You might be thinking eating cockroach is disgusting, because in Western society we do not value insects as a food source. We largely consider them dirty creatures that need to be eradicated, not eaten.
But do you know that people eat cockroaches in many countries and cultures around the world, commonly in Asia?
Yes, cockroaches are edible and healthy to eat, provided they are prepared properly. They must be washed and thoroughly cooked prior to eating, to kill any bacteria on the cockroach.
Don’t eat a raw cockroach, though. Just as you wouldn’t eat raw chicken or beef. The germs need to be burnt off in the cooking process. Usually, this is accomplished by frying the roaches in vegetable oil, which also gives them a crunchy and crispy texture.
For example, here in Thailand, they serve fried insects in many local dishes. They are also quite popular as a street food. Frequently, food carts can be spotted with the various types of insects on display.
Western tourists often gawk at this, and stop to take pictures — after overcoming their initial shock. Their apparent disgust sometimes offends or insults the locals, with whom fried roaches and crickets are quite popular.
I have to admit, I did a double-take the first time I saw a street food cart filled with various fried insects, including cockroaches. I did my best to be polite and not show it, but the strong cultural notions I brought with me from America made me look down on the practice of eating roaches, initially.
But since then I have become accustomed to the practice, and it doesn’t shock me anymore. In fact, I really think it is a quite sensible idea. If cockroaches are plentiful and cheap, and also tasty, why shouldn’t people eat them?
For most people, it’s just a matter of getting over your pre-existing hangups about cockroaches being dirty and disgusting. However, for some this may prove to be a high mental hurdle, indeed.