I've never eaten or cooked insects, but I wanted to give it a try some time. Now, we found a few grubs 4-6 cm in length, that we think to be cockchafer grubs, in one of the pots on our balcony. So I think of giving it a try - my approach would be beer batter and deep frying (Everything is tasty with fat), but there are a few things I want to know before.
By "we think their are cockchafer grubs" I mean that the pictures on wikipedia fit.

  • The grubs obvioulsy eat earth, their rear parts are very dark. How do I best get rid of the grub-shit/earth from the grubs? I don't want to eat earth because it a) does not sound tasty and b) earth contains pathogen building bacteria.

  • How do I assure that they are not poisonous, or horribly unhealthy?

So, has anyone eaten these grubs and can share some experience?

Edit to add: I live in southern germany. Cockchafer beetles at least where eaten in the 19th century in France, I found no info on the grubs.

  • 4
    I don't know how well it applies to this, but I know snails are usually fed cornmeal before being used for escargot. That way, when you cook them their digestive tract is basically just stuffed with corn. Perhaps this would work for grubs as well?
    – SourDoh
    Apr 2 '14 at 19:36
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    I'm not sure there is a satisfactory answer to your second bullet point. Different types of grubs look so similar that most biologists won't be able to tell them apart, you probably need a specialist in entomology classification for a positive identification. So, unless someone can confirm that there are no poisonous grubs in the area you live in, it will be risky. On the other hand, there aren't many poisonous animals in the latitudes where most of our users live, and grubs are not generally known as toxic animals, so you have some chance.
    – rumtscho
    Apr 2 '14 at 20:05
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    I'd agree with rumtscho -- I suspect grub identification would be as problematic as for wild mushrooms. Some resources you might want to look at are the US Army Survival Manual or the SAS Survival Handbook. I know at least one of them describes steps that can be taken to try to identify poisonous food .. stuff like rubbing it on your skin and wait a day to see if a rash develops (I can't remember which one; might've been both)
    – Joe
    Apr 3 '14 at 15:03

A Coupl of years ago there was acase of a guy who to show his machismo gave himself and his girl some raw snails and a few weeks later they died from having their brains eaten away, cook creepy crawlies. quote: Tests found that his meningitis was caused by a worm normally seen in rat lungs, but also carried in slugs and snails. He was hospitalized for 17 days with brain lesions, and it was five months before he could resume classes. A friend of the student also ate some raw slugs as part of the dare but threw them up, losing the bet. The doctors said there had been numerous cases of meningitis since 1971 caused by snails or slugs. One Australian child died after eating live snails, and one patient contracted meningitis after eating lettuce covered with snail slime, according to a report in the Medical Journal of Australia. and: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angiostrongyliasis


lots of creepy crawlies seem edible but can have a gut full of parasites so make sure you prepare them wearing ruubber gloves and cook on high and wash everything thoruoghly afterwards.

French prepare snails by giving them corn for a few days but even so there are some nasty parasites to worry about.

  • What parasites in invertebrates are dangerous to humans? I've only heard about the malarial plasmodiums, but they are found in mosquitos, not grubs.
    – rumtscho
    Oct 21 '14 at 17:29

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