July 5th, 2011
12:30 PM ET
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In Uganda, where grasshoppers are regarded as a delicious seasonal snack, the appetite for the crispy critters has created a booming informal trade that has turned some trappers into wealthy men.

"They were just something you found in the grass during the rainy season," explains Ugandan Lawrence Mawanda. "I didn't know they could be profitable."

But 10 years ago on a trip through the Masaka region, the 53-year-old lorry driver glimpsed a row of rusty oil drums lining the roadside and fitted with long corrugated aluminum sheets shimmering under powerful fluorescent bulbs.

Swarms of insects were dancing around the lights, and every few seconds one would smack against one of the metal sheets and slide into a drum, from which they did not emerge.

The next rainy season, he says, he introduced the trap to the capital, Kampala, at a start-up cost of several hundred dollars - covering lights, wiring, sheets and drums - becoming the city's first large-scale grasshopper trapper.

Read Insect trappers profit from Uganda's taste for grasshoppers

Previously - Health department bugs out over grasshopper tacos and I scream, you scream, we all scream when there are cicadas in the ice cream

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Filed under: African • Cuisines • Insects • Taboos • Ugandan

soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. test

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    March 15, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
  2. Jon's Musings

    It's a Taboo in other countries but to people in Africa it's considered a good meal at times. I doubt I'd ever try eating a grasshopper but hey to each his/her own!

    July 6, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
  3. Evil Grin

    Actually, it kind of sounds good, as long as you served the ones without the legs or antenna. I hope they can come up with a better way of catching them. A cheap source of protein is really needed.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:38 am |
  4. Jerv

    "They taste like a cross between French fries and eggplant." I'll be sure and eat me a handful of that. Not!

    July 5, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  5. RichardHead

    I Luvs me some crispy grasshopper. They are more filling than those mexican crickets. Now,what type of beer should I have with them?

    July 5, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
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