Research from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization shows that bugs are excellent sources of protein and healthier for you and the environment than steak or pork.  Eating these many-legged critters is promoted by many organizations, including the European Commission, who are offering 4.5 million dollars to the group that creates the best plan to develop bugs as a popular food. Even actress turned UN Goodwill Ambassador, Angelina Jolie, says that her children "eat crickets like Doritos."

If the idea of eating bugs makes you squeamish, turn away, because here's our round-up of commonly eaten bugs, spiders, and insects around the world!

Sago Grubs

Sago Grubs

Consumed in: Southeast Asia

Taste Profile: Believe it or not, these plump, yellow and cream colored sago palm weevil larvae have a taste frequently likened to bacon! In some regions, they're considered a delicacy for special occasions.  They are usually roasted, but they can also be eaten raw.  If raw, remove the head prior to consumption, as sago worms have sharp pincers and a tendency to bite.  

Scorpions

Scorpions

Consumed in: China

Taste ProfileScorpions can be consumed fried, roasted, grilled on a stick, or live.  Their taste is reportedly fairly bitter and vaguely fishy.  If you're concerned about the venom, the heat used to cook scorpions renders it essentially harmless.  Live scorpions are usually eaten with their stingers clipped off and dunked in some kind of wine.

Tarantulas

Tarantulas

Consumed in: Cambodia, Venezuela

Taste Profile: Tarantulas are usually cooked and eaten whole: legs, eyes, body, and all.  Many people report the taste to be very similar to fried soft-shell crab or shrimp, with a crunchy exterior and somewhat chewy meat.  Others claim the taste is more like poultry, with the legs tasting like sparse chicken wings and the body tasting of cold duck.  

Crickets

Crickets

Consumed in: Mexico, Thailand, Cambodia

Taste Profile: Crickets are usually prepared fried, but they can be boiled, sauteed, and roasted.  Freshly fried crickets are crispy, and tend to taste like the oil they were cooked in.  Some liken the taste and texture of crickets to popcorn or nuts.  Many cricket-eaters also recommend removing the legs before consuming.  

Lemon Ants

Lemon Ants

Consumed in: The Amazon Rainforest

Taste Profile:  Lemon ants have an extremely acidic body composition and evolved symbiotically with their host trees; clearings with only a single tree in it are likely to contain lemon ants.  Eaten raw, these ants are said to have a crunchy texture, and a tangy lemon flavor.  

Mealworms

Mealworms

Consumed in: All over the world!

Taste Profile: These beetle larvae can be fried, sauteed, boiled, and roasted.  They are said to have an extremely mild flavor, which is to say they don't actually taste like much.  Raw, sauteed, or boiled, they are soft and slightly mushy.  When fried, they take on the flavor of the oil. Roasted mealworms are slightly crunchy and nutty.  

Giant Water Bugs

Giant Water Bugs

Consumed in: Thailand and other parts of Asia

Taste Profile: Water bugs are actually quite popular in Thai cuisine, often consumed whole, steamed or fried; they are also frequently as extracts for various sauces.  Their scent is stunningly reminiscent of sweet, flowery fruits, and their taste is said to be very close to a salted, briny banana or melon.  

Cicadas

Cicadas

Consumed in: China, Malaysia, Latin America

Taste Profile: The general consensus appears to be that cicadas have a slight nuttiness reminiscent of almonds or peanut butter, with an asparagus-like aftertaste; others claim that cicadas taste closer to a raw potato drizzled with clam juice. These descriptions are also indicative of its texture: slightly crunchy and juicy.

Photo Credits: Eat the Weeds, Liyin the Designer in Pajamas, How Stuff Works, Science Buzz, Cicada Invasion, Flick River, Helablog, Inquiring Chef, Travel Blog, and Wine and Food Tube, World Must Be Crazy

14 Must-Make Cauliflower Recipes.
Broccoli and Cauliflower Recipes Even Kids Will Love.
Hearty, Chunky Soups for a Cold Day.
Healthy, Easy New Ways to Enjoy Salmon.
10 Tasty Ways to Make Canned Tuna Gourmet.
What's in Season: Fall Vegetables You Can't Miss.
Crispy, Creamy, and Perfectly Cheesy Gourmet Gratins.
10 Creative New Ways to Cook Salmon.
Cozy into Fall with Savory Seasonal Soups.
Creamy, Comforting Macaroni and Cheese Recipes.
12 Terrific New Takes on Jalapeño Poppers.
Quick and Easy 5 Ingredient Pastas.
Edible Flowers from The Garden of Eat'n.
Snack Healthy with Homemade Hummus.
Every Dish is Made Better with Beer.
10 Exceptional Coffee Drinks to Make at Home.
10 Handy Meals Made in a Muffin Tin.
Vegan Appetizers Anyone Will Love.
Simple, Hearty Mexican Dishes for a Crowd.
10 Succulent Salmon Dishes for Healthier Eating.
Appetizer Ideas for the Big Game.
Italian Dishes Minus the Indulgence.
Cozy Chili Recipes and Creative Ways to Enjoy Them.
Fantastic, Flavorful 5-Ingredient Chicken Dinners.
10 Savory Curries You Can Make in a Hurry.
Top 10 Christmas Cookies of the Season.
5 Creative Cinco de Mayo Recipes to get the Fiesta Started!.
Fun Football Shaped Bites for the Super Bowl.
The Ultimate Super Bowl Appetizer: 5-Layer Football Field Dip.
Complete Your Meal With a Perfect Wine Pairing.
Pass the Chickpeas! 10 Healthy Garbanzo Bean Recipes.
Food Pairings with Sean McKenzie and Dave Matthews.
Top 10 Tips for Winning Dinners!.
From Apples to Kale to Salmon, How to Keep What You Love Fresh.
Cooking with Silk®.
Grow Your Own Ingredients: Fresh Garden Favorites.