I want to try some cooking with insects. So far I found no shop in my town selling insects for human consumption, and online shops I found (so far) where really expensive (10-40€/100g!).

So I'm thinking of buying some pet food insects (most likey cickets or grasshoppers). Are these safe for human consumption?

I'm in Germany, I assume regulations for pet food would apply to these insects (is this so?).

I'm mostly concerned about antibiotics and whatever harmful stuff they might get via their food.

  • I read something somewhere talking about raising insects for chicken feed, and it turns out that unless you're raising insects solely on waste that has no cost to you ... they're fairly expensive to raise. If raised off a 'clean' food source for the insects (eg, brewer's mash), they'd be fine, but it's possible that they're raised off of animal manure. See a partial overview at blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/… (home farming forums will have more in-depth discussions)
    – Joe
    Feb 29, 2016 at 16:15
  • 7
    I don't want to put this as an answer, but I suspect that if you treated them as you would wild caught snails, you'd be fine. With snails, since you don't know what they have been eating, you place them in a container with oats, cornmeal etc. to eat for a week or so. This allows them to purge their systems of any potential toxins & has the bonus of fattening them up. Add a small dish with a sponge soaked in water for them to drink also. If you were to raise your own crickets from pet store bought stock, you could have complete control over what they are exposed to. Clean well before cooking!
    – renesis
    Feb 29, 2016 at 17:57
  • @renesis that is a really good answer, so much so that I will paraphrase it and write the answer myself if you don't.
    – Jolenealaska
    Mar 22, 2016 at 13:50
  • Go for it @Jolenealaska
    – renesis
    Mar 22, 2016 at 15:15

1 Answer 1


I am unaware of regulations in Germany with regard to edible insects, but in North America, insects must be raised/farmed rather than wildsourced, and they must be specifically raised for human consumption. Everything that the insects are fed, treated with, moisturized with or housed in must be logged. While there are currently no regulations for edible insects as such, producers are advised to adhere to the FDA's regulations regarding the production of seafood. Because standards for pet foods are usually less stringent, it is not advised that humans use insects produced for that purpose.

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