Eating Insects and Animals in China

I recently read the article Five reasons we should all be eating insects.

(I think I would totally eat insects if any of them were as delicious as shrimp, the grasshoppers of the ocean. Alas, I’ve tried eating various types of bugs in China, and they’re just not that tasty. Or… maybe they take quite a bit of getting used to?)

Anyway, reading the article, two China-related thoughts jumped out at me:

1. China should be eating more insects

With this massive population and the multitude of food safety issues, it makes sense, right? And look at the abundance of edible insects in China (especially compared to the U.S.)!


2. What would China’s “percentage of animal edible” figures be?


I know that the U.S. and China have very different thoughts on “percentage of animal edible” for all kinds of animals, including poultry, pork, beef, and lamb. So which numbers are these, and what are the differences between the numbers of the U.S. and China?

The Chinese have never been squeamish eaters, and as long as the cooking methods themselves were Chinese, I can imagine a China where people eat insects in larger quantities.


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. After a fair amount of baijiu, I once tried eating stir fried pine nuts and black ants. The ants were crispy and tasteless. Not really being into them, I tried to just pick out the pine nuts but they were all covered in ant legs.. :/

    Agree that it could be a great food supply though! Surprised they aren’t used a filler instead of soy – or maybe they already are!

  2. 卢卡斯 Says: May 24, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    I wonder if the centipedes that invaded my former residence at night were edible…there’s probably a village or two out there that could have been saved from famine.

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