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New to Entomophagy, questions regarding wild caught Grasshoppers.

Hi all, I'm considering entomophagy specifically with grasshoppers. I have over a hundred acres of land that is normally overrun with grasshoppers every summer. It would be extremely easy for me to catch hundreds of pounds of them in a day or two. No pesticides are ever used on my fields or any of the fields around mine so i know that's not an issue but i am concerned with parasites. Are those a concern? Are parasites or their eggs taken care of during the cooked, baking (or in the case of cricket flour) milling process?

Comments

  • Sarcophagid (a major high weed's grasshopper) parasitic flies' uterus contain live larvae (viviporous) they deposit onto the grasshopper. There are hooks coming off each side of the larval mouth which lets them grasp & pull themselves into the host grasshopper. Once inside the larvae develop & go through growth cycles (instars) for 3 instars after which emerge big enough to be noticeably called maggots (whence drop down into soil for making later development phases). If human's ingest a sarcophagid larvae that is inside a grasshopper it (the sarcophagid) will not complete it's life cycle inside the human & is not going to be leaving behind immature progeny.

    Earlier in the season Tachinids are the more frequent of open field grasshopper parasites. The eggs of these are laid on the grasshopper & once larval can enter the host for 3 instars before leaving the grasshopper. Again, these eggs will not hatch inside human guts pH & if you eat any of their larvae it is digestible; they are not going to go through instar phases inside our gut (our anatomy is different).

    Try this link for a bit more on what are common grasshopper threats = http://www.sidney.ars.usda.gov/grasshopper/Handbook/I/i_8.htmr

    Now parasites of the parasites of grasshoppers do exist. As best I c those they can be spore-like & even though our usual food cooking temperatures may not kill all dormant spores the undamaged spore(s) are not going to be re-animated inside our digestive tract. Of course once passed out of our body & if deposited onto soil those same spores can become parasitic to some parasite of a grasshopper.

    Bacterial pathogens to humans can be (& certain ones do seem to most often) inside wild insect guts. These are killed by cooking (ex. 5 min. boiling); but if one's immune system is robust our own internal bacterial colony spectrum render ingested pathogens innocuous. We are exposed to coli-form/staph bacteria by everything from the ATM automatic cash, chair arms, shopping carts, purse sprays, computer keyboards to the bottle of ketchup at a restaurant.

  • Link not working; maybe typing following into search engine can pull up direct one for author D.L. Hostetter's "Natural Enemies Attacking Grasshopper Nymphs and Adults". His section called "Grasshopper Parasites and Predators" goes into detail about the following, but meanwhile I'll provide brief synopsis quotes below.

    "Family Anthomyiidae ... One species is reported to parasitize grasshoppers, and two species have been reported as egg predators of grasshoppers....(1) species in North America ... parasitize grasshoppers.... "

    "Family Calliphoridae ... worldwide ... known as blow flies...."

    "Family Asilidae... known as robber flies.... Six species ... preference for grasshoppers ...."

    "Family Nemestrinidae ...tangle-veined flies ... (2) North American species ... are parasites of fourth- and fifth-stage nymphs or adults ... favor rangeland and “idle acres” habitats and those grasshoppers with similar habitat preferences. The flies are seldom found in cultivated areas or cropland ...."

    "Family Formicidae.... Four (ant) species have been observed as predators of rangeland grasshoppers ...."

    "Family Sphecidae ... solitary wasps ... Twenty-nine species are recorded as parasitizing grasshoppers in Canada and the United States ...."

    "Family Araneidae... Nine species of spiders have been reported as ... opportunistic feeders on grasshopper nymphs and adults...."

    "Family Trombidiidae...most important of three known families of mites that have been reported as parasites of grasshoppers and locusts...."

    "Family Mermithidae....Three species of nematodes belonging to this family are parasitic on grasshoppers ... Grasshopper nymphs eat vegetation contaminated with these eggs.... Moisture in the microhabitat, probably in the form of free water, is required for successful development of nematodes...."

    "Family Gordiacea... roundworms ... Adults are free living and aquatic...."

    "Family Sarcophagidae ... flesh flies ... 2,000 described species ... 21 to 23 species that are parasites of grasshoppers in North America..."

    "Family Tachinidae ... occur worldwide ... 1,300 North American species ...."

  • i would freeze the grasshoppers to kill them, its natural habitat no spraying in area cook eat and enjoy.

  • I would be very interested in working with clean sourced grasshoppers.

  • I got bogged down with work last season and didn't get a chance to try out building the traps. On a good note there wasn't nearly as many hoppers last year as normal. They seem to cycle and every few years we get a massive amount. We'll see how this year fares but either way I hope to get to do it this season. A town next to ours (Republic, WA) had their first annual Grasshopper festival complete with lots of Entomophagy exibits and a 'bug chef" last year but again I didn't get a chance to go.

  • If reselling, send a sample out to a lab for analytical testing including heavy metals, pathogens and pesticide residue. FDA insists wild harvesting is not safe but its no different than oysters! More info at thefutureofedibleinsects.com/2015/10/10/fda-response-to-inquiry/

  • nah, wouldn't be for resell, at least not as human food. These would be considered wildcaught since they're out on my fields and therefore wouldn't meet the requirements of the FDA for human consumption. I'm thinking more like a good way of supplementing our family diet, my dog food, etc. if things went well maybe even an organic hopper dogfood brand! how cool would that be. Just hair brained ideas though.

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