Are aphids edible? Can You Eat Aphids?
Did you accidentally eat aphids or did you try some on purpose? Are aphids poisonous or safe to eat?
In this article, we’ll find out if the answers to all questions surrounding whether or not we can eat aphids.
Can You Eat Aphids?
Yes. Aphids are edible and are not harmful to human digestion if they have been drowned in water and rinsed off well. Aphids can taste bitter or sweet depending on which plants they were eating.
You can eat vegetables and fruits that had aphids on them. Always wash your produce first no matter if they had any visible insects on them or if they were organically farmed.
What Happens If I Eat An Aphid?
Do not be concerned if you eat an aphid. The FDA has actually approved the safety of aphids in our fruits and vegetables. 60 or more aphids per 100 grams on broccoli for example, is acceptable by the FDA.
Aphids are included on many lists of edible bugs. Since they are small in size, they cannot provide enough nutrition to be considered a meal for humans who eat bugs like crickets on a regular basis.
Aphids are safe for human consumption, but they can transmit diseases from one plant to another causing the death of garden vegetation.
Is It Safe to Eat Aphid Bugs in Broccoli?
Yes. The downside to the wave and popularity of buying locally produced and organic produce free of pesticides is that we have to accept that bugs have been crawling all over them before we bring them home.
If you’re buying waxy fruits with pesticides on them such as Round Up, you will not have to worry about aphids ever touching your veggies like Broccoli.
The FDA has established the maximum level of unavoidable defects in food which includes the intrusion of bugs or some holes they leave behind on our fresh produce.
Here is what they believe is safe for broccoli in regards to aphids being found on them:
- 60 aphid/thrips or mites per 100 grams on broccoli is allowable.
- 204 aphids in 12 ounce bag of broccoli is acceptable.
Does that number sound high to you? Do you wish to eat aphids? If it were me, I would wash, rinse then soak the broccoli in a bowl of water with a tablespoon of salt. Then I would use a vegetable spinner and dry it out.
Can You Eat Lettuce That Has Had Aphids on It?
Yes. Aphids can make holes in lettuce leaves. We accept organic and locally grown food that looks far from immaculate. Lettuce in a commercial grocery store will look much more manicured and most likely, it has come from a factory farm where pesticides kept it free of aphids.
If you are worrying about aphids or other safe bugs that have touched or even consumed some of the lettuce you are bringing home, you should feel assured that they are safe.
Please dunk the lettuce in water and let it soak. Rinse off the leaves with water alone or use vinegar and salt for added measure.
Your lettuce would be safe to eat even if there were aphids still hiding inside and you happened to consume them. They would most likely taste better, but your health would not be compromised.
Can Aphids Make Humans Sick?
Aphids are not poisonous or dangerous to humans who are exposed to them. We can touch or even eat aphids without any adverse health effects. It would be better if the aphids were washed and rinsed first.
Aphids make plants sick. They are a nuisance pest because of this. They produce honeydew which is an irritant to plants. Aphids use their stylets, which is another name for their mouth parts to ingest plant matter while leaving behind honeydew secretions.
Ants enjoy eating this byproduct and keep aphids protected in order to be fed by this honeydew. Unfortunately, the plant could get sick or discolored and slowly die as a result.
What Do Aphids Taste Like?
Aphids are not supposed to taste awful. Sometimes we accidentally consume aphids on produce that has not been washed or rinsed properly. The aphid picks a host plant out of convenience and not by taste preferences.
If the plant itself is bitter, the aphid will probably taste the same. There are instances of people reporting that certain aphids taste sweet.
The honeydew secretion of an aphid could be the sweet taste or the plant that was hosting them was sweet and transferred some its nectar through the aphid onto your taste buds.
Can You Eat Basil with Aphids?
It is common for basil plants to be approached by the following insects as a food source:
- spider mites
Aphids use basil plants as their host. They will ingest and secrete juices while the plant itself begins to suffer from the infestation. Basil can be ingested by humans even if the plant was a host to aphids.
We should wash and rinse it well before eating the basil to avoid the bitter taste of aphids. If some aphids slip through the cleaning process and make their way into our mouths, it will not harm us.
We may taste the bitterness or the taste of the basil leaves may simply overpower it and we may not even notice.
Aphids are not harmful. They are not on the top of the list for the most edible bugs because they are too small and will not satisfy the nutrient requirements for humans or other large animals.
Crickets top the list followed by grasshoppers and June bugs. Aphids are safe to eat and will not make us sick. They will make plants sick if they carry the disease of one plant to another.
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