Health

Yuck! Strange Foods
From beetles to grasshoppers and other creepy crawlers - you wouldn't believe what some people eat!

Beetle

Beetles are sometimes consumed in China, or other parts of Asia.

(Reuters)

Grasshopper

In many places around the world, grasshoppers are eaten as a good source of protein. In Mexico, they are used as a snack. They can be found on skewers in Chinese food markets. Raw grasshoppers should be eaten with caution, as they may contain tapeworms.

(Reuters)

Bird's Nest

Bird's nests are among the most expensive animal products consumed by humans. The nests have been traditionally used in Chinese cooking for more than 400 years, most often as bird's nest soup.

The most heavily harvested nests are from the Edible-nest Swiftlet or White-nest Swiftlet and the Black-nest Swiftlet. The white nests and the "red blood" nests are supposedly rich in nutrients, which are traditionally believed to provide health benefits, such as aiding digestion, raising libido, improving the voice, alleviating asthma, improving focus, and an overall benefit to the immune system.

(Reuters)

Horseshoe Crab

Two of the Asian species of horseshoe crabs, Carcinscorpius rotundicauda and Tachypleus tridentatus, are considered a delicacy in China, Hong Kong and Vietnam. Harvested by local fishermen or imported from China and Malaysia, female horseshoe crabs are prized for their eggs and large quantity of meat.

Caterpillar

Nutritionists say caterpillars are particularly rich in protein. Nearly 85 percent of Central Africa Republic participants said in a 2004 United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization survey they eat caterpillars. The report said "for every 100 grams of dried caterpillars, there are about 53 grams of protein."

(iStock)

Herring

Herring are very high in healthy long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. They are a source of vitamin D. A typical Dutch delicacy is Hollandse nieuwe, or soused herring, which is raw herring from the catches end of spring, beginning of summer. This is typically eaten with raw onions. 

Hollandse nieuwe is only available in spring when the first seasonal catch of herring is brought in. This is celebrated in festivals such as the Vlaardingen Herring Festival. The new herring are frozen and enzyme-preserved for the remainder of the year.

(iStock)

Octopus

Many species of octopus are eaten as food by human cultures around the world. A live octopus may be sliced up and the legs eaten while still squirming, which they continue to do for some minutes. 

For those who prefer theirs cooked, the arms and other parts of the body are prepared in various ways, often depending on the species being eaten. Care must be taken to boil the octopus properly, to rid it of slime and the smell, as well as any residual ink. 

Octopus is a common ingredient in Japanese cuisine, including sushi, takoyaki and akashiyaki. Some small species are sometimes eaten alive as a novelty and health food (mostly in South Korea).

(iStock)

Stink Bug

Shield bugs, or "stink" bugs, are known as a delicacy in Mexico. They are often put in tacos, and the people who eat them say they have a cinnamon flavor. The bugs are rich in vitamin B2.

(iStock)

Yuck! Strange Foods

From beetles to grasshoppers and other creepy crawlers - you wouldn't believe what some people eat!

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