Insects like this bee are eaten as food in many countries. They may one day be used as food for astronauts.
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Image courtesy of Corel Photography

Astronauts May Eat Insects
News story originally written on September 3, 1999

Have you ever grabbed a worm off the cement after a long rain and taken it to school for lunch? Or maybe you snatched a chirping cricket from the corner and popped it in your mouth. Sound disgusting? In several countries people eat bugs all the time. Of course, they are usually cooked!

These tasty critters are full of protein, which makes them a very healthy snack. This means that one day astronauts may be taking a bucket of bugs into space. It would be very hard for astronauts to bring a cow aboard or grow plants. But a colony of worms would be ideal for space travel. They are easily stored, and can reproduce during the flight.

People in Mexico aren't waiting for the space age, they've known about these tasty insects for years. The most popular are bees, ants, worms and grasshoppers. Those that chow on these morsels must be careful of harmful poison that the bugs may carry. Some are bagging and bottling insects collected from crops that aren't sprayed with poison.

So the next time you're hungry and there is nothing in the fridge, why not heat up a few grasshoppers and have a healthy meal?

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