Worms and Grubs are meaty and juicy packs of protein, ready to be eaten as part of any meal. With the right spices and sauces they are delicious and very satisfying foods. This discussion goes in detail on how to cultivate and care for them to use as food.
Here are some for sale at an outdoor market.
Crab, Lobster and Shrimp are also bug-like crustaceans only dwell in the sea! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cockroaches_of_the_sea
Worms for Nutrition and Protein
Go to this page for a HUGE ZetaTalk Article on this topic! http://www.zetatalk.com/index/blog0809.htm
Earthworms are an excellent source of protein, reportedly 82% protein.
Earthworms are also high in Omega 3 oil, the essential oil of ocean going fish, which reduces risk of heart disease.
In short, they are an excellent food source!
Where earthworms are noted for building soil from compost heaps, earthworms don't suffer from fungus, bacterial, or viral infections, multiply rapidly, and don't make noise or run off!
How does one go about growing earthworms for food, a process called vermiculture.
The worm to use is the red wriggler, as they take to compost piles and being handled.
We at the Troubled Times nonprofit tried our hand at earthworm growing, trying the monster night crawlers, so much more protein per worm.
We found all the night crawlers died out, and refused to be domesticated.
Red wrigglers, on the other hand, thrived.
All kinds of vegetative trash will be turned into soil by these industrious little wrigglers.
Red Wrigglers ------->
Protein of Worms over Livestock!
Compared to a kilogram of edible protein in meat from cows, chickens or pigs, production of the same amount of mealworm protein emits fewer greenhouse gases and requires much less land to grow. The findings support the argument that environmentally conscious eaters may do well to include beetle larvae in their diets.
“This study demonstrates that mealworms should be considered a more sustainable source of edible protein,” the team writes in a paper published yesterday in the journal PLoS ONE.
The idea that insects may be more sustainable than livestock is not new. But the new study was the first to quantify the environmental impact of munching on mealworms compared to the consumption of more traditional livestock.
To come up with hard numbers, biologists from Wageningen University in The Netherlands analyzed the production of two mealworm species at a local farm. They calculated protein content and assessed environmental effects by quantifying global warming potential, fossil energy use and land use.
Compared to the production of milk or traditional meats, mealworms came out on top in most measures.
Grunting: Bring out Worms from the Ground
I'm intrigued by two methods of "calling up" worms out of the ground, a process also known as Grunting. According to one book, take a seasoned piece of wood, about four feet long. It should be in the shape of a wedge, about two inches wide at the top and ½ inch wide at the bottom. Pound this wedge three feet into the ground. To create vibrations down the wedge and into the ground, rub a piece of tapered steel across the wood, just like you’re playing a violin. Some people make their “grunting bows” out of wood. These bows have lots of raised notches that vibrate when gently rubbed across the surface of the wedge. And here's a method from another book: Drive two metal rods into the ground, about two feet apart. To each rod, hook up jumper cables connected to a car battery. Worms are said to just jump out of the ground.
- Worm Banana Bread
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
2 bananas, mashed
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/4 cup dry-roasted army worms, or earthworms chopped into 1/4 inch segments
Directions: Mix together all ingredients. Bake in greased loaf pan at 350 degrees for about 1 hour.
- Applewood Flavored Meat
- Chop apples (red delicious) into chunks
Layer apples and cleaned boiled earthworms in a containerwith a tight fitting lid
Refrigerate in closed container for 24 hours
Remove alpples and roll in a mix of all purpose flour seasoned with paprike, salt & pepper.
Then roll worms in same flour mix.
Deep fry both in the same pan together.
- Worm Fried Rice
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. oil
3/4 c. water
1/4 c. chopped onions
4 tsp. soy sauce
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1 c. minute rice
1 c. cooked mealworms (or earthworms chopped into segments)
Scramble egg in a saucepan, stirring to break egg into pieces.
Add water, soy sauce, garlic and onions. Bring to a boil.
Stir in rice & worms. Cover; remove from heat and let stand five minutes.
- Earthy Worm Stroganoff
- 1 c. earthworms
1/2 lg. onion, chopped
1/2 c. water
1 bouillon cube
1 c. yogurt or sour cream
3 tbsp. butter
1/2 c. mushrooms
Whole wheat flour
Wash earthworms thoroughly and place in boiling water for three minutes. Pour off water and repeat the boiling process twice. Bake on cookie sheet at 350 degrees F. for 15 minutes. Roll the worms in flour, brown in butter, add salt to taste. Add bouillon and simmer for 30 minutes. Saute onions and mushrooms in butter. Add onions and mushrooms to the worms. Stir in sour cream or yogurt. Serve over rice or noodles.
Some Basics on Eating Insects as Food
American Indians on Insect Consumption
Your insect consumption adds up. Flour beetles, weevils, and other insect pests that infest granaries are milled along with the grain, finally ending up as tiny black specks in your piece of bread. Small grubs and other tiny insects can be found in your fruit and vegetables. Insects are especially common in canned and other types of processed food, and even in certain beverages; I once went on a tour of an apple orchard and while the group was viewing the area where they separate the rotten and bug infested fruits from the good ones, I asked the tour guide what they did with the bug infested apples. She told me that they use them to make cider; waste not, want not! It is virtually impossible that you have not ingested insects in one form or another during your lifetime. And it probably did not harm you, but instead did you some good by providing extra protein in your meal!
