Eat a cicada? Some high school students are using Brood X to share benefits of eating insects

PRINCETON, New Jersey -- Would you eat a cicada?

Some high school students in Princeton, New Jersey are using the Brood X cicada emergence to spread the word about the benefits of eating insects.

The members of Princeton High School insect-eating club say the red-eyed bugs are packed with protein and eating them can be a way to combat climate change.

"If we want to have a food source that has all of the essential amino acids, all the essential fatty acids that we need, insects are really the way to go. There's no better way of doing it," said Mark Eastburn, a research teacher at the school.

Matthew Livingston, a student at Princeton high, said he got into the world of eating insects while doing a research project.

"You know, we've got to start relying less on these cows and chickens that are creating so many greenhouse gases, taking up all of that land that we could be using for growing plants, growing insects. You can see the direct effect of insects on our ecosystem and you could really take advantage of them...(and) expand your horizons to more insects in the future," Livingston said.

Eastburn said the group collects freshly molted cicadas before washing and freezing the bugs.

"Freezing was one process that would kill any potentially harmful organisms, and then, after that, we cook them," he said.

They have tried everything from cicada stir-fry, to cakes, to cookies.

"It depends on whatever flavor or spices you put in that kind of shapes the taste of the bug itself," said student Mulin Huan. "My advice, go for it. Take up the courage, close your eyes, and put the thing in your mouth."

According to experts, cicadas are full of protein, gluten-free, low-fat and low-carb. The bugs were used as a food source by Native Americans and are still eaten by humans in many countries.

But, heads up, people with seafood allergies should think twice about cicadas, according to the US Food and Drug Administration.

So, are you willing to give them a try?
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