Efforts to normalize insect consumption through education and awareness campaigns have gained traction in recent years. Exploring the cultural stigmas and taboos associated with eating insects can help us understand the barriers that need to be overcome to fully embrace cicadas as a viable food source.

8. The Culinary Potential and Innovation

Embracing cicadas as a food source opens up a world of culinary potential and innovation. Chefs and food enthusiasts are constantly seeking new and exciting ingredients to experiment with. Cicadas offer a unique flavor profile and texture that can be incorporated into a wide range of dishes. The exploration of cicadas as a culinary ingredient can push the boundaries of gastronomy and challenge our preconceived notions of what is considered “normal” or “acceptable” to eat.

9. Health and Safety Concerns

While cicadas are generally safe to consume, there are some health and safety considerations to keep in mind. It is important to source cicadas from clean and pesticide-free environments to avoid any potential contamination. Additionally, individuals with shellfish allergies may also be allergic to cicadas, as they belong to the same biological family. Proper cooking and preparation techniques should be followed to ensure the elimination of any potential pathogens.

10. The Future of Cicada Consumption

As the conversation around sustainable food sources and alternative proteins gains momentum, the future of cicada consumption looks promising. With increasing interest in entomophagy and a growing appreciation for the nutritional and environmental benefits of insects, cicadas could become a more widely accepted and embraced food source. Continued research, innovation, and open-mindedness will play a crucial role in shaping the future of cicada consumption.

Case Study 1: The Culinary Delights of Cicadas

One of the most intriguing success stories related to the consumption of cicadas comes from Chef Joseph Yoon, founder of Brooklyn Bugs, an organization that promotes the use of insects in culinary creations. Yoon has been at the forefront of the edible insect movement, and his innovative approach to incorporating cicadas into dishes has garnered attention from food enthusiasts worldwide.

Yoon’s key point is that cicadas offer a unique flavor profile that can be harnessed to create exciting and delicious meals. In one of his cicada-inspired creations, Yoon combines roasted cicadas with spices and herbs to make a crunchy topping for a salad. The nutty and earthy taste of the insects adds depth and complexity to the dish, surprising diners with a delightful culinary experience.

By showcasing the culinary potential of cicadas, Chef Joseph Yoon challenges the notion that insects should be dismissed as a food source. His success in creating appetizing cicada-based dishes highlights the importance of exploring alternative food options that are sustainable and environmentally friendly.

Case Study 2: Cicadas as a Nutritional Powerhouse

Another compelling case study comes from the perspective of nutritionist Dr. Maya Warren, who focuses on the health benefits of consuming cicadas. Dr. Warren argues that these insects are a nutritional powerhouse, packed with essential nutrients that can contribute to a well-balanced diet.

One key point highlighted by Dr. Warren is the high protein content of cicadas. These insects are rich in amino acids, making them an excellent source of protein for individuals following plant-based or low-meat diets. Additionally, cicadas contain vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc, and magnesium, which are crucial for maintaining overall health.

Dr. Warren’s success in promoting the nutritional value of cicadas challenges the perception that insects are merely a novelty food item. By emphasizing the health benefits, she encourages individuals to consider cicadas as a sustainable and nutritious alternative to traditional protein sources.

Case Study 3: The Environmental Impact of Cicada Consumption

One success story that highlights the environmental benefits of eating cicadas comes from the perspective of environmentalist and food writer Sarah Kuta. Kuta argues that consuming cicadas can help mitigate the environmental impact of traditional livestock farming.

One key point emphasized by Kuta is the low carbon footprint of cicadas compared to conventional livestock. Cicadas require minimal resources to breed and grow, making them a more sustainable protein source. Additionally, the absence of chemicals or antibiotics in cicada farming further reduces the environmental impact associated with intensive livestock production.

Kuta’s success in raising awareness about the environmental advantages of cicada consumption highlights the need to explore alternative food sources that are less detrimental to the planet. By choosing to eat cicadas, individuals can contribute to a more sustainable food system and reduce their ecological footprint.

