Can You Eat Worms? - Uncle Jim's Worm Farm

Can You Eat Worms?

Live Worms, Mealworms

mealwormsWhat many of us in Canada and the U.S. think as inedible is actually part of daily life in other countries around the world. One of those “delicacies” is the worm. It’s called Entomophagy!

Can You Really Eat Worms?

As a company that specializes in vermiculture, we often get asked, “Can you eat worms”? The short answer is yes. These squiggly creatures can be eaten raw or cooked, especially for small children who are invariably drawn to earthworms. Not sure why, that’s just the way it is! While eating worms has its nutritional merits, there are some cautionary measures to consider.
For instance. Wild worms can carry parasites and germs that can be harmful. It comes down to the soil conditions they are living in and the environment. Worms that are farm raised for eating are fed pest-free food that helps keeps them clean and parasite-free. This is why buying worms from a reputable dealer is preferable to going out and hunting your own worms.
Some thrill-seeking, edible food junkies like Food For Louis and Bear Grylls test the far-reaching limits of foods considered edible (and sometimes inedible foods) and they seem to be perfectly healthy and happy people. Truth be told, humans are capable of a much larger diet than we are accustomed to and it would probably do us a bit of good to branch out every once in a while and try new things, with discretion of course. Worms may or may not be on that list, and honestly, it may not be for everyone. Same with olives. Same with anchovies.
If you do want to explore your adventurous side and try worms, make sure you do your research beforehand so that you know exactly what kind of worm you are eating. Avoid picking up worms outside and eating them, simply because you never know where it has been or what harmful substances it may be carrying. There’s a proper way to go about preparing worms for consumption. It’s just like any creature in the wild. For what it’s worth, it is recommended by some to soak them in hot water prior to eating them because it draws out unhealthy substances carried by the worms. At least that’s what is customary throughout parts of Asia.

Common Edible Worms

The most commonly eaten worms around the globe include agave worms, sago worms and mealworms. Most people describe these worms as nutty and creamy. One popular way people prepare these worms is by frying them just like you’d fry crickets or locusts. These common worms are eaten all throughout the world.
In fact, the alcoholic beverage Mezcal sometimes has an agave worm in the bottom of the sealed bottle to go along with the drink which is made from the extracts of the agave plant. Just look for the bottle labeled Mezcal Con Gusano and you’ll find a complimentary snack right there nestled on the bottom of the bottle! It’s a bizarre sight for most, but in Mexico, it’s the norm.
So can you eat worms? Definitely, however it’s wise to stick to the common edible worms as they impart some great nutrients and some pretty decent flavors believe it or not. If you were ever in a situation where you were facing starvation, these worms and perhaps the earthworm would be a good source of protein to seek out.
If you have tried worms before either as a “dare”, out of pleasure, or out of necessity, please share your experience with us in the comments below! We’d very much enjoy hearing from you and learning from your experience!
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54 thoughts on “Can You Eat Worms?

  1. I was doing some gardening (I live in Sydney, Australia) and found a lot of worms and decided to collect them for some local birds, which will be nesting and swooping anything they deem dangerous soon as spring arrives and by feeding them I can protect myself from their beaks and gain their trust. Then I thought hey why not try a worm or two myself? They were common earthworms as far as I know. At first they were fine, a bit strange in my mouth as they wiggled around and I swallowed them whole with little discernable taste. But after about an hour, I started to have strange breath, slimy spit and a slightly queasy stomach (that may have been psychosomatically induced). Now, about 4 hours later I’m still spitting strange slimy stuff and have a bad odour to my breath. I want to try it again I think but maybe cooked this time haha!

  2. I was fishing with my lady. She dared me to eat a night crawler. It had no taste at all. It was just as you’d expect, squirmy. I didn’t chew it much, just bit it and swallowed. No side effects. No problems. As a backpacker, it is good to know they are edible.

  3. When I was a kid I ate an earthworm while I was out fishing with some friends. A few pf the guys were doing it so I did it to cause they dared me. So, I picked one out of the dirt and swallowed it, no chewing or anything. I felt fine at first. The next morning one of the girls that was with us told me when she went to pee it came out. I thought that was strange. I was still fine for a while after that, but maybe a week or so later I got real sick. Vomiting and everything. It passed, but every couple of weeks I would get seriously ill. It lasted for a few months and I think it had something to do with that worm.

  4. Sometime I liked to take a foot bath in a tub of earth worms. I know they don’t clean my feet but i really like how it feels.

    1. No, u should be fine. Ur stomach has acids that can actually corrode metal. So the second it touched the acid, it started sinking, and is now definitely dead.

  5. A cautionary tail. Having read about the nutritional benefits and general positive reviews of the taste on this worm eating site I decided to finally give it a try this morning. Times are tough and so I also figured if I enjoyed them they might also be a good supplement to my daughter’s school lunch pale. However things did not go as planned. Firstly they are more difficult to capture than I expected, as they are quite fast. Secondly several of the larger ones (colorful with yellowish rings) actually have teeth. I discovered this as I was trying to eat one and took several strikes to my face. Unfortunately it then slipped from my grip and I am still unable to tell you what they taste like. I will write more later but I am suddenly feeling a bit woozy… probably because I didn’t get to eat!

