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Eating Black Soldier Flies

Black soldier fly larvae cleaned and ready to eat!

These black soldier fly larvae are delicious!

I’m not sure if you’ve heard me talk about it other places on the site, but I raise worms to make my garden grow better. I feed my worms organic fruit and vegetable scraps I get from nearby groceries.

Well, earlier this year I started getting a ton of black soldier fly larvae eating the extra worm food that I put down. For months I’ve been taking the larvae out and putting them in a bin for the birds. Which has been great for the birds and I have counted 18 different species of birds at the house. And that’s amazing because when I moved in 8 months ago there were only pigeons and house sparrows!

Anyway, yesterday I went to write an article about them for my worm website and I Googled them to find out more about them. Well, it turns out that the first page of Google has links to articles about PEOPLE eating black soldier flies.

I couldn’t resist and I clicked on a few of the links. Within an hour I was out in the garden collecting the larvae for dinner. 🙂

And let me tell you, I’m excited about the possibility of actually raising black soldier flies because they are a great source of fat and protein. Those are the two main nutrients my vegetable garden doesn’t give me. It would be amazing to get 80% or more of my food from the garden and eating black soldier flies might make that possible!

I took pictures of the process and you can follow along as I prepare them.

Black soldier larvae in the garden.

Mixed in with dirt and my worm food, these larvae have to be washed before I make dinner out of them.

Here are a few black soldier fly larvae in the garden. They eat just about any plant or animal. In my garden they only get the discarded fruits and veggies from the local grocery stores, but there is a video of the larvae eating 2 trout on YouTube that is both fascinating and horrifying.

Even though this is the first time I’ve harvested black soldier flies to eat for myself, I’ve been collecting them for the birds for 8 months. The first thing I do is scoop up a bunch of fly larvae along with some dirt and sift them so the big chucks of worm food get filtered out.

sifting the larvae to get the big stuff out.

First I sift the soil to get the big stuff out of it. The larvae will crawl through these 1/4 inch mesh.

The container below this tub has 1/8 hardware cloth, and most of the black soldier fly larvae can squeeze right through that if I give them 15 or 20 minutes. That makes it easy to separate the bugs from the dirt in the tub above them.

Washing the fly larvae in a bucket of water.

Next, I put the larvae in a strainer and washed them in a 5 gallon bucket.

After I separated out the flies, I put them in a strainer and rinsed them. Since they live in my garden soil, they had a lot of dirt on them. I’ve learned that you can raise black soldier fly larvae in sawdust though. If I end up doing that, I won’t have to worry so much about rinsing them.

Black soldier fly larvae in a tub.

I put the fly larvae in a tub while I got things ready in the kitchen.

Once I rinsed them off, I dumped them in a white tub while I got things ready in the kitchen. I discovered that they poop a lot. So I left them in the tub longer than I needed to so they’d poop more, then I rinsed them again.

Now it was time to cook them.

Frying up some yellow bell peppers.

Now for the cooking. First I fried some yellow bell peppers.

In the kitchen I sauteed some yellow peppers first since I figured they’d need to cook a while.

Frying up the soldier fly larvae.

Next I added the black soldier fly larvae.

Then I added the worms. It was interesting. They smelled absolutely delicious, kinda nutty. But when they got too hot or cooked too much, I’m not sure which, they started popping like popcorn! You can see one that exploded out of the pan in a later picture.

Adding tomatoes to dinner.

Adding the tomatoes to the fry pan.

Next I added some tomatoes.

Everything in the pan and just about ready to eat!

Finished meal of black soldier fly larvae!

Here’s the finished meal after adding some pre-cooked noodles my roommate had in the fridge and a bit of Cajun spice mix.

Dinner is served. The main component of this meal is the larvae.

The meal of black soldier fly larvae in my favorite (only) bowl ready to eat.

Here’s the finished product in my bowl ready to eat.

Me having a spoonful of insect dinner.

Taking that first bite… it smelled delicious, but you never know.

Trying the first spoonful.

Eating black soldier flies with a satisfied smile as I get a good taste of the bugs.

I am really happy with the way this turned out, as you can tell by that dopey grin.

That is amazingly good! Every bit as delicious as it smelled while cooking.

Overall, I’d say this was a huge success and I really enjoyed eating black soldier flies. This was a great meal and I’m definitely going to try some other recipes with these little bugs.

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