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Eating bugs is not considered taboo in most regions of the world, as bugs are abundant in nature, and most bugs are packed with nutrients. Bug consumption is beneficial to the environment as well, as raising and producing mass amounts of bugs as a protein source does not entail the degree of deforestation and air pollution that comes with raising livestock as a protein source. However, not even the most hardcore fan of edible arthropods would be willing to eat venomous scorpions and spiders raw, right? As it happens, scorpions can be consumed raw, but only if the stinger and venom gland is removed first. Soldiers, depending on their occupational specialty, are trained to survive within harsh landscapes where food can be hard to come by. Therefore, some soldiers are trained to exploit the edible insect life that exists in desert and jungle locations. Of course, this means that arthropods, like scorpions, roaches and spiders must be eaten raw during training and missions. At the moment, US Marines are being trained in Thailand on how to locate and prepare certain insects and arachnids that make for the most optimal source of food in jungle environments. The Marines are specifically focusing on the consumption of scorpions, roaches and spiders.

A few days ago, US Marines, as well as military forces from several other countries, traveled to Thailand for the annual Cobra Gold military exercise. In order to learn to survive within jungle landscapes, the soldiers are being trained on how to eat venomous scorpions and spiders. But is it really safe to eat highly venomous arachnids?

Not surprisingly, it is best to cook venomous scorpions before consuming them, as high heat renders their venom harmless to humans. However, scorpions can also be eaten raw provided that the stinger and venom gland is removed before consumption. In China, it is tradition to eat scorpions without removing their stinger. The most difficult aspect of capturing scorpions for consumption is the risk of sustaining a sting. But proper training can allow an individual to minimize the chances of sustaining injury. When it comes to eating arthropods in desert and jungle environments, scorpions may be the best choice, as they are among the most nutritious of all arthropods.

Would you be willing to eat a scorpion raw as long as its stinger and venom gland were removed?