WASHINGTON – This summer, the United States will see millions of cicadas that awaken every 17 years, dubbed “Brood X,” rise from their slumber. The FDA has issued a warning, though: if you have a seafood allergy, do not eat the bugs.
The six-legged creatures, most well-known for their noisiness, “share a family relation to shrimp and lobsters,” according to the official FDA Twitter account. As such, they pose a risk to those who can’t consume crustaceans as part of their diet due to allergies. For everyone else, though, they are safe to eat.
In an article from The Atlantic, Haley Weiss tried the insects for the first time. “Not bad! Certainly not buggy,” she said. “The entire critter crackled in my mouth like a piece of earthy popcorn. I caught a subtle nuttiness underneath the crunch, almost reminiscent of a roasted chickpea.”
Cicadas do not pose a threat to humans, generally speaking. In fact, they don’t even hurt most plants. Only young trees are at risk, and experts recommend covering them with cicada-proof nets for protection.
The “Brood X” population can be seen largely in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia, as stated by the National Park Service.