The United States Food & Drug Administration issued a warning on Tuesday against eating Brood X cicadas because of their close genetic relationship with shellfish and seafood.
Insects are an abundant and great source of vitamins and protein but are not commonly consumed in the west due to their supposed “ick” factor.
“Yep! We have to say it!” the agency tweeted. “Don’t eat #cicadas if you’re allergic to seafood as these insects share a family relation to shrimp and lobsters.”
Yep! We have to say it!
— U.S. FDA (@US_FDA) June 2, 2021
The announcement was posted to Twitter by the FDA following a CNN segment that aired on Monday in which anchor Brianna Keilar ate a piece of cicada sushi prepared by Chef Bun Lai.
The roll was modeled after a cicada emerging from the ground.
At first, Keilar thought the winged insect would be served up alive.
“He had me going at the beginning of the segment, and I was like, okay, I didn’t know that that was part of the assignment. But I’m here to do my work,” Keilar said to co-host John Berman.
Berman also reassured Keilar that her fare would not be crawling around in her mouth.
“Can I just tell you one thing? You’re about to eat dead cicadas. So don’t get too excited just yet,” he said.
“I gotta be honest, I think it was really good for him [Lai] to tell me I was eating live ones because this is seeming like an upgrade,” Keilar quipped.
Lai reassured her that they were dead.
“Hey, these are actually quite delicious,” Keilar said while crunching on the bug, which was embedded in white rice and wrapped in seaweed.
Watch below via CNN:
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.