|MadSci Network: Zoology|
How to prepare earthworms for eating. I am not an expert on preparing bugs and worms for eating, but from reports I have read, eating them could make the difference between surviving and perishing in a primitive environment. The military teaches that eating bugs and worms is an important survival skill when trapped in enemy territory. One important point is that while there are poisonous plants (never eat a wild mushroom), all living animals are safe to eat. You can read a bit about military survival skills at http://www.af.mil/news/airman/1199/survive.htm. Below is an excerpt from this site: “According to the chief, the forest offers iron-gut gourmets an all-you- can-eat buffet, adding that insects supply a bounty of vitamins, proteins and minerals. Says Greeson: “Worms taste like dirt, but you can purge them by soaking them in water overnight. Then they taste like worm, which isn’t a big improvement.” Purging worms before eating seems to be advised of everyone who has eaten worms. If soaking them overnight accomplishes the purge, then I would begin every recipe with an over-night purge. I actually found a recipe for earthworms, but it is more humorous than helpful. The recipe included onion, mushrooms and sour cream, ingredients you are unlikely to have on hand in the wild. But if you are interested in the weird check out the recipe “Natural Treat – Earthworms” under the main dish section at the web page http://www.bertc.com/recipes.htm. A few of us discussed eating earthworms and decided we would prefer ours fried and preferably until they are crisp. There are instructions for drying meat in the wild at http://aircav.com/survival/asch08/asch08p15.html Drying earthworms to reduce their sliminess and stop them from spoiling seems a much more practical solution than turning them into a sour cream dish to serve over rice or spaghetti. But the first task would be to overcome aversions most people have to eating worms and bugs. Other recipes that might work with earthworms are chili (use prepared earthworms instead of hamburger) and spaghetti (earth worms for ground beef in the sauce). But these are guesses on my part. I am sorry I don’t have practical experience to share with you (or perhaps I am not so sorry about that). Good luck on your educational project, it sounds like an interesting one! Dr. Phyllis J. Stumbo University of Iowa
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