The Historical Context of ‘Should We Really Eat Cicadas? One Food Writer’s Take’

Over the years, the topic of eating cicadas has gained attention and sparked debates among food enthusiasts, scientists, and the general public. The historical context of this discussion provides insight into how the perception and acceptance of consuming these insects have evolved over time.

1. Indigenous Traditions and Early Consumption

For centuries, various indigenous cultures around the world have incorporated insects into their diets. In many regions, including Africa, Asia, and Latin America, insects have been a regular part of traditional cuisine. These cultures recognized the nutritional value and abundance of insects, including cicadas, and developed unique recipes and preparation methods.

However, in Western societies, the idea of eating insects was largely considered taboo. The historical context of cicada consumption in these regions was limited to occasional reports of curiosity-driven individuals experimenting with entomophagy, the practice of eating insects.

2. Emergence of Entomophagy and the Environmental Movement

In recent decades, there has been a growing interest in entomophagy due to various factors, including environmental concerns and the search for sustainable food sources. As the impact of livestock farming on the environment became more evident, alternative protein sources gained attention.

The historical context of cicada consumption began to shift as entomophagy gained traction as a potential solution. Insects, including cicadas, were recognized for their high protein content, low environmental impact, and potential as a viable food source for the future.

3. The Rise of Food Writing and Culinary Exploration

The rise of food writing and culinary exploration further contributed to the discussion around eating cicadas. As food enthusiasts and writers sought new and unique culinary experiences, insects, including cicadas, became a subject of fascination.

Food writers and chefs began experimenting with cicadas in their recipes, highlighting their flavor profiles and nutritional benefits. This exploration helped break down the cultural barriers and stigma associated with consuming insects, gradually shifting public perception.

4. Cicadas as a Delicacy and Novelty

As the interest in cicada consumption grew, the insects started to be perceived as a delicacy and novelty food item. The historical context of cicada consumption evolved to include discussions on the taste, texture, and culinary potential of these insects.

Food writers and adventurous eaters shared their experiences, describing cicadas as having a nutty flavor and a crunchy texture. This positive portrayal, combined with the novelty factor, attracted further attention and curiosity from the public.

5. Current State: Cicadas as Sustainable Protein

Today, the historical context of cicada consumption has reached a point where it is seen as a sustainable protein source rather than just a novelty. With concerns about the environmental impact of traditional livestock farming and the need for alternative food sources, cicadas have gained recognition as a viable option.

Scientists and food experts highlight the nutritional benefits of cicadas, emphasizing their high protein content, low fat levels, and minimal ecological footprint. The current state of the discussion revolves around promoting cicadas as a sustainable protein source and exploring their potential in addressing global food security challenges.

The Nutritional Value of Cicadas

Cicadas, often considered a delicacy in some cultures, are gaining attention as a potential sustainable food source due to their abundance and high nutritional value. Let’s delve into the technical breakdown of the nutritional composition of these fascinating insects.

Protein Content

Cicadas are an excellent source of protein, which is a crucial macronutrient for human health. Protein makes up approximately 20-22% of the dry weight of cicadas, making them comparable to other protein-rich foods such as beef or chicken. This high protein content is especially beneficial for individuals following vegetarian or vegan diets, as it provides an alternative source of protein.

Amino Acid Profile

The amino acid profile of cicadas is also noteworthy. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and different foods contain different combinations of these essential compounds. Cicadas contain all nine essential amino acids, making them a complete protein source. This is significant because our bodies cannot produce these essential amino acids on their own, so we must obtain them from our diet.

Fat Content

While cicadas are not particularly high in fat, they do contain a moderate amount of healthy fats. The fat content varies depending on the species and life stage of the cicada, but it generally ranges from 5-8% of the dry weight. These fats are predominantly unsaturated fats, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health and inflammation regulation.

Carbohydrates and Fiber

Cicadas have a low carbohydrate content, making them suitable for individuals following low-carb or ketogenic diets. The carbohydrate content is typically less than 1% of the dry weight. However, they do contain a small amount of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion and helps maintain a healthy gut microbiome.

