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Worms as food?

 
pollinator
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Anyone that does worm bins, have you ever considered including them in your diet?

Makes me wonder about the different methods of preparing that might make them a bit more appetizing than eating raw live worms...I'm thinking like chopping up and adding to veggie patties, etc...

I've been plant based for 4 years now, but curious about the potential of adding a sustainable protien and calorie source, especially during winter months as I transition to a more self-productive and permaculture based mindset.

(Its easy to be a healthy vegetarian all winter w/a weekly trip to the grocery store...but would be amazing to try and go a winter only eating what I farm/preserve, etc)

Worms seem like a good option to me since Im interested in making my own worm casting anyways!
 
pollinator
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Ty Greene wrote:Anyone that does worm bins, have you ever considered including them in your diet?
Worms seem like a good option to me since Im interested in making my own worm casting anyways!




I've thought about it often. Worm burgers seem like a viable option. Plant roughage from foraged greens (cabbage, kale, or curly dock perhaps) and the protein and fat from the worms. If the greens were shredded and the worms were shredded, could that not be combined into a patty?

Havent tried it yet...one day.
 
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I have to admit, I'm not that hungry yet, therefore I don't have any suggestions. But I probably would prefer the worms in the form of a chicken. I wish you the best as you explore the possibilities.
 
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If eating worms, I would recommend first dumping them in a bucket of clean water and letting them sit for a little while. They'll empty out their digestive tract pretty quick, meaning your tasty worm burger won't get contaminated by whatever they were squirming in beforehand.
 
pollinator
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In snail cultivation for escargots, the little buggers are quarantined and fed a special diet. This is done to flush their systems, as they could be carrying pathogens or other stowaways. I wonder if the same could be a concern for worms.

Personally, I like my worms fine in my vermiculture, and if I have so many my chickens get some, I will eat eggs and chicken. I feel similarly about entomophagy in general, although I suppose my view is inconsistent, as I enjoy escargots just fine, and I love lobster, which is basically just the cockroach of the sea floor. I think I would be less picky if I had to be, but I would probably give them the escargot treatment, or grind them into flour, like crickets.

-CK
 
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I ate them and did not like them.  They did not smell good cooking, they smelled just like worms being cooked.  Not a do-over.

I'd rather feed them to chickens or fish.

 
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I raise a few worms. I was also extensively trained to eat worms for survival situations. Have eaten too many bugs & worms of all sorts. It's better than death but I strongly recommend feeding them to chickens or using them in the garden before getting to that point. There are some tastier insects. Fried crickets are not bad & some ants have a lemony flavor. The key takeaway from all that was this ... don't look at it, don't smell it, don't think about it, don't chew it, just swallow it whole before looking for some better food.

Not to say that worms couldn't be made into something tasty. I personally would rather not bother trying.  

 
Cole Tyler
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Good to see some replies...I was worried it might be a bit over the top but seems like there are some members here with real world worm eating experience (awesome) and others who have also considered this.  I especially like the ideas of a quarantine/cleanse for a while to prep them, thanks for that! (It could help with any "off" tastes or smells I would think).
 
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I am a creatively bizarre cook. I have never tried to cook worms, but I bet I could make them taste decent. Right spice mix and oils and other ingredients, and I bet I could make passable burgers. I can make respectable burgers out of any meats, tofu, wheat gluten, grains or beans, and if you can do that, worms aren't much different. Definitely would mess with the recipe before feeding them to a crowd. I can't imagine raw worms going over well. And I'd vote for purging them too. And cooking them very well. And chopping them. But minced protein is minced protein :D
Not a totally weird thought :)

Edit: Oh funny, the next email under this one had the subject line "Are you ready for your next culinary adventure?" Mother Earth News, selling a Fermentation book... No worms in it, I bet :)
 
pollinator
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Chris Kott wrote:In snail cultivation for escargots, the little buggers are quarantined and fed a special diet.....I think I would be less picky if I had to be, but I would probably give them the escargot treatment, or grind them into flour, like crickets.
-CK



Following on from Chris’s comment, perhaps a diet of finely shredded fresh herbs with ground dehydrated garlic for a few weeks prior to consumption might make the worms more appetising?

I have never eaten worms although I have to confess that we fed one to our youngest brother when he was a toddler and he gleefully ate it.

There’s only one commercial snail farm in NZ that I am aware of
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10534336
https://www.snailfarmingbusiness.com/blog/snail-farming-success-new-zealands-only-commercial-snail-operation/
 
Pearl Sutton
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Megan Palmer wrote:perhaps a diet of finely shredded fresh herbs with ground dehydrated garlic for a few weeks prior to consumption might make the worms more appetising?


Oh now THAT is a cool concept!! I like it!
Wonder if that would work with things like shrimp being raised... I'm thinking of the crawdad raising thread that is running here, that is a NEAT idea to flavor them how you want!

 
Megan Palmer
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Wonder if that would work with things like shrimp being raised... I'm thinking of the crawdad raising thread that is running here, that is a NEAT idea to flavor them how you want!

I watched the video that Ben linked to in the thread on raising crawfish and it appears that they feed on decaying vegetation in the ponds that they are raised in. The purging process involves keeping them in clear water for 24 hours so not sure that they could be deliberately fed herbs etc like snails and worms😏
 
Pearl Sutton
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Megan Palmer wrote:

I watched the video that Ben linked to in the thread on raising crawfish and it appears that they feed on decaying vegetation in the ponds that they are raised in. The purging process involves keeping them in clear water for 24 hours so not sure that they could be deliberately fed herbs etc like snails and worms😏


Well, if you threw stuff in the clear water, they might be bored or hungry enough to eat it. Interesting concept. Wonder if they'd eat jalapenos... Pre-spiced!! Now there's a gumbo idea! :D
 
Mike Barkley
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FYI

 
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Oh good. I didn`t want to be the only person who admitted to having tried one!
As mentioned above, they're not worth eating unless you're starving to death.
If you think beets taste like dirt, wait til you try a worm.

(just making clear: crickets and silkworm larvae are some of the most delectable things I've ever eaten. It's not the squick factor, it was the taste. I notice the article linked above talks about frying them, which i suppose is just more proof that anything, but anything, tastes good if you deepfry it)
 
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This reminds me of a culinary show i watched on netflix. They fed chickens red peppers.  Nothing but red peppers. I think they were ground up. The yolk was red in the eggs. Not sure if it changed the taste. I remember thinking that chickens must not have taste buds.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Birds can't taste capsaicin, which is the chemical that makes peppers hot. It's an interesting thing. No bird can, that's why crows will harvest your Thai peppers if they can! :)
 
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