British adventurer Bear Grylls is globally known for his long-running survival and outdoor-adventure shows, such as Man vs Wild and Born Survivor.

In his first collaboration with Chinese TV, the celebrity reality show Survivor Games, Grylls challenges eight Chinese stars to spend more than two weeks in the tough jungles of South East China’s Guizhou province. The recently aired episode provoked heated discussion beyond the adventure story – a debate about eating raw creatures and insects, after he and his crew gulped down living earthworms.

The show has been floating near the top of the ratings charts since it aired on Oct 16, as well as making it to the hottest topic list on Sina Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter.

However, while some people here wowed by the adventurer’s daring, others commented that there are many more edible insects than people may realize, and eating them has a long history in China.

“Our ancestors have passed the knowledge from generation to generation of which insect is good to eat, and which not,” says Zhang Jianhui, from Yunnan province. Zhang and people in his area eat myriad varieties of insects, mostly fried and sometimes raw, including bamboo worms, bee and wasp pupae, ants, cicada pupae, grasshoppers, water dragonflies, spiders and locusts.

 

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