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Will You Take The Cicada Challenge?

uBiome community member Ann Tenny writes in with the following citizen science study idea. Thanks Ann! Everyone else, feel free to share your study ideas with us too.


The Cicada Challenge
by Ann Tenny

I’m an avid forager of wild greens and wild mushrooms. Now I’m ready to take it to the next level.

I just found out we can expect periodical cicadas to show up in my region any day now. If I have to endure a month of their deafening shrieks, the unnerving sight of them all over my fruit trees, the inevitable flagging of twigs after they lay their eggs, this time I’m sharpening my fork.

This time, I say Bring it on. We use no pesticides on our 40 acres, so I plan to enjoy them extensively. Then I want to submit another gut sample to uBiome.

What if humans evolved eating insects? Maybe it’s an important missing piece of the western diet. I want to know if eating cicadas for a month or so will change my gut bugs.

Are you with me?

I have read that you can go out at night and collect cicadas newly emerged from their exuviae. While they’re nice and soft, you freeze them. Then all you do is fry them up when you’re ready to eat them. Simple. And allegedly, delicious. I can believe they taste like land shrimp. And they’re free.

Let’s do this.

Don’t miss this opportunity if they’re coming to your area this year. Then we can all submit samples and see if there is a distinct trend in the gut biomes of insect eaters. Ask not for whom the cicada calls. It calls for thee . . . and me.

In the past, news of an impending onslaught of cicadas was less than inspiring.

This time, I’m ready.


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