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So, Can You Eat Termites for Survival?

If you are in the course of a legitimate survival situation, you will not have the luxurious of alternative in the case of many things.

termites inside the log
Termites inside a log. Photo by J. Beales.

Need, necessity, is one of the best monkey in your back. Perhaps in no other case is that this statement more true than in the case of what you’ll eat.

Let me put it this manner: there are a lot of more things on this planet which can be edible and nutritious than good food.

In this regard, bugs are sure to be on the menu. Fortunately for us, many worms are edible and highly nutritious, making them a wonderful survival food.

What about termites? They are common, found all around the world, and fairly easy to catch. Can you eat termites in a survival situation?

Yes, you may eat termites to survive. Termites are wealthy in protein, fat and various vitamins and minerals. Be careful as some termite species can bite and have chemical defenses.

I do know a lot of you reading this are able to fall off your chair just occupied with eating bugs.

But it’s higher to get used to it, because in comparison with many other animals, insects will change into far more common and far easier to catch.

Take heart as well, as termites are voluntarily eaten as normal cuisine in lots of cultures all over the world.

Read on and I’ll inform you every little thing that you must learn about eating them in a survival scenario.

Where can termites be found?

Termites are some of the abundant insects on earth, and likewise considered one of the longest-lived. Wood and plant-eating termites are present in abundance on every continent except Antarctica.

They are most frequently present in tropical and subtropical climates, because they supply them with ideal living conditions.

Speaking of abundance, the common termite colony, be it a mound or a nest, can contain anywhere from tens of hundreds to many tens of millions of termites!

That’s an incredible amount of little buggers, all working tirelessly to support the queen.

Given that queens of some species can live for a long time, it isn’t out of the query that you might encounter a powerful and mature colony able to providing you with all of the food you may need in a brief to medium term survival situation.

Closer to home, termites could be present in many areas of the United States, including California, Arizona, Florida, and Texas.

These southern states have ideal conditions for the event of termite colonies on account of the high temperatures and humid climate.

Termites may also be found throughout the Midwest and East Coast of the country.

In short, almost in all places you go, aside from the coldest regions on earth, you could have a terrific probability of finding termites.

To locate a termite nest, look each above and below ground: termites nest by tunneling through wood and other cellulose-rich materials, constructing underground nests with above-ground entrance mounds, and constructing nests in trees that look quite just like a large hornet nest .

The hallmark of a nest is the presence of long, crusty mud tubes running along the trunk or other surface to the bottom.

Termites create mud tubes on partitions, floors, and ceilings to access food sources while protecting themselves from predators and the weather.

Termite nests are fragile and simple to interrupt into, which implies once you discover them, you may give you the chance to access a lot of them.

Note: don’t confuse termites with ants or wasps

It is very important to give you the chance to properly discover termites as their resemblance can range from relatively harmless ants to dangerous wasps.

Termites are sometimes confused with other insects depending on the form and placement of the nest. For example, some species of termites construct mud mounds which can be shaped like ant nests.

As mentioned, arboreal termite nests are quite just like some wasp or hornet nests. The best solution to tell them apart at a look is to look at the insects themselves.

Unlike ants, which have three body segments and ulnar or “crooked” antennae, termites have two unequal body segments and straight antennae.

In addition to resembling ants, termites may also be mistaken for wasps or bees on account of the presence of a clearly visible nest.

Many species of wasps make paper-like nests that resemble termite nests. To tell them apart without getting too close, look closely on the nest entrance.

If you see an almost constant flow of thick-skinned flying insects coming and going, you are probably not coping with termites!

Nutrition facts about termites

Termites are surprisingly nutritious, containing a wonderful number of resources needed by the body to remain healthy.

They are high in protein and over 40 percent of their dry weight comes from the nutrient.

They also occur to be high in fat, which is a very important consider energy and calorie production.

Additionally, they contain other essential minerals comparable to calcium, zinc and phosphorus, in addition to vitamins A and E.

While many survivors may only worry about raw calories in a survival situation, long-term scenarios mean you’ll have to absorb essential micronutrients frequently to remain healthy and live. Termites might help in each situations.

What do termites taste like?

The query that pops within the minds of just about everyone reading that is, certainly, what do termites taste like.

I’m glad to report that they taste pretty good, really! Due to their high fat content, termites have a nutty and barely sweet or spicy flavor, often in comparison with sunflower seeds or cashews.

The taste of some species can also be described as barely grassy or earthy. Among insects, they’re among the many least offensive foods that “normal” people can try.

Can you eat termites alive?

You can, nevertheless it’s not advisable.

In addition to the standard disgusting factor of eating a live insect, termites can harbor various parasites and germs that you don’t need to place in your body.

In addition to the nasty taste, you may get food poisoning, which may result in abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and eventually dehydration.

This is something you may’t afford once you’re already in a foul situation. There’s a reason some termite species are large enough to potentially die in a fight – literally!

The “soldier” variety of some species have large and powerful mandibles and even the flexibility to suicidal secrete chemicals, making them dangerous to eat alive!

Trust me: you don’t need to experience any of those results. But all that you must do to avoid them is cook the termites before eating them. More on that in a moment.

Can you eat termites raw?

Again, yes you may – but you actually shouldn’t. As with eating them alive, there continues to be a risk of contracting germs or parasites.

Sure, termites cannot fight back when eaten dead and raw, but they still won’t taste great.

Preparation of termites

The best solution to prepare termites is to softly bake or pan fry them whole. This will kill the termites, kill any germs or parasites inside them, and greatly improve their taste and texture.

All that you must do is be certain they’re cooked and barely golden. It won’t take long!

Larger specimens would want to unscrew the pinnacle and outstanding mandibles first. Otherwise, they’re easy to eat as they’re.

You may grind them right into a powder after cooking them crispy. This powder can then be utilized in soups for flavoring, as a thickener, and even mixed with other ingredients to bulk up food and add calories.

What are the risks of eating termites?

There are few concerns about eating termites, other than the aforementioned disease risks when eating them raw or undercooked.

Contrary to some claims, termites cannot sting, and only just a few species have a bite that can be greater than an annoyance to a human.

However, it needs to be noted that some species have chemical defenses that could make them unsafe for consumption.

For example, all members of the subfamily Nasutitermitinae secrete noxious fluids containing solvents and other nasty things that may easily irritate the skin and mucous membranes.

Some species even have soldiers who voluntarily commit suicide by tearing apart their organs, leading to a sticky, toxic mess that attackers (like humans!) must cope with.

If you come across such termite species, think twice before eating them.

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