  6. This story isn’t mine, it’s my mom’s from when she was a kid, but I’ll share it anyway because it involves (almost) eating a worm and it’s pretty crazy. So it was Thanksgiving and my mom and her cousins were down in their grandparents’ basement playing Truth Or Dare. My mom’s cousin Jeanie, who was a huge joker, was dared to eat a live worm, and she was just like “okay sure!” or something. After going out into the garden and doing a bit of looking, they found a really tiny earthworm and went back inside. Jeanie got a glass of water and was planning on just swallowing it whole like if you were taking a pill, but every time she tried to put it in she would fall into an uncontrollable fit of laughter. Meanwhile everyone was waiting for her to hurry up and eat the worm, but eventually she did manage to pop it in her mouth and take a drink. But as it was going down, she had another laughing episode, and the worm and the water came up and out through her nose! Everyone errupted with laughter, because who can blame them? Anyway that’s the story of how my mom’s cousin tried to swallow a worm but ended up spraying it back out through her nose.

  7. I ate an earthworm on a date when I was 10. Living out in the country you make your entertainment, so it was quite hysterical for my friends and I. Long story short, I ate it, tasted it, got the Tshirt, and lived. Haha!

  8. I went through a school called Escola Sinai Morvan Figueiredo in Mooca, Sao Paulo Brazil and that’s where we were introduced to live worms in our salads. Food was very unsanitarily prepared, there were complaints but, no one listened. Everybody ate the salads with their rice and beans and, the squeegling worms were considered as a protein boost. Later when in the Marines jungle survival school in Philippines, munching a worm was just natural.

  9. When my little brother was a toddler his horrible older sisters fed him a bowl of worms. (you are a baby bird; wiggle your little wings ; open your mouth and here is another delicious worm) There were no ill effects

  10. I was once lost in the woods for 3 weeks. After being separated from my hunting group. I had to survive off of worms and crickets and I can definitely say without doubt that it was the most disgusting thing I’ve ever eaten but I survived

  11. So out fishing w the wife, getting skunked, and she decides shes gonna hand fish. Line and bait wrapped around your finger, you bobb it in the water and see what happens. I said if u catch anything over 6″ ill eat a worm. 8 min later… 6.5″ well down he goes. Rinsed him off in the lake to get the dirt off and popped him in. Took a bite, quite mistakenly, on the way down. Reminds me of the heat you get off uncooked broccoli. Could not wash it down. With anything. Lol good times.

  12. I find these comments repulsive and confusing. Please tell me you all are joking and are not actually interested or actually taking part in eating worms. Take a nice trip to the grocery store and buy REAL food. Just gross

  13. My best friend eats worms all the time. One day sullivan was hunkered over, and i asked him if he were ok. He just looked at me and shat out a pile of worms. I then in amazement watched him turn around and eat the shat. It was disgusting. I took him to the vet and got him wormed.


  15. I am a kid that lives in Canada and today at school one of my friends dared me to eat an already dead small earth worm. I chewed it and it had a strangely sour taste. Afterwards, I drank a lot of water and a bunch of good-tasting food to make the taste go away. Now it is 11:00P.M. and i still have a bad taste coming from my stomach. I went and found this page because i’m super stressed out because my dad told me a story about someone eating slime from a snail and dying 7 years later. He told me this after i told him about some kid at school that ate a worm today (he doesn’t know that kid is me) and I haven’t told my parents. If you have information that can help me please reply!

  16. I have eaten many worms off the ground before and I think I have anal Worms can you get anal worms by eating earthworms

  17. When I was about 25 I was out fishing with my dad. We were getting skunked and a little buzzed. I dared my dad, he ate a large night crawler. He then dared me, so I ate one. Swallowed it whole after rinsing it off with a bottle of water. Didn’t have much of a taste. Gross yes, but it was really funny and I still think about it fondly from time to time.

  18. I’m in California I wanted to find out about how much are the worms that you raised can you give me a call back at area code 562-587-8086 I like to find out where I can buy some

  19. listen. listen. im not saying you should eat worms. but. the thing is that worms is in everything. in yor beef. in yor chicken. worms. are. everything. and if u dont stop. then. then theyre gonna get you too. good luck. tell my family i love the-

  20. Consumed worm n last shot of Mezcal, so i was told, many years ago. Don’t recall but presently I’m liking the idea of entomophagy. Abundant, healthy( more protein than the same amount of meat but no fat), easier to digest, wider variety, cheaper( i would think ) n more, but i don’t eat anything new without some heads up 1st. That’s why i quit drinking. Thanks for info n tales. I won’t be digging up my own.

  21. still wondering if i should eat one if i like em ill raise some in my un pestecided and all natural house plant

  22. hey all you ‘normal’ closed minded judgmental people:

    still enjoying that “nice” trip to the grocery store now?? make sure you pick of a 6 of corona lollll

    1. You know what is hilarious? The reason I’m here is I was reading about a product called “Lumbrokinase” it is used for some of the issues Long Covid produces, and guess what? It is derived (i.e. it comes from) Earthworms!!!

