Airport officials have seized over 200 pounds of caterpillars found in a man’s luggage. The 22-year-old man stated that the dried caterpillars were meant for personal consumption.
The man was stopped by British airport officials at Gatwick Airport. The man had arrived from Burkina Faso late last week. Officials discovered that the man’s luggage contained over 200 pounds of dried caterpillars. As reported by Business Insider, officers report that the discovery was unusual.
An representative from the interior ministry discussed how officials found over 200 pounds of caterpillars in the man’s luggage:
“When officers checked his luggage they discovered tens of thousands of dried caterpillars shrink-wrapped in cellophane, which had been packed into four hessian bags.”
When questioned the man reportedly claimed that the caterpillars were meant for his personal use and would be eaten.
Although it might seem unusual, caterpillars are considered healthy snacks in some countries. In Africa caterpillars are consumed dried, cooked, and even raw. The larva of the emperor moth, called the “mopane worm,” are a particular favorite.
The caterpillars are plentiful in certain regions and are said to be rich in nutrients. Consumers report that they taste just fine as long as the intestines have been removed. As discussed by wordinfo.info, companies and individuals have begun packaging and selling the insects.
While the man may have been looking forward to a tasty snack, airport officials are thankful that they were able to seize the 200 pounds of caterpillars. UK standards prohibit travelers from transporting animal products into the UK. Such products have not been inspected according to UK standards and may contain harmful bacteria.