Don’t snack on cicadas if you have a seafood allergy

·1 min read
Brood X cicadas gathering on a stone surface
Brood X cicadas gathering on a stone surface

The Brood X cicadas are stepping out like a bunch of buggy Fashion Week divas, and experts are double dog daring bystanders to take advantage of the situation—by chowing down. You can grind ‘em up with spices and green onions and turn ‘em into shrimp dumplings. You can use them as a topping for chocolate cookies. You can pop ‘em by the handful, chapulines-style. You can douse ‘em in Frank’s RedHot. But if you’re allergic to seafood? Put the cicada down and walk away, cowboy. People with seafood allergies should think twice about eating cicadas, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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

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The noisy boys first emerged in May on the East Coast as part of “Brood X,” which pops out every 17 years, says the National Park Service. You’re more likely to notice the bugs if you live near Pennsylvania, northern Virginia, Indiana, or eastern Tennessee, CNN reports. And while they’re loud as hell, they aren’t harmful to humans or pets if eaten in relatively small quantities. CNN cited the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, which tweeted: “Cicadas don’t sting or bite. Cicadas are not toxic.” Unless you have a seafood allergy, in which case you might be rolling the dice a bit. If you’re positively dying to try a Brood X amuse bouche, maybe do it in a hospital parking lot or something. Bug appetit!