Friday, November 29, 2013

Can you eat wood beetle larva?

Did you ever come across something like this...


...and think to yourself, "Man... a few of those would be a decent meal!"

So... here's the question: can you eat beetle larva?

It's really hard to answer this question across the board. Through a series of scattershot searches, I at first thought I nailed down this puppy as being an infant Hylotrupes bajulus, also known as the "old-house borer."

However, according to this site, the old-house borer only feeds on pine. This one was found in a rotten oak tree. This is probably good for my neighborhood, since the old-house borer will also eat houses that aren't old.


With a little further looking, it seems this guy has to be in the same family as the old-house borer: Cerambycidae


But... again... is it tasty?

A little further searching and I have to say... it must be. Check out this vintage photo:


It seems Julia Child once served up this species. And, if you keep digging, the rabbit hole goes deeper. At one point, McDonald's was apparently serving beetle grubs:


I imagine those "fries" are healthier than the original recipe, though I can't vouch for the flavor.

Interestingly, I even found a shot of a politician getting in on the entomophagy action with what appears to yet again be this species:


Totally safe to eat? I just don't know...  but it's amazing what you learn from the internet. Chances this bodacious bug baby is edible - many grubs are.

The only way to know is to eat it.

Yet... though I was truly tempted to fire up the skillet, I felt sorry for this grub and set it free. Besides, I would've needed about five more for lunch.

One day it will probably grow huge and menace some desert, like in Dune.



Or it will just mature into a harmless beetle. But probably the former.

All I can say to House Atreides is... bon appétit!

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8 Comments:

At November 29, 2013 at 10:13 AM , Blogger Herrick Kimball said...

David,

I have a son who once ate some white grubs found under the bark of a rotting log in the woods behind our house. He had watched a survival program that said such creatures were edible. So he put a few in his mouth and started CHEWING them. After which he spit them out in disgust.

Evidently, they may be edible but they do not taste good.

It is useful to know that they are edible and nutritious….just in case. But I'm sure that they would be better swallowed whole, instead of chewed. That is, unless they are too big to swallow whole. Your larva find looks much too big to swallow whole. Are you employing some sort of trick photography here? I am thankful that we do not have such large larva here in New York.

On a related note, I am reminded of the time years ago when a co-worker and I were digging a ditch on some work site, and he picked up an earthworm (relatively small), and asked me how much I would pay him to swallow it. I offered a dollar. It was worth a dollar to him. And I felt like I got my money's worth.

I'll give you a dollar if you swallow one of those things…. :-)

 
At November 29, 2013 at 5:12 PM , Blogger PioneerPreppy said...

I try and not eat insects, bugs or grubs of anykind. It's bad enough I eat bee barf. I chose that as my one gross sounding insect dining experience. I'm all about the loop hole.

 
At November 30, 2013 at 5:46 AM , Blogger Mark Biggs said...

The question is not "Can I eat Beetle Larva?"........Its "Will I eat Beetle Larva?" The answer is NOOOOOO! .....HAHA!

 
At November 30, 2013 at 6:17 PM , Blogger Leon said...

Easy! You just need to insert chickens between the oh so tasty larva and you.

 
At December 2, 2013 at 5:27 PM , Blogger Survival Gardener, AKA David the Good said...

Heh heh.

 
At December 2, 2013 at 5:27 PM , Blogger Survival Gardener, AKA David the Good said...

I don't seem to have that indicator in my head that says "this is great" or "this is nasty." Everything is fair game. ;)

 
At December 2, 2013 at 5:28 PM , Blogger Survival Gardener, AKA David the Good said...

The high IQ solution.

 
At December 2, 2013 at 5:28 PM , Blogger Survival Gardener, AKA David the Good said...

I'll do it if you send me a clothespin instead.

 

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