Edible insects for survival in extreme situations, fishing and cooking.

Edible insects can make not the worst diet for survival. Food can be prepared from garden and grape snails, slugs, earthworms and tree worms, smooth-skinned, that is, devoid of hair and chitinous integuments, caterpillars, cicadas, beetles and their larvae living in the ground and wood, as well as dragonfly larvae. As well as dragonflies themselves, crawling and flying ants and other insects. Eatable pond shells, conch shells, water bugs and other edible water insects can be collected in water. 

Edible insects for survival in extreme situations, fishing and cooking.

In the recent past, grasshoppers dried and ground into flour used hermits to escape from worldly concerns for baking bread cakes and making cereals. So if you stumble in any book on the phrase “hermits ate berries, mushrooms and acridas,” know that the holy fathers with considerable appetite consumed grasshoppers. And, by the way, they wisely acted, because 100 g of the food mass prepared from grasshoppers “pulls” 225 calories – only a little less than wheat bread. And 100 g of fried termites – for 560 calories!

, slugs, worms, larvae, especially since they usually bunch together in one place. Having found their habitat, it is not difficult to find them themselves in the required quantities. Jumping and flying insects are much more difficult to catch..

Collecting and catching edible insects while surviving in an extreme situation.

The easiest way to find edible insects on the trunks of old and dead trees, stumps. By the way, these varieties of larvae are most edible and, according to experts on oriental cuisine, are tasty. To collect them, you need to carefully examine the crevices, hollows and other recesses, peel off the old bark and collect edible insects and their larvae from its back and bare wood. Edible insects can be collected in glades and meadows by looking at tall plants, on the stems and flowers of which it is easy to notice spider webs, thickenings and the like defects in which larvae and caterpillars live. In addition, they can be found in the seeds of plants. For example, in the stems and prickly “heads” of the well-known burdock, a certain amount of insects can be collected even in winter.

Grasshoppers are more convenient to catch in the morning, in the cold, when they are inactive. It is better to look for soil insects in moist, shaded places, among the beautiful foliage, under stones, piles of fallen leaves and fallen tree trunks, at the bottom of dried out puddles. Water – naturally in the water, at the bottom of lakes, rivers, streams, swamps, individual large puddles, among the vegetation surrounding them. The easiest way to find ants is by large, sometimes reaching heights of 1.5-2 meters heaps of anthills. But you can catch them “by smell” in jars and other containers placed near ant paths, into which to throw a small amount of food debris.

Ants are very good in fried and baked form. In addition, in anthills you can find caterpillars prepared for future use and their larvae. Of particular value are the so-called honey or sugar ants, which play the role of containers for storing nectar in anthills. They differ from working ants in a disproportionately large barrel-shaped abdomen filled with a sweet liquid. The most nutritious are not the ants themselves, but their larvae and pupae (or, as they are sometimes called, ant eggs), resembling the appearance of white or yellow rice grains. Larvae can be collected by turning the wall of a large anthill. In small anthills, it’s enough to raise a stone or tree trunk, covering it from above, to find a whole pool of ant eggs .

Much more pupae can be obtained using a tissue trap. To do this, near a anthill, on a horizontal platform illuminated by the sun, you need to spread a large, 1 – 1.5 m2, piece of fabric, wrap all four of its corners up and place twigs under them to form slit-like cavities. Then the upper part of the anthill breaks down and crumbles with a thin layer on the fabric, under the sun. Saving the pupae from drying out, the ants quickly drag them under the wrapped edges of the fabric. At night, insects can be caught in the light of a lantern, candle, or a piece of a white, preferably illuminated, rag spread out on the ground. In the afternoon – with the help of a net made of any improvised material. Knock down to the ground with removed clothing. Or just gently cut and shake grass and shrubbery over the material.

Features of catching water edible insects.

Edible water insects – various water bugs and their larvae, larvae of butterflies – one-day-olds, dragonflies, May flies, etc. can promise a good feeding to the disaster victims. They should be collected in shallow water, always in running, not stagnant water. Catching a swirling aquatic creature is an ungrateful and hopeless thing, and therefore it is better to use an impromptu network. To do this, stretching to the sides a piece of tulle, gauze or any other improvised fabric (in the extreme case, removed a shirt or pants), you need to go through the shallow water as quickly as possible, raking up the water and everything in it to the shore. Or, on the contrary, lead the network above the very bottom, like a deep-sea trawl.

Even more catchy is the stationary network set downstream of the river or stream. Several stakes are driven into the bottom, between which any found tissue is stretched between an angle open to the direction of flow. Then, upstream, it is enough to shake the bottom with your feet and cover up the aquatic vegetation so that all the raised animals will be carried to the net. In the absence of any material suitable for the manufacture of nets, using long poles, you can pull large armfuls of algae ashore, inside which water insects hidden there can be collected. Before using all aquatic insects, it is better to boil, since there is no guarantee that the water in which they live is sterile.

Thus, trawling water spaces, running around with a net of meadows and glades, picking up rotten stumps, you can collect a fairly decent crop of edible insects. Up to several hundred kilograms per hectare of forest land! Almost all edible insects that live in our forests need some kind of cooking. Nevertheless, it is better to refrain from eating insects found on heaps of manure and on dead animals. They can be carriers of infections. The larvae living on the back of the leaves are not always gastronomically pleasant. Since they can release strongly smelling, poisonous (but not dangerous for humans) liquids that scare away their potential consumers.

In general, one should refrain from collecting insects that have a particularly bright, eye-catching appearance. It usually serves as a warning to insect-eating birds of their inedibility. Likewise, it is not worthwhile, overpowering yourself, there are larvae and caterpillars from which it smells bad. Edible caterpillars can be considered only conditionally edible. Adult butterflies, terrestrial mollusks, devoid of shells, living on the body of animals of numerous parasites, as well as flies, horseflies and other not the most sterile insects.

Bees, wasps, hornets are potentially dangerous with their stings. Everyone is aware of this, not once having suffered in childhood. Some species of tropical ants and termites can cause trouble with their powerful poisonous jaws. In the same tropics, the skin of some tree frogs is extremely toxic. But poisonous stings and glands are not a sign of the inedibility of the meat of their owner. Let me remind you again about fried scorpions and baked snakes.

Based on materials from the School of Survival in Natural Conditions.
Andrey Ilyichev.

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