If you eat slugs, I can’t be friends with you any more one of my friends said to me the other day. I would like to point out that as far as I know we are still friends and just to reassure you I haven’t eaten any slugs.
The conversation was sparked as I keep reading articles about how insects could be the future of food. Farming insects is meant to be easier and more eco-friendly than farming traditional livestock and the idea is that it would help to keep up with the rising demand for meat in line with the rising world population. In many ways it seems to make a lot of sense, many people around the world eat insects regularly already and who knows, maybe several years down the line the majority of the Western world will regularly be tucking into cricket sausages and locust burgers, but it got me thinking about a few things.
1. We have discovered that egg shells definitely do not keep slugs at bay!
2. My husband has been finding up to 40 slugs and snails a night in our veg patch and has been ending their lives by pouring salt on them.
3. We are totally ignoring a free, very fresh, very local and plentiful potential source of food on a daily basis.
A little googling found this very interesting article on how to eat slugs, which outlines the dangers of eating them raw, but indicates that cooked in the right way, they could be ok (I accept no responsibility for the contents of that article and anyone who decides to try eating slugs does so entirely at their own risk).
I am not rushing to serve up slug curry though for two reasons – the thought of eating them is very unappealing and insects are not Kosher. I am not a very strict Jew and probably do consume the odd insect unwittingly (although not knowingly) but some wouldn’t even eat broccoli because it is very difficult to ensure that it is entirely insect free!
I think I would rather be a vegetarian than eat insects (or slugs) intentionally, however I do think that if I was going to eat them, then why would I want to buy farmed, imported, highly processed ones – why not eat the ones teeming in my back garden?