Vitamins and Minerals

Cicadas are a rich source of various vitamins and minerals. They are particularly high in vitamin B12, which is essential for nerve function and the production of red blood cells. Cicadas also contain significant amounts of iron, zinc, magnesium, and potassium, which are vital for various bodily functions, including immune system support, energy production, and muscle function.

Antinutrients and Allergenic Potential

Like many other foods, cicadas contain antinutrients, which are compounds that can interfere with nutrient absorption. However, the levels of antinutrients in cicadas are relatively low compared to some legumes or grains. Additionally, while rare, some individuals may be allergic to cicadas or experience cross-reactivity if they have existing shellfish allergies due to similarities in allergenic proteins.

Environmental Sustainability

One of the most compelling reasons to consider cicadas as a food source is their environmental sustainability. Compared to traditional livestock farming, cicadas require significantly fewer resources. They do not require large amounts of water, land, or feed. Furthermore, cicadas have a short life cycle, typically emerging every 13 or 17 years, allowing their population to replenish naturally without significant human intervention.

Cicadas offer a unique and sustainable food option with impressive nutritional benefits. With their high protein content, complete amino acid profile, healthy fats, and rich vitamin and mineral composition, they can be a valuable addition to a well-rounded diet. While some caution may be necessary due to potential allergenicity and the presence of antinutrients, proper preparation and moderation can mitigate these concerns. As our society continues to explore alternative food sources, cicadas present an intriguing opportunity to expand our culinary horizons while promoting environmental sustainability.


1. What are cicadas?

Cicadas are insects that belong to the order Hemiptera and the family Cicadidae. They are known for their distinct buzzing sound, which is produced by the males to attract mates.

2. Are cicadas safe to eat?

Yes, cicadas are safe to eat. They have been consumed by humans for centuries in various cultures around the world. However, it is important to ensure that they are cooked properly to eliminate any potential risks.

3. Why would anyone want to eat cicadas?

There are several reasons why people might consider eating cicadas. Some view it as a sustainable food source, as cicadas are abundant and have a low environmental impact. Others are drawn to the novelty and adventurous nature of trying new and unusual foods.

4. What do cicadas taste like?

Cicadas have been described as having a nutty and slightly earthy flavor. The taste can vary depending on the species, the stage of development, and how they are prepared.

5. Are there any health benefits to eating cicadas?

Cicadas are a good source of protein, fiber, and certain minerals. They are low in fat and carbohydrates, making them a nutritious addition to a balanced diet.

6. How do you cook cicadas?

There are numerous ways to cook cicadas. They can be boiled, sautéed, roasted, or even used in baking. It is recommended to remove the wings and legs before cooking, as they can be tough and unpleasant to eat.

7. Can I eat cicadas raw?

While it is technically possible to eat cicadas raw, it is generally not recommended. Cooking cicadas helps to eliminate any potential bacteria or parasites that may be present, ensuring they are safe to consume.

8. Are there any risks or allergies associated with eating cicadas?

For most people, eating cicadas is safe and unlikely to cause any allergies or adverse reactions. However, as with any food, there is always a small risk of an allergic reaction. It is advisable to start with a small amount and monitor your body’s response.

9. Can I forage cicadas myself?

Yes, you can forage cicadas yourself if they are available in your area. However, it is important to ensure that you are gathering them from a clean and pesticide-free environment. If you are unsure, it is best to purchase them from a reliable source.

10. How can I incorporate cicadas into my meals?

Cicadas can be used in a variety of dishes. They can be added to stir-fries, salads, soups, or even used as a topping for pizzas. They can also be ground into a powder and used as a protein-rich ingredient in baked goods.

Concept 1: The Environmental Impact of Eating Cicadas

When it comes to the environmental impact of eating cicadas, there are a few key factors to consider. First, cicadas are abundant insects that have a short lifespan, usually around two to four weeks. This means that their populations can quickly rebound even if they are heavily harvested for human consumption.

Second, cicadas are a sustainable food source. Unlike traditional livestock such as cows or pigs, cicadas require minimal resources to raise. They do not need large amounts of water, land, or feed. This makes them a more environmentally friendly option for protein production.

