Insects factor into the diet of at least two billion people, and over 1,900 species have been deemed edible so far. According to National Geographic, insects are eaten in 36 countries in Africa, 29 in Asia, 23 in the Americas, and 11 in Europe. The FAO says that out of all insects consumed globally, 31 percent are beetles, which have more protein than most other insects. Caterpillars follow at 18 percent; mopane caterpillars, which are common in the southern part of Africa, have over five times as much iron as beef per 100 grams of dry weight. They’re also high in potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
October 14 is National Chocolate-Covered Insects Day — but here we salute nine countries whose citizens are brave enough to eat insects without a chocolatey barrier.