In Québec, there are no places where insects are sold for human consumption. However, you can find many species in pet stores (that have lizards), but it is strongly recommended to use them only for breeding (as spawners). The diet of these insects is often neglected because they are not picky eaters… Later generations can be served without concern, since you will have controlled their diet.
Since there are no producers of edible insects, people who want to practice entomophagy must breed their own insects. Our Web site includes pages about breeding domestic crickets and mealworms – darkling beetle larvae. There are also other edible species…
Furthermore, serving insects in restaurants is a delicate matter. A permit must be obtained from the Ministère de l'Agriculture des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ) and certain standards must be met in order for them to be served as food.
In theory, all species of crickets, grasshoppers and some caterpillars are edible. However, some caterpillars are poisonous and may sting or taste bad. Also, crickets (especially) and grasshoppers are omnivorous, and since we can’t be sure what they last consumed, it can be inadvisable to eat them.
Edible insects are those that eat a diet of non-toxic plants. No matter which ones you choose, you should make sure that they have not eaten at least 24 hours before you eat them, so that they can empty the contents of their digestive system. Then, put them in the freezer. This is a painless way of killing them and requires no chemicals. They will also keep longer without spoiling.
Finally, it is recommended to eat only insects that you raise; this assures us of their adequate diet. You will find information about raising two edible insects here: Yellow mealworms and House crickets.
Yellow mealworms and House crickets are widely available in pet shops and are easy to breed.