Angelina Jolie Feeds Her Kids Bugs!

jolie-pitt family

Remember drinking “bug juice” at summer camp? We knew it wasn’t literally bug juice, right? Well Angenlina Jolie and Brad Pitt‘s brood actually do eat bugs, but they’re crunchy not juicy.

While shooting her Louis Vuitton ad in Cambodia, Angelina revealed that she and her kids love to eat insects, specifically crickets. “It’s their favorite thing, ” Jolie said. “They ate them like Doritos and they wouldn’t stop. But they’re good. They are like a potato chip.”
Actually, Angelina prefers cockroaches to crickets, she told New York Magazine, but “There’s this very pointy bit on their stomach you just can’t eat. You have to kind of pop that off.”

People who eat insects actually have a name — they’re called Entomophagists. It is actually quite common in cultures around the world, such as North, Central and South America, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.

Angie’s infamously strange eating habits may be good for her kids. Insects are lower in fat, higher in protein, and have a better feed to meat ratio than beef, lamb, pork, or chicken.

3.5 ounces of crickets contains 121 calories
, 12.9 grams of protein, 5.5 g. of fat, 5.1 g. of carbohydrates, 75.8 mg. calcium, 185.3 mg. of phosphorous, 9.5 mg. of iron, 0.36 mg. of thiamin, 1.09 mg. of riboflavin, and 3.10 mg. of niacin. That’s a bargain compared to ground beef, which, although it contains more protein (23.5 g.), also has 288.2 calories and a whopping 21.2 grams of fat!

With our epidemic of childhood obesity in the U.S., maybe swapping bugs for burgers isn’t such a bad idea. Then again, I don’t see McDonald’s offering them in their Happy Meals anytime soon, except maybe in Thailand or Cambodia.

What are your thoughts? Would you eat insects? Would you let your children do it?
This is the first article by our new contributing editor, Petra Herzog.

Ms. Herzog is a former producer and assignment editor for ABC affiliate WLOS News 13 in Asheville, North Carolina and currently works in Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health.

We’re thrilled to have Petra on our team. Stay tuned for new and exciting stories under her byline in the days and weeks to come.

Mark Boguski, M.D., Ph.D. is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and is a member of the Society for Participatory Medicine, "a movement in which networked patients shift from being mere passengers to responsible drivers of their health" and in which professional health care providers encourage "empowered patients" and value them as full partners in managing their health and wellness.


  1. Meagan

    July 22, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Such an interesting and entertaining article! Especially the bit about happy meals. I hadn’t any idea the healthy nutritional aspects of bugs. Still not sure I’d eat one, it does offer a lot to think about.

    • Dr. M

      July 23, 2011 at 3:53 pm

      Perhaps as just a snack?

  2. Grant

    July 23, 2011 at 3:09 am

    I would definitely let me kids eat bugs! I see absolutely no problem with it as long as the bugs have not been around pesticides (this last bit is pretty important!)

    • Dr. M

      July 23, 2011 at 3:52 pm

      Any bugs (assuming they are pesticide-free) you wouldn’t try. For example, Angelina can’t get over the furriness of tarantulas.

      • ella

        July 25, 2011 at 6:51 pm

        i have to be careful with bugs. I have arthropod/shellfish allergies. But i have eaten some and they’re very delicious.

      • ella

        July 25, 2011 at 6:53 pm

        one thing that i recommend to people (especially celiac and other gluten-free people) is mealworm flour. EVERYBODY in my house eats mealworm :) I bake the flour into bread so i get a protein punch but with no gluten. And my hedgehog eats them live or freeze dried. And the cats sometimes get one or two as a treat though they’re not especially big on them. Mealworm flour is REALLY good for you and the mealworms are cultivated to be safe for human and animal consumption.

        • Dr. M

          July 25, 2011 at 8:22 pm

          Thanks for the comment. You are correct that mealworms are a good source of protein. I’ve found a recipe for Mealworm Chocolate Chip cookies for you. Try it out and let me know how they come out:

        • Kristy

          September 15, 2012 at 2:53 am

          What’s interesting is that mealworms are fed wheat bran. So, while it’s not directly eating gluten, it’s surely in the makeup of them and even on the outside of them because that is what they sleep in. If you are sensitive to gluten, it’s probably not such a great idea unfortunately. Unless, that is, you can find ones fed/bedded in something different. (Which is what I’m looking for as I’m raising chicks)

      • Ann Duncan

        July 28, 2011 at 12:17 am

        Dr. M – tarantulas are not bugs :)


        • Dr. M

          July 28, 2011 at 1:56 pm

          Sorry, I make no claims in being an entomologist. Besides, it was Angelina who drew the line at tarantulas!

  3. Aneta

    July 23, 2011 at 9:13 am

    Truthful. Very good article.

    • Dr. M

      July 23, 2011 at 3:50 pm

      Thanks for your comment. I hope you keep coming back for more.

  4. Stefani

    July 23, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Very interesting….I am not surprised that bugs have more nutritional value than processed and manufactured foods…..but I would think that bugs would have less calories!!!!

    1. Do they digest better as well?
    2. Is social acceptance and American customs the only thing preventing bugs from being publicly eaten?

  5. ella

    July 25, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    They are eaten pretty much everywhere except north america and western europe (the fattest nation clusters on earth) I don’t understand how people can eat a lobster but turn their nose up at scorpion (they’re the same damn animal!)

    They’re good for you. Our genes are those of insect eaters. I’ve traveled quite extensively and have eaten termites, grasshoppers, crickets and a sort of beetle that i now forget the name. I tried scorpion but had a terrible allergic reaction to it (i’m allergic to lobster and shrimp and it’s the same basic animal so i should have been a little less stupid and avoided it)

    Most insects taste like nuts. They’re good.

    • Dr. M

      July 25, 2011 at 8:26 pm

      According to the Food Insect Newsletter:

      For most people, working with or eating food insects would pose little if any health risk, especially if they have no history of allergy to insects or other arthropods. Nonetheless, since sensitivity can be acquired with repeated exposure to an allergen, a measure of vigilance is in order. The person with known insect or arthropod allergies would be wise to exercise some caution. Cross-reactivity among related as well as taxonomically dispersed groups of insects has been established. There is also evidence for cross-reactivity among distantly related members of the Arthropoda suggesting the existence of common allergens within the phylum. So, if you are allergic to shellfish, you might want to reconsider the urge to “down ” a plate of fried meal worms. As with anything, a little knowledge and common sense should keep you out of trouble.

      Thanks for your input.

  6. thepuffyshirt

    July 26, 2011 at 1:00 am

    appearance is everything. if the meal looks like bugs then i doubt many americans would go for that, however, if it looked like a hamburger paddy then it’d be more marketable here. the FDA allows certain amounts of rat hair and insects already so a whole hamburger isn’t that far off.

    • Dr. M

      July 26, 2011 at 1:19 am

      That’s an appetizing thought…

  7. plainjane

    October 26, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Cockroaches, honestly? I thought they were nasty. I think anything this woman AJ can do to promote more attention to herself, she will do. But, that’s what celebrities do.

  8. am

    September 18, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Bugs are way better for kids than Doritos!!

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