The Absolute Best Literal Grub In Australia

Although uncommon in America, the practice of eating bugs is not only not unheard of, but actually normal. According to The Conversation, around two billion people worldwide consume bugs, and as many as 500 species are safe for humans to eat. Several countries in Africa, such as Nigeria, Uganda, and Zambia among others, regularly munch on caterpillars, crickets, termites, ants, and sometimes bees. According to Terminix, people in Mexico snack on locusts, worms, and ant eggs, while bars in Thailand serve fried bugs as appetizers.

Scientists believe that consuming bugs, along with cultured meat, can help reduce global warming potential by 80% (per Energy Live News). The research, which comes from the University of Helsinki, also notes that vegan and vegetarian diets can benefit the environment as well. "With significant reductions in animal-sourced foods and substitutions with novel or future foods and plant-based protein alternatives, you can have significant reductions in environmental impacts in terms of global warming potential, land use, and water use," lead author of the study Rachel Mazac said. Whether they're trying to help the environment, add extra protein to their diets, or simply because they enjoy it, Australia is known for serving up a buggy dish (via Food & Wine).

It's full of protein and nutrients

If you ever take a trip to the land down under, you might find yourself bugging out. According to Food & Wine, some Australian natives consume specific larvae of moths that live inside wood and eat witchetty bushes. A suitable meat alternative, witchetty grub, as they call it, is full of protein and nutrients and can be consumed raw or slightly cooked. When eaten raw, it resembles almonds, and when cooked, it tastes like scrambled eggs or chicken. According to Slow Food, winter is the best time to collect witchetty grub, and you can usually tell if the species is present by looking for cracks in the soil surrounding a witchetty bush.

Rest assured: if you aren't up for trying witchetty grub, there are many other authentic Australian foods to dine on. Per Nomads, vegemite — a paste of various vegetables — is much more common in Australia, as well as delightful fairy bread and beetroot burgers.