Would You Eat This?

No, that’s not a mosquito. It’s a midge — CHAOBORUS Spp. Unlike mosquitoes they don’t bite people. And believe it or not, people eat them.

I saw this on a nature program several decades ago. One line I remember quite distinctly was a local saying that it wasn’t just about having a convenient source of food. It was their way of showing dominance over this plague that caused them so much grief each year: “They may annoy us, but we eat them.”

There’s a reason I bring this up now.

Each year the midges hatch from eggs in Lake Victoria, Kenya. They swarm out of the water in such huge numbers that they look like smoke rising from the lake.

I remember thinking how absolutely mind boggling that was when I saw the footage. I just couldn’t grasp the sheer numbers. Now … I can grasp it.

That’s my garage. Midges also come out of Lake Erie every spring. I live pretty close to Lake Erie.

At night, around sunset, you can hear this angry buzzing sound overhead. Look up and there’s a cloud above the treetops. Which is odd, because each midge is so small you can’t hear the wings beating at all. But put [cue Carl Sagan voice] millions and millions of them together and it sounds like a leaf blower.

Now here’s the funny thing. I’d rather eat a midgeburger than one of these.

"Daniel Craig: License to Chill" popsicle

Midges are gross, but that … that’s just creepy.