So Many Cicadas, So Few Recipes

question of why our culture has a morbid fear of some insects (spiders,
roaches, and locusts, for example) while cultures in, say,
Africa do not, is an interesting one. In part, no doubt, it is
due to the real threats some these species represent, like poisionous
spiders or crop-destroying locusts. In addition, the very concept of
billions or trillions of anything swarming over, around or on our soft,
fragile bodies is creepy. However, in the case of the cicadas, misleadingly
17-year locusts (they are actually distant cousins to true locusts),
it appears they have gotten a bum rap….

The cicadas of Brood X are here and singing like billions of tiny
boom boxes. Not everyone is thrilled, but I have to say that the bugs
don’t seem so bad to me. They may be breaking some sort of anti-noise
ordinances but they hardly qualify as a plague.

The largest locust swarm on record, Dr. Lockwood reports, was documented
from June 15 to 25, 1875, in Nebraska. Albert Child, who observed it
and made a careful analysis, calculated that the swarm covered 198,000
square miles and was a quarter- to a half-mile deep. Dr. Lockwood says
the damage supports that claim, and he estimates the number of locusts
at 3.5 trillion. Nationwide, at the peak of a major outbreak, he estimated
that there were 15 trillion locusts with a biomass approaching that of
bison at their peak.

from the New York Times

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One Response to So Many Cicadas, So Few Recipes

  1. “15 trillion locusts with a biomass approaching that of
    bison at their peak” – wow! I don’t think we Americans will ever find bugs palatable. Its no wonder pesticide use is on the rise.

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