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Lishui citizens consume billions of cicadas in one summer

(People's Daily Online)    13:43, July 06, 2016


It may sounds like yet another "out there" diet, but cicadas are actually one of the most popular summertime dishes in eastern China’s Zhejiang province, especially in the city of Lishui.

“Cicadas are high in protein and low in fat; eating cicadas in appropriate quantities is also good for plants and other flora. The only problem is that most of the cicadas people eat now are wild, so it is important to ensure that the cicadas are fully cooked in case of parasites,” said professor Mo Jianchu from Zhejiang University.

Jiang Yongchun, a manager from a local food company, explained that people in rural Lishui have been eating cicadas for many years. Around the end of 1980s, cicadas become a common dish in restaurants. Usually it is a seasonal dish, served from June to September.


During busy times, Jiang said he can sell over 1 ton of cicadas in one day. There are at least six to seven cicada dealers in Lishui, and their daily sales total is between 6 and 7.5 tons. According to these statistics, people in Lishui consume billions of cicadas in the roughly 80 days of "cicada season."

Because of this extensive consumption, the cicadas people eat in Lishui come also from Quzhou, and even some places in Jiangxi province.

“Capturing cicadas in appropriate amounts is actually good for the growth of vegetation, though overconsumption does have an impact on the ecological chain. But so far the population has not been influenced, since the cicadas are not only from Lishui but also other places,” professor Mo explained. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Yao Xinyu,Bianji)

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