It’s no secret that bugs are an incredible source of protein packed into a small package. Recent studies show that eating grasshoppers and locusts provide comparable levels of protein to raw beef. Insects are plentiful and function as a sustainable source of food. Though this list only represents five insects found in Oklahoma, insects are eaten widely in other countries around the world.
Ants are everywhere. Estimates by BBC Four say there may be as many as 100 trillion ants in the world at any given time. Carpenter ants are prevalent within Oklahoma and have been a staple for individuals who practice entomophagy. Typically, ants are roasted, sautéed or eaten raw.
During certain times of the year, Oklahoma seems like it has been taken over by hordes of crickets. In Mexican markets, crickets are sold by the pound to be fried or roasted. Some will remove the legs of crickets prior to cooking them out of personal preference. Captured crickets can also be dried and stored to use at a later time.
Some people within Oklahoma are terrified of June bugs, also called May beetles, because of their prickly legs. At one point, Native Americans would roast June bugs over coals and eat them like popcorn. June bugs can also be fried or sautéed with onions.
Grasshoppers have a rich history as a food source in Mexico. They contain high levels of protein and calcium, making them very nutritious. Most often grasshoppers are roasted prior to consumption. In some cases, the legs and wings may be removed to make it more appealing.
Earthworms are highly nutritious and plentiful in Oklahoma after heavy rains. These insects can be a high source of protein and iron. When soil becomes saturated with water, earthworms come to the surface to avoid drowning. In most cases, the earthworm will be soaked in water or squeezed to remove the dirt inside of their bodies. Earthworms can be added to a wide variety of dishes and can be fried to remove the slime aspects.