Insects as Food

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Historically in global terms, eating insects has been the norm for human beings. It is only in the western world, and in recent times, that it has been viewed as a strange or even revolting practice. However, even in the western world, people of almost all cultures eagerly eat insect secretions: honey.

Insects are ubiquitous in the world and exist in enormous numbers. They have been described as the most successful class of living organisms. Of the countless species, it is generally, and for obvious reasons, the larger ones which have been eaten by human beings. See ants; caterpillars; cicadas; cockchafer; cricket; grasshopper; grubs; larvae; locust; manna (in part); silkworm; spiders; termites; wasp; water bugs; witchetty grubs.