Three million in lieu of queen ants...
Eating ants can lead to aging!

Christmas, New Year or Easter is not the most important day of the year in the colonial city of Barichara, situated on the Andes Mountains of Colombia. Here the locals call the most important day of the year as 'La Salida', which means to get out. On this day, the chances of something happening in the streets of Barichara increases. People who drive the streets and clean the houses stop their work. Children come out of school and shopkeepers leave the shop and disappear. Everybody is looking for the prized "Hormigus culonus" or "big ant" that is considered caviar (prized eggs of fish) in Santander area of north-central Colombia. Every year, millions of such ants are caught in the surrounding countryside in the spring. Psychologist chef Margherita Higuera has been living in Barichara since 2000. She says, "It comes first come first served. If you put your bucket on top of an ant's nest, it belongs to you, whether the land is yours or not."

Ant catch festival
Barichara, a colonial city located on the Andes Mountains of Colombia. Every year in March or April, the local people snatch to capture more and more queen ants. Brown, cockroach-sized queen ants, filled with eggs and ready for breeding, are like a trophy. Their back is swollen like peas. Frying it after adding salt makes it as fluffy as peanuts, popcorn or crispy bacon. Queen ants are eaten as a delicious dish. They are prepared in some roadside shops. They are forgotten among the cooks of working families and they are also included in the menu of expensive restaurants all over Colombia. Three lakh pesos (65 pounds) can be found in exchange for one kilo of queen ants. In this way, they are also more expensive than Colombia's famous coffee. They are a good source of income for the local people. This is done by wearing rubber boots and long sleeves up to the ankle height.

Work has to be done quickly, otherwise the military ants of the colony deployed for the protection of the queen attack. Their bite causes severe pain and blood can come out. The villagers disperse in the fields and whatever they have - bag, mug, utensil or sack - the queen ants are stored in it. This work is done during the day while their delicious dish is eaten at dinner. Anta of the Eta Lavigata species are also known as leafcutter ants of South America. They are rich in protein, as well as they are full of unsaturated fatty acids that do not allow cholesterol to rise.

Research published in the journal "Frontiers in Nutrition" suggests that ants have anti-oxidants and that eating them regularly can help prevent cancer. "This is why the people of Barichara live long and healthy lives" - it is claimed of Cecilia Gozalez-Quintero who has been selling ants in glass jars for the past 20 years. "Ants give us special power - especially juicy ants with big butt." Due to the circumstances in which these ants are caught, they are also considered as aphrodisiacs. At weddings, they are often filled in ceramic pots and given as gifts.

Taxi drivers stop to eat roasted crunchy Hormigus and children play with ants toys. To meet customer demand, queen ants are sent in trucks all over Colombia every year. They have also been included in the seasonal menu of expensive restaurants in the capital Bagota. Such as mini-goods, in which ants are served with Amazon's Pirarucu fish or roasted beef with black pepper and ants. Ants are an important part of Columbia's diet. "A nest can contain anywhere from several thousand to five million ants. If the tunnels are built properly, they can be up to several miles in length. The queen ant of the ghouls would live for 15 years. But after his death, the colony has to go from there and build a new one.