Man dies after eating live cockroaches at Florida reptile store
Edward Archbold, a 32-year-old contestant in a cockroach-eating contest, died on Friday after eating one too many cockroaches.
Archbold, a snake fancier, had entered the competition at a Florida reptile store in an effort to win a python, reports E!.
A total of thirty contestants were in the event, which required each person to eat as many live giant cockroaches as they could in a limited amount of time. Archbold ate several dozen before he began to feel ill. He collapsed and was rushed to hospital, but doctors were unable to save him.
Luke Lirot, who is legally representing the store, said in a post on the store’s Facebook page that all participants “signed thorough waivers accepting responsibility for their participation in this unique and unorthodox contest.”
“The consumption of insects is widely accepted throughout the world, and the insects presented as part of the contest were taken from an inventory of insects that are safely and domestically raised in a controlled environment as food for reptiles,” Lirot said.
In Asia, cockroaches and other creepy crawlies are a common snack, but they’re eaten fried or roasted and not live. At the Florida hospital where Archbold died, doctors still have no idea what actually killed him as the common cockroach doesn’t usually have any contaminants.
An allergy to the insects may have been the cause, but the investigation into Archbold’s death is continuing.
About 80 percent of the world’s population routinely dines on insects, said Marianne Shockley Cruz, an entomology professor at the University of Georgia.
Every other contestant who ate the live cockroaches suffered no ill effects.