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Eating Cicadas Is Actually Good For The Environment And Apparently They Taste Like Shrimp

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Cicadas will soon be crawling all over Maryland and believe it or not, that means plenty of opportunities to try out a new snack, according to one Johns Hopkins professor.

"They're a lot like shrimp. They're like tree shrimp," said Jessica Fanzo, the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Global Food Policy and Ethics.

Fanzo is planning to collect and eat cicadas herself and wants Marylanders to know that they are both a great source of protein and also a great eco-friendly meal.

"We're in the middle of climate change. Insects they're a great alternative source to other animal source foods, which for example cows which are producing a lot of greenhouse gas emissions," she said.

Fanzo said anyone interested in trying a cicada should pick out the female nymphs, while they are still white and fresh out of the ground, then freeze them in a bag. When ready to try them, boil them for two minutes and then cook them to your liking.

"You can roast them in the oven, put some salt and pepper on there, some Old Bay seasoning on them," said Fanzo.

Insects are a part of some meals in other cultures like in Mexico, Thailand and parts of Africa.

"You go just south of the border into Mexico and they eat grasshoppers and they're delicious," the professor said.

A free cookbook of cicada dishes by University of Maryland graduate school student, Jenna Jadin, is available online at 

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