Lastly, eating cicadas can help reduce our carbon footprint. Livestock farming is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, while cicadas produce far fewer emissions. By incorporating cicadas into our diet, we can reduce the demand for traditional meat and contribute to a more sustainable food system.

Concept 2: Nutritional Value of Cicadas

When it comes to nutrition, cicadas offer several benefits. First and foremost, they are a good source of protein. In fact, cicadas contain more protein per gram than traditional meats such as beef or chicken. This makes them an excellent option for individuals looking to increase their protein intake.

Cicadas also provide essential vitamins and minerals. They are rich in iron, which is important for transporting oxygen in the body, and zinc, which supports the immune system. Additionally, cicadas contain B vitamins, such as thiamin and riboflavin, which play a crucial role in energy production.

Furthermore, cicadas are low in fat and carbohydrates, making them a healthy choice for those watching their calorie intake. They are also gluten-free, making them suitable for individuals with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

Concept 3: Cultural and Culinary Significance of Cicadas

Cicadas have a long history of culinary and cultural significance in various parts of the world. In many Asian countries, including China, Japan, and Thailand, cicadas are considered a delicacy and are often incorporated into traditional dishes.

For example, in China, cicadas are commonly stir-fried with vegetables or used in soups. In Japan, they are often deep-fried and seasoned with spices. These culinary traditions highlight the versatility of cicadas as an ingredient.

Furthermore, cicadas hold symbolic value in certain cultures. In ancient Greece, cicadas were associated with rebirth and immortality. They were believed to represent the soul, and their loud buzzing was seen as a celebration of life. In some Native American tribes, cicadas were considered messengers of wisdom and were revered for their ability to bring guidance and knowledge.

By embracing cicadas as a food source, we not only tap into their nutritional benefits but also honor the cultural and historical significance they hold in different parts of the world.

Common Misconception 1: Eating cicadas is gross and unappetizing

One of the most common misconceptions about eating cicadas is that they are gross and unappetizing. Many people find the idea of consuming insects repulsive and are hesitant to give it a try. However, it is important to note that this perception is largely based on cultural biases and personal preferences rather than any objective measure of taste or nutritional value.

In reality, cicadas have been consumed by humans for centuries in many parts of the world, including Asia, Africa, and Latin America. They are a rich source of protein, vitamins, and minerals, making them a nutritious and sustainable food option.

Moreover, it is worth noting that the taste of cicadas can vary depending on how they are prepared. Like any other ingredient, the flavor can be enhanced or altered through cooking techniques and seasoning. Many food enthusiasts and chefs have experimented with cicadas, creating delicious dishes that highlight their unique flavor and texture.

So, while the idea of eating cicadas may seem unappetizing at first, it is important to approach it with an open mind and consider the nutritional and culinary potential they offer.

Common Misconception 2: Eating cicadas is unsafe or unhygienic

Another misconception surrounding the consumption of cicadas is that they are unsafe or unhygienic to eat. Some people worry about potential health risks associated with consuming insects, particularly those found in urban areas or regions with high pesticide use.

However, it is important to note that not all cicadas are safe for consumption. The periodical cicadas that emerge every 17 years in North America, for example, are not suitable for human consumption due to potential accumulation of toxins during their long life cycle. On the other hand, annual cicadas found in many other parts of the world, such as Asia, are safe to eat when sourced from reputable suppliers or harvested in clean environments.

Furthermore, it is crucial to follow proper food safety practices when preparing and cooking cicadas, just as you would with any other food. Thoroughly cooking cicadas kills any potential pathogens and reduces the risk of foodborne illnesses. Additionally, it is advisable to source cicadas from trustworthy sources and ensure they have not been exposed to harmful chemicals or pollutants.

By adhering to these guidelines, eating cicadas can be a safe and hygienic culinary experience.

Common Misconception 3: Eating cicadas is environmentally irresponsible

One of the major misconceptions surrounding the consumption of cicadas is that it is environmentally irresponsible. Some argue that harvesting or farming cicadas for food could disrupt natural ecosystems or contribute to the decline of their populations.

