What Do Grasshoppers Eat?

From Issue: Discovery 12/1/2000

Dear Lauren,

All humans eat different things. Some eat lima beans, spinach, broccoli, or turnip greens. Some humans eat hamburgers, hotdogs, potato chips, or pork sausage. The list of what humans eat could take hundreds of pages to write. It is the same with grasshoppers. Grasshoppers are members of the biological order known as Orthoptera. This group includes crickets, katydids, cockroaches, and thousands of other insects. Each group eats something different. Katydids are called omnivores (ahm-ni­ VORS), which means that they eat plants or other insects (most of the time they eat plants, but every now and then they will eat other insects).

Unlike katydids, grasshoppers never eat other insects. They are called herbivores (her-bi-VORS) be­ cause they eat only plants. But they are not very picky about what kinds of plants they eat. They will chomp on the green grass in your front yard or the carrots in your grandparents’ gar­ den. In fact, swarms of grasshoppers sometimes feed on farmers’ crops, costing the farmers thousands of dollars. In 2 Chronicles 6:28, the Bible talks about grasshoppers eating the Israelites’ precious crops.

Believe it or not, some people eat grasshoppers, which are high in protein and low in fat. Many people in the United States and other countries cover them in chocolate and eat them like candy. Will someone pass the chocolate-covered grasshoppers please?


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