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Can You Eat Worms

Updated on July 25, 2013

Eating Worms

Worms come in all shapes and sizes. In fact there are 4 types of worm, ribbon worms, flat worms, segmented worms and round worms, The common garden worm is a segmented worm and is no doubt what we all think of when we consider weather they might make it onto a plate. You may be surprised to learn that some worms are not just edible but are in fact a common menu item in many cultures around the world!

Below, we will take a look at worms both from a funny and a serious perspective and examine their suitability for human consumption.

Photo courtesy of Alexander Von Halem.

Before you consider eating worms, Consider what they eat!

Worms are the composters of your garden. Worms living close to the surface eat dead organic matter. Worms deeper in the soil simply eat dirt which is full of yummy bacteria.

A yummy bowl of worms (well chocolate worms anyway)
A yummy bowl of worms (well chocolate worms anyway)

Can You Eat Worms?

The short answer is Yes. You could I suppose eat anything you wanted to from your garden. The common garden earthworm is not poisonous and is actually almost completely composed of water. In fact if you were in a life or death situation they could be a great source of nutrition and protein. The problem is the germs that could be lurking on or inside the worm. They don't exactly live in the cleanest of places and as such are not going to be clean themselves. For example, you would not want to eat a worm if it was infected with a parasite. Bugs of all kinds are commonly eaten in many cultures around the world but they are not sourced from the back yard. Typically they will have been farmed in a controlled environment and feed clean pest free foods. Snails for example are also purged before being cooked and consumed. This purging process involves removing all food sources for a period of time and just giving water which cleans out the gut.

There have been suggestions that you could purge the warms in the way by allowing them to sit in water for a while. This will flush out any 'bad' stuff and make the worms more suitable for eating.

Photo courtesy of Gerwin Sturm

Some Fun worm eating Books and Films

Just for fun, here are some books and movies that touch on worm eating.

Check them out at Amazon.

How to Eat Fried Worms
How to Eat Fried Worms

A famous novel by Thomas Rockwell

 
Patagonia
Patagonia

If anyone knows how to eat a worm it is the survival man himself!

 
Meal worms
Meal worms

Are Worms Nutritious?

What worms do people eat?

The agava worm is probably one of the more famous worms eaten by people. It is the worm commonly found at the bottom of a tequila bottle. There are however, other worms that are more commonly eaten around the world such as the Mealworm (pictured) and Silkworm. Although technically the mealworm is not a worm but actually the larva of the Mealbeetle it is eaten in it's worm like stage. Sago Worms are another example and are eaten in the Malysian culture. They are extracted from the Sago palm and are either eaten live or fried.

Worms are indeed nutritious, especially those that are technically larva. This is because they contain high levels of proteins and other nutrients required for the grub to turn into it's adult stage.

Photo courtesy of Catherine Singleton

Quick Poll - Tell the world!

Have you eaten worms
Have you eaten worms

Let us know if you have ever eaten a worm. This could be a garden worm, meal worm, or some other type of disgusting wiggly worm.

Have you eaten a worm.

See results

Watch this guy eat 661 Live Meal Worms in one mouth full!

A Grub
A Grub

What Do Worms Taste Like

Many people may tell you how delicious worms taste but from the reading I have done (yes I have never eaten a worm) they taste mostly like dirt. This of course makes perfect sense considering they live and eat the stuff. Considering they are composed mostly of water I would imagine they taste a lot like dirty water!

I have read that mealworms and other larvae such as witchetty grubs have a strong nutty flavor, and that Sago worms have a creamy taste as well as the nutty flavor.

Photo courtesy of Greg Schechter

Bear Grylls Eating a Worm - See what he thinks of the taste!

Can Worms Cure Asthma

Recent medical research has actually shown that eating eggs of the gut worm and then allowing them to hatch in the stomach and take up residence in the small intenstines can actually help treat diseases such as asthma allergies and ulcers.

Let us know what you think about eating worms. Would you be game to try one? Perhaps you have eaten worms or larva, why not tell us about your experience.

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read my lens!

Have You Ever Eaten a Worm? - What Do You Think

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    • profile image

      Worm eater 2 years ago

      There ok I guess the first one I are I bit into it and it was nasty but the second one was ok because I swallowed it whole :)

    • profile image

      wolfenetwork 3 years ago

      haha.. I didn't search for this, just found it on this site and had to read it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @LeeD LM: That's funny! I was hungry one night I walk into the kitchen and reached into a box of cereal and started to eat a handful of what I thought was cereal and then I saw the cereal was moving :(

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @LeeD LM: That's funny! I was hungry one night I walk into the kitchen and reached into a box of cereal and started to eat a handful of what I thought was cereal and then I saw the cereal was moving :(

    • Writer783 profile image
      Author

      Writer783 4 years ago

      @kristalulabelle: I have to agree with this. Name a price and I will happily dig in!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I've eaten 5 worms in my whole 17 year old life their like crunchy spaghetti don't taste very good but I like the fact that they are nutritious and full of protein

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Just got done eating my first worm actually, it was pretty gritty but otherwise not too bad.

    • profile image

      AlleyCatLane 4 years ago

      No, never, no way! Wish I hadn't read this right after eating breakfast! Interesting, to say the least.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      No, and not about to change diet.

    • Writer783 profile image
      Author

      Writer783 5 years ago

      @LeeD LM: Haha, That's fantastic! The first person to read this who has actually eaten worms. Thanks for sharing your story with us :)

    • LeeD LM profile image

      LeeD LM 5 years ago

      When I was a baby, my mother was feeding me my cereal and she noticed it was moving. There were little worms in it! She called the doctor and he said "Oh that will just give her some protein!" She loved telling that story. So, yes I have eaten worms but thankfully I don't remember doing it!

    • PaulWinter profile image

      PaulWinter 5 years ago

      I don't think I'll be eating worms.

    • piedromolinero profile image

      piedromolinero 5 years ago

      The only reason to eat worms would be that I am starving since days and wouldn't have any other food around. But I never would eat them just for trying.

    • mariaamoroso profile image

      irenemaria 5 years ago from Sweden

      I guess I have to be very hungry to eat them as my choice =)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I remember reading How To Eat Fried Worms at school! It's a great book, but I wouldn't recommend giving them a taste.

    • Writer783 profile image
      Author

      Writer783 5 years ago

      @lclchors: Haha, my wife said the same thing. Thanks for trying :)

    • lclchors profile image

      lclchors 5 years ago

      no I can't even watch these videos I will throw up

    • kristalulabelle profile image

      Kristen 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      I have not eaten a worm...however, I have never been offered the right price to do so...everyone has their price... :)

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I think I will pass on eating worms but this was a real education

    • BlackSunflowerB profile image

      BlackSunflowerB 5 years ago

      Only mixed with fruit