Grasshoppers: A Quick Snack or a Disgusting Insect?
Written by – Mrida Pradhan, (Class 9)
Believe it or not, Ugandans have a strange fondness for the (usually) green creepy-crawlies that are grasshoppers. And this fondness is not a fascination to look at but in fact is a fondness for their taste! That’s right, Ugandans ingest these creatures on a regular basis, as calmly as one would eat a pack of chips.
I personally find it very weird but who am I to judge? After all, most vegans and vegetarians probably consider us carnivores to be truly disgusting. Anyhow, these people take the cultivation of grasshoppers very seriously, and even devote their lives to this process of procuring and selling them. They fetch quite a high price in the local markets, as hordes of people purchase them to devour them and taste their apparently crunchy and salty texture and taste.
The insects are captured strategically, using bright lights to lure them into a large group, where they would be made dizzy using a spray of some sort and thus it would be easy to collect them at once. Rainy full moon days are chosen and this process repeats over and over, until a huge amount of these insects are in a heap. They are then either beheaded or de-winged or both and are cleaned. Then they are ready to be sold in the market in bulk or otherwise.
I don’t know how I feel about this process to be very honest, as I feel it’s disrupting the balance of nature, which never yields good results for the earth as a whole. So many grasshoppers… why the craze for them? I will probably never know, since I don’t plan to go around munching on grasshoppers anytime soon!