I’m no taxonomist, but I believe cicadas are bugs, even though the official classification is arthropod. That’s one strike against them.

The second strike: They are big, for insects, not so much for arthropods, but I find that intimidating.

The third strike: It’s that deafening noise they make.

I’ve read the creatures that come out every 17 years are harmless. They don’t bite or sting and they don’t “lay eggs in your skin.” I guess that’s a real fear or some.

In fact, cicadas are good for the earth. They prune mature trees and aerate the soil. When they die, their bodies provide much-needed nitrogen for growing trees.

Apparently, they’re also a good source of protein and they’re gluten-free and low in fat and carbs. (Before you grab your cicada-catching gear and head outside, you should know if you are allergic to seafood or you have any inflammatory disease, avoid cicadas.)

People all over the world incorporate insects into their diets, and specifically cicadas, as did Native Americans. What an efficient way to get protein. We just aren’t used to it here, where we love to eat such unnatural items as hot dogs and deep-fried Snickers bars.

I find it weird to eat insects. I’ve spend my whole life trying to avoid swallowing bugs, and now I find out cicadas are delicious, crunchy and healthy. Who would have thought?

First you have to catch a mess. Thrilllist.com said catching cicadas is easy.

Stop 1:  When baby cicadas emerge and shed their exoskeletons, they will be soft and white. This is the time to scoop up a bunch and place them in large plastic bags. Early morning is best for this activity.

Step 2: Snag some adults, too. The juveniles you caught earlier will mature in a few hours, so those you didn’t get earlier will be ripe for the catching.

Step 3: Put plastic bags into your freezer and freeze the cicadas to death. Experts say it’s the most humane way of killing them — that is, if there is a humane way of killing anything.

To cook the crunchy critters, rinse them off and cook them as you would shrimp. Sprinkle them on salads or pasta, or just eat them like popcorn. For a sweet treat, you can cover them in chocolate or stir them into your favorite ice cream.

I’m not adventurous enough to catch, kill or cook cicadas, much less eat them, but if you do, let me know what you think. Meanwhile, I’ll be in bed holding pillows against my ears.

(606) 326-2661 |

lward@dailyindependent.com

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