Ew I Swallowed a Bug! Now What?

If we're lucky, summertime means picnics, sitting by water, perhaps hiking through the woods. And with all that time spent in nature comes, well, nature! That includes some up close and personal interaction with our insect friends -- the ones most of us prefer to ignore, swat away, and/or avoid as much as possible.

Occasionally, though, stuff happens. Like you might actually swallow an ant or a gnat or a pesky mosquito

First of all, don't freak out. Aside from feeling kinda gross, swallowing a bug is generally not harmful. Here's why:

Said bug goes down your esophagus and into your stomach where it's mushed up and digested. Then it leaves your body via the opposite end. If you happen to inhale a bug instead -- this happens to runners, occasionally -- it will travel down your windpipe into your lungs where it will get trapped by your protective mucus membranes.

While bug eating is not all that popular in America (it is in other countries), the truth is, we do eat bugs -- or bug parts -- quite often without knowing it ... and we're ok. A recent post on ScientificAmerican.com highlighted the fact that the FDA allows for a certain amount of "insect fragments" in our food such as broccoli, canned tomatoes, and canned fruit juices.

In fact, a recent report from the Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN underscored the nutritional benefits of insects-as-dinner. Looking at bugs for the protein they pack may be the key to solving a global food crisis if we can only get past our squeamishness.

So the next time you accidentally consume a critter, wash it down with some water and think of it as a summertime appetizer.

 

Image via acidpix/Flickr

summer break, summer survival

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dusky... dusky_rose

Mmmmm.... protein, YUCK! LOL

Rushn311 Rushn311

I know I've swallowed a couple

sukainah sukainah

I have also swallowed a couple here and there in my lifetime.  Gross LOL.  I think my son inhaled a gnat the other day.  He wasn't pleased LOL

MamaM... MamaMandee

This made me a little sick! 

GwenMB GwenMB

Ewwww!  Not what I wanted to read or think about!

Wish2Be Wish2Be

Sounds like you got an extra shot of protien today

Bmat Bmat

rolling on floorSummertime appetizer!!!

Bmat Bmat

I have heard of the insect part allowances by the FDA, not very pleasant to think of.

la_be... la_bella_vita

I'd rather not think about this

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