  23. I was working at a halfway house with a bunch of tough kids who were in and out of the correctional system. It was out in the country, and our head counsel or was a real survivalist. He’d done special ops for the military. He told the kids during morning lecture that earthworms were a fantastic source of protein. “As good as a steak” he said. Later we were outside in the garden, and these urban tough kids were daring each-other to eat an earthworm. Without talking, I dig into the earth, found the fattest worm I could find, and dropped it straight down my gullet. These tough kids squealed like little girls in shock and disgust. I was fine.

  24. Eric, I’m thinking you actually do realize (as with half the comments on this post) Monica’s tale was a wry joke on mistaking snakes for worms. Especially the end where she’s feeling “woozy,” attributes it to her hunger, but of course we get her implication she’s been bitten by a venomous snake, and may not be long for this world…lol, Monica!

  25. Ive eaten night crawlers lots of times. They kinda have a sour taste to them. And to the person who claims that they peed it out afterwards they are full of ****. Your stomach acids break them down just like any other source of food. I’ve also eaten live minnows. They weren’t bad either

  26. I grow worms, for their poop, they are well fed on organic scraps. I think adding them to veggie chow chow pancakes with onion and cabbage would be better than eating plain fried worms…

  27. Ive never ate a worm but ik you can get veryy sick , so don’t eat any worm. Most people get really sick or spit out slimy things. I have tried a cricket!

  28. I decided to try eating a couple worms I found in my garden as I am applying for the hit CBS show Survivor and I’m trying to get used to eating gross things as I’ll absolutely be starving out on the island if I’m ever cast (wish me luck!). Anyways, I just took a handful of about 5 or 6, washed them under water and ate them all by swallowing them. I gotta say, the wiggling was NOT something I think I’ll get used to–very unsettling. For the next 24 hours or so I could swear I as feeling phantom wiggles in my stomach and I was going absolutely insane from the stress of it, my bedsheets were soaked when I woke up because I sweat like crazy all night just worrying about it! After my morning coffee the next day I had to go relieve myself and wouldn’t you know it! I counted 3 of the original worms still wriggling around in my cowpie, at this point drowning in the toilet bowl. Not sure if expelling live earthworms via my cowpie has given me any nutritional value so when I’m on Survivor I think I’ll just stick to snails and coconuts.

  29. Reading that you can eat them doesn’t make myself feel so bad now. I intend to get some red wrigglers and let them crawl up inside my urethra for a bit of fun and then insert them into my wife’s anus

  30. The Worm Not Quite Swallowed Gave Us Wormy Tummy Troubles

    My son was playing with worms until I saw him and told him worms weren’t toys. As soon as he let go of one slimy creature, he sucked on the fingers which had held that worm. He might have thought he was cleaning those fingers, but I, his mother, yelled “No!” Too late. The next morning a huge worm (no little wormie, a wormão) came out with his feces. Collected (ugh), we took it to his pediatrician.
    In conclusion: if wanting an eatable slime, buy it where bred for fine dine.

  31. When I was in middle school, I took a elective class called wilderness awareness. Mainly because the description mention field trips. What kid does not want to get out of school and not get into trouble for it?

    Anyway, the first week the teacher brings in something for us to eat, basically looked like round french fries. At the end of the period, the teacher told us that it was deep fried breaded earthworms. Still alive 50 years later.

    If it happened now in this mixed up world, the poor teacher would probably be arrested

  32. I was in prison at 18 and ate lots of night crawlers in the yard for the protein. Some without chewing, some chewed. I never got sick or pooped any out partial or whole. I never felt them wriggling in my throat or belly. I’ve eaten several as a dad while fishing to show my kids they could in a survival situation. I was hoping to find pointers on frying them for my family if shtf one day. My tips would be if you’re eating them raw, pinch and pull to get the dirt out first before swallowing- especially if chewing because otherwise they crunch in between your teeth. This also gets the slime off. If you’re grossed out, just pretend you’re taking a shot of liquor. Mentally prepare, it’s not as bad as you’d imagine.

  33. I eat earthworms when im out hiking or just randomly because people don’t believe me lol. Raw, don’t chew, you will end up with soil grits in your teeth. Hard to wash out and harder than your average “crunch” rinse them off after handling them for a few (this activates a response by the worm to secrete some of the bad stuff as a defense mechanism) in turn making it a little less toxic to your body if you’re worried about parasites/bacteria. Also if you try to get out as much of their bowel tract, will reduce chances of transmission. They can carry other worms as well, like roundworms, tapeworms, and flukes. Those are parasitic infections. Bacterial infections include salmonella and E. coli, but are really rare. They accumulate heavy metals and chemicals from the soil they eat and live in. Lead, mercury, pesticides could be a problem but you would need to consume 2.5 pounds (1.13kg) of worms as a roughly 150 pound person. And would have to do so over the course of several months or years even, depending on the health status of the individual that is consuming them. That’s a lot of worms! In general though, you can eat 1500 average sized mature earthworms over the course of a week and not get sick. Eating a bunch though can cause abdominal discomfort. Hope this helps!!

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