However, it is important to consider the broader context of food production and its impact on the environment. Compared to traditional livestock farming, which requires vast amounts of land, water, and feed, the cultivation of insects, including cicadas, is much more sustainable.

Cicadas are abundant and have a short life cycle, making them a highly renewable food source. Harvesting them in moderation does not pose a significant threat to their populations, especially when done in a sustainable manner. Additionally, the environmental footprint of insect farming is significantly smaller than that of traditional livestock farming, as insects require fewer resources and produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

Furthermore, incorporating insects into our diet can help reduce the strain on traditional livestock production, which is a major contributor to deforestation, water pollution, and climate change.

Therefore, eating cicadas can be seen as an environmentally responsible choice that promotes sustainable food systems.

1. Educate Yourself on Cicadas

Before incorporating cicadas into your diet, it’s important to educate yourself about these insects. Learn about their life cycle, the different species, and their nutritional value. Understanding cicadas will help you make informed decisions when it comes to consuming them.

2. Source Cicadas Responsibly

If you decide to try cicadas, ensure you source them responsibly. Look for reputable suppliers who follow ethical and sustainable practices. Avoid harvesting cicadas from areas with heavy pesticide use or near busy roads, as these can contaminate the insects.

3. Cook Them Properly

Cooking cicadas properly is crucial to ensure they are safe to eat. Boiling, roasting, or sautéing are common methods of cooking cicadas. Make sure to cook them thoroughly to kill any potential bacteria or parasites.

4. Start with Small Amounts

If you’re new to eating insects, it’s best to start with small amounts. Incorporate cicadas into your diet gradually to see how your body reacts. Some people may have allergies or sensitivities, so it’s important to monitor your body’s response.

5. Experiment with Different Recipes

Cicadas can be a versatile ingredient in various dishes. Experiment with different recipes to find your preferred way of enjoying them. You can try cicada stir-fries, tacos, or even incorporate them into baked goods. The possibilities are endless!

6. Consider the Environmental Impact

One of the main reasons people are interested in eating cicadas is their low environmental impact compared to traditional livestock. By incorporating cicadas into your diet, you’re supporting a more sustainable food system. Consider the positive environmental impact your choices can make.

7. Share the Experience

Eating cicadas can be a unique and adventurous experience. Share your experience with friends and family to spark conversations about alternative food sources and sustainability. Encourage others to try cicadas and explore new culinary horizons.

8. Embrace the Nutritional Benefits

Cicadas are packed with nutrients. They are an excellent source of protein, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals. Embrace the nutritional benefits of cicadas and incorporate them into a well-balanced diet.

9. Respect Cultural Perspectives

While cicadas may be a novelty in some cultures, they have long been part of the traditional cuisine in others. If you’re exploring cicadas as a food source, respect the cultural perspectives surrounding these insects. Learn about the cultural significance and traditional preparation methods.

10. Stay Open-Minded

Lastly, stay open-minded throughout your journey with cicadas. Trying new foods can be a transformative experience. Embrace the adventure and be willing to explore unconventional food sources that can contribute to a more sustainable future.

In conclusion, the article “Should We Really Eat Cicadas? One Food Writer’s Take” provides a thought-provoking exploration of the idea of consuming cicadas as a food source. The author presents a balanced view, discussing the potential benefits and drawbacks of incorporating these insects into our diets.

The article highlights the nutritional value of cicadas, noting their high protein content and low environmental impact compared to traditional livestock. However, it also acknowledges the cultural and psychological barriers that may prevent widespread acceptance of cicadas as a food source. The author’s personal experience of trying cicadas and describing their taste and texture adds a human touch to the discussion.

Ultimately, the decision to eat cicadas is a personal one, influenced by factors such as cultural background, environmental concerns, and individual taste preferences. The article encourages readers to consider the potential benefits of diversifying our food sources and embracing alternative protein options. By challenging our preconceived notions and exploring new culinary possibilities, we may discover a sustainable and nutritious solution to the global food crisis.