How to survive in the tropical forest by eating insects?
In 2014, as I was studying zoology at the university of Kuching on the island of Borneo, I made a unique encounter!
Tim, a 23-year-old student, lives alongside the jungle since his early childhood. During his spare time, Tim hunts birds and snakes with a blowpipe and picks various fruits and leaves for food. But according to him, the best source of food is: The Sago Worm! A larva from a beetle living in the trunk of palm trees.
Tim tells me how surviving in the jungle is possible by eating insects…who would have thought ?
One day, at the age of 18, Tim got lost in the jungle for 7 days. He could have yelled no one would come to his rescue, he was on his own. Here is the story of how he managed to survive:
“First, I had to find some water so I looked out for monkeys. Fruits can be found where monkeys are. In order to eat, I had to wait for the fruits to be dropped by the monkeys. As soon as I could, I climbed trees to gather the whole fruits. I also quenched my thirst by the brook. Now, I had to think about feeding myself better than just with fruits!”
“Therefore, I used a well-known technique in our country: I looked for a dead palm-tree. Fortunately, there’s plenty of them in the jungle! Once I found that tree, I dug into it until I found what I was looking for: The Sago Worms!! I swallowed twenty of them, alive, which gave me the necessary nutritional energy and proteins for the next two days and allowed me to find my way!”
The Sago Worm, also named the palm weevil, has an interesting nutritional composition. It is a high- calorie food, whose protein’s contain the eight amino acids essential to the human body!
“If you ever get lost in the forest, you should look for a dead palm tree and find the palm weevils that will give you all the energy to survive! Plus they are delicious!”
Then Tim suggested that I taste them…thankfully cooked! He had used the Asian style recipe. Well, those insects taste like braised meat, and the consistence is similar to… roasted mushrooms! Enough to delight one’s palate 🙂