Would you eat slugs?

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.
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?
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  1. Ahhhh noooo … I don't think I could eat slugs. Although … I used to eat snails (before turning vegetarian) … can slugs be that much different? Well, I'm not going to try it out. 🙂 One serious concern, though, knowing what voracious appetites humans have … I wonder what would happen to beneficial insects, and consequently plant foods, if insects became an accepted food source. In our typical over-indulgent ways, I'm afraid we might destroy all the hard working insects that keep our plants healthy and producing. Just a thought.

  2. Zoe

    I think you raise a really valid point there and if we are going to switch to eating insects we should think hard about which type of insects we eat, where they have come from, if eating them is sustainable, as well as if they are safe to eat, just as we would with any other food.

    I guess my wider thought is why eat farmed food, when there is an abundant source of local wild food available? Especially those creatures considered to be pests, which are often killed in great numbers anyway using pesticides e.g. ants, slugs and other wild insects and creatures. There may be a good reason why not e.g. safety or sustainability concerns, but if we started eating creatures that are safe and sustainable especially from our gardens, it could have a whole load of knock on beneficial effects. Less use of pesticides, greater promotion of natural habitats and less need for waste as you can gather what you need from your garden each day or during the summer months…

  3. A couple ideas for the slug issue:
    1) Slugs love beer – every spring when the rains come, I put shallow cups of beer around the items they seem to love to dine on. They are attracted to the smell of the yeast and climb up, in, and drown. It's the only time I buy bud light, haha.
    2) Chickens & ducks love 'em – my neighbors who all have gardens just let their birds roam and they get a healthy diet of insects and slugs and such – a nice 'circle of life' way of attacking the issue.

    Escargot=snails=slugs w/o shells. Tasted like a portabello mushroom when I tried escargot years ago, but I was also on my third or fourth cocktail, haha.

    Groovy blog, btw 🙂

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