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Allergic to Seafood? Don't Eat Cicadas, Says the FDA

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Every 17 years, something truly bizarre takes place here in the United States:  The return of “Brood X”.

No, this is not some clever euphemism for continual generations of high school girls starting their own punk-adjacent bands, singing about how much a nuisance their parents are.  We’re talking about Brood X of the insect world – cyclical cicadas who emerge from hibernation every 17 years to noisily mate and then disappear again.

The large, flying bugs come in several different varieties, with several different gestation periods, but the 17 year cycle of Brood X makes for the largest swarms, setting Americans up for a loud summer.

While these pests don’t pose any natural threat to humans, other than the excess cash we’ll need to spend on windshield wiper fluid as we mow down clouds of the critters, the FDA is warning those who can’t eat seafood to avoid eating cicadas as well.

The Food and Drug Administration has a colorful warning for people with a shellfish allergy: don’t eat cicadas. Turns out, the agency warns, that the noisy insects actually share a “family relation” to shrimp and lobsters.

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“Yep! We have to say it!” the FDA tweeted on Wednesday. “Don’t eat #cicadas if you’re allergic to seafood as these insects share a family relation to shrimp and lobsters.”

While the warning surprised many of the FDA’s Twitter followers, it turns out eating cicadas isn’t unheard of, and it’s not even the first time experts have issued the warning for those with shellfish allergies.  In fact, last month Montclair State University released a how-to on harvesting and cooking cicadas.

You won’t have to tell me twice.

Those who’ve eaten the bugs, in tacos or other dishes, describe them as having a texture not dissimilar to shrimp, but are nutty and earthy in flavor.

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About the Author:
As a lifelong advocate for the dream promised us in the Constitution, Andrew West has spent his years authoring lush prose editorial dirges regarding America's fall from grace and her path back to prosperity. When West isn't railing against the offensive whims of the mainstream media or the ideological cruelty that is so rampant in the US, he spends his time seeking adventurous new food and fermented beverages, with the occasional round of golf peppered in.