Brood X Cicadas are Safe to Eat: What to Know About the Nutritious Snack

by Will Shepard
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For all you adventurous souls, there is a new item on the menu. It may seem crazy, but the Brood X cicadas are a tasty and nutritious snack to try out.

There are many recipes out there for how to cook different insects. Some of those recipes include ways to cook the biblical-sized hatch that is underway right now. But, there is a lot more to know about the massive hatch that has come to the eastern United States.

This hatch will see billions of cicadas born. Even though this thought terrifies a lot of people, there is a lot of good that comes out of the insects’ birth pattern.

An Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Montclair, Cortni Borgerson, talked about their impact. She talked about how the cicadas are an incredible snack for those willing to try. Additionally, Borgerson also explained their positive impact on the environment.

“Brood X cicadas are one of the world’s most incredible animal phenomena,” Borgerson noted. “In a year where few of us may be traveling to see natural wonders like Africa’s great migration, or the elephant gathering of Sri Lanka, we are incredibly privileged to have this rare spectacle occurring in our very own backyards. Brood X provides an infusion of nutrients into the ecosystem, and humans have been enjoying this event for its sights, sounds, and taste for millennia.”

Safely Eating and Harvesting the Brood X Cicadas Hatching Right Now

One interesting thing to explore with the cicada hatch is how to eat them. Even though eating insects may seem like a survival tactic, it is much more than that.

“Insects are an important source of food for more than two billion people on Earth, including many cultures within the United States,” Borgerson said.

So, if you have the stomach for it, cooking up some of Brood X might be a really good idea. The insects are full of healthy nutrients for your diet.

However, not everyone can eat cicadas. In fact, if you are allergic to shellfish, don’t eat any of Brood X, no matter how appetizing they might look. Their shell is basically the same as shellfish.

Finding the insects is relatively easy. But, you must be in an area where they are. Looking for Brood X in Colorado will result in nothing. You must be in the eastern U.S. to find them. Find a forested area and listen. Track the sounds as well as you can, and you will be rewarded with plenty of insects.

One recipe idea, courtesy of the Washington Post, is for spicy popcorn cicadas. This recipe is fairly easy and not too much work. It will taste great and help you to appreciate Brood X all the more.

Spicy Popcorn Cicadas:

  • 12 freshly emerged 17-year cicadas
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

The Spice Mix

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
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