These fuzzy critters are popular grub in some regions in Africa. Residents of Northern Zambia are so enamored of caterpillars that they monitor the insects’ growth and follow strict harvesting schedules. The insects are protected from natural disasters such as bush fires and if the locals become too zealous (or hungry), temporary harvesting limits will be implemented to prevent major population losses. Smoked caterpillars have a storage life of up to three months, which makes them an ideal food source for places where alternatives may be tough to come by.
“There is little to suggest that grubs, caterpillars, pupae and grasshoppers will compete with bratwurst, steaks and pork chops,” the authors write. “At the same time, countries with significant Asian, Central American and African migrant populations, increasingly offer the adventurous and discriminating gourmet access to edible insects at ethnic markets and restaurants, and green segments in the western world may eventually take to edible insects in the same way that organic food enthusiasts and (mu)shroomers have already embraced naturally grown and wild food.”
Protein: 25-53 grams
Fat: 20 grams
Some caterpillars can actually contain more protein and fat gram for gram than a turkey leg, but that fat comes from healthier monounsaturated sources.
Turkey leg, cooked
Protein: 27.87 grams
Fat: 9.82 grams
Carbohydrates: 0.13 grams