Another Article on Insect Consumption
"The Indians come far and near to gather them . The worms are dried in the sun, the shell rubbed off, when a yellowish kernal remains, like a small yellow grain of rice. This is oily, very nutritious, and not unpleasant to the taste, and under the name of koo-chah-bee forms a very important article of food. The Indians gave me some; it does not taste bad, and if one were ignorant of its origin, it would make fine soup. Gulls, ducks, snipe, frogs, and Indians fatten on it."
Nutritionally, insects are high in protein, fat (and thus energy) and many of the important vitamins and minerals. They have served as traditional foods in most cultures of non-European origin and have played an important role in the history of human nutrition not only in western North America, but in Africa, Asia and Latin America. As might be expected from our European cultural heritage, some early American whites looked with open disgust at the insect foods of the American Indians. It is interesting, though, that so often, as shown by the above examples, these cross-cultural encounters relative to food seemed dominated by feelings of mutual tolerance, curiosity and respect and were described with a sense of humor.
Zetas On Insect Consumption
Huge Page on it here! http://www.zetatalk.com/index/blog0809.htm
Article On Worm Bins http://homeguides.sfgate.com/start-worm-compost-bin-78289.html
Vermicomposting, or worm composting, is an efficient way to turn kitchen scraps into rich nutrients for your veggie patch. Red worms and red wigglers are the champs at devouring everything from newspaper strips to crushed eggshells. (See References 1) The worm castings produced in a vermicomposter are odorless and almost effortless by-products of a simple recycling effort that you can set up under the sink.
Scout the best location for a worm compost bin. Clear space under the kitchen sink or choose a protected corner of a patio or garden shed. Remember, worms won't tolerate winter weather so you'll need to move them inside or to a heated garage before the first frost. If you live in a very hot climate, you'll need to find a cool indoor space in summer, as worms don't do well in temperatures above 80 degrees Fahrenheit. (See References 3)
Drill a half-dozen holes each in the lid and bottom of a plastic or rubber storage container. If the bin is in a poorly ventilated area like under the sink, you should drill a few holes in the sides of the container as well. Choose a storage container that is about a foot deep and is large enough for the amount of waste you plan to recycle. You'll need approximately 1 square foot of surface area for each pound of kitchen waste generated per week, according to the Spokane Regional Solid Waste System. For a family of four to six people, it recommends a 2-foot by 3-foot container. (See References 2)
Set down a shallow plastic tray in the spot where you plan to keep the bin. The tray should be close in size to the storage container. Place two blocks of wood in the tray and rest the container on top of the blocks; this will keep the bottom of the worm bin elevated. Air circulating around and under the box provides essential oxygen for the worms and the decomposition process, while keeping odors down. (See References 3)
Fill the container three-quarters full of shredded newspaper or corrugated cardboard, leaf mulch or peat moss. Worms eat the bedding as well as the kitchen scraps so bedding should be pesticide-free and chemical-free material. Spray the bedding with water to moisten it thoroughly or pre-soak it and wring it out before adding it to the bin.
Add your worms. Red worms and red wigglers are available at bait shops, from composting neighbors or online from worm farmers and garden suppliers. Buy a pound of worms per half-pound of daily garbage. Keep the bin in a lighted area at first, even if you snap on the aerated lid; worms don't like light, so this will ensure that they will dig into the bedding and not try to crawl out of the box. (See References 3)
Feed the worms kitchen scraps once they have burrowed into the bedding. Safe compost materials are vegetable scraps, coffee grinds and untreated paper filters, used tea bags, crushed eggshells and shredded paper --- but avoid coated colored stock like glossy magazines. Be sparing with citrus peels; worms don't like the acidic conditions citrus can produce. Do not feed the worms grease, oils, dairy products, meats, bones or pet manure. Push all scraps under layers of bedding. (See References 3)
When the worms have produced rich, dark castings, shove the castings to one side of the bin and add fresh layers of new bedding and scraps on the other side. It will take about a month for the worms to migrate over to the new food and then you can harvest the compost for use on houseplants and in the garden.
Wood Worm Compost Bins
Food wastes can make a smelly mess in your garbage, draw rodents to an open compost pile, and add to water pollution problems when ground in a garbage disposal. So what can you do with food wastes?
You can build a worm bin and let worms eat your food "garbage"! In the process, the worms will provide you with one of the best soil ammendments available - worm castings. Worm castins are very expensive to purchase, but your worms will turn food wastes into an abundance of casting for your plants.
A bin can be built for about $25 using new wood and hardware. Worm bins can also be made from recycled wooden boxes or other containers. Any worm bin must have drainage in the bottom and a tight-fitting lid to keep moisture in and pests out.
A starter batch or worms can be dug out of a friend's worm bin or from a existing manure or compost pile, or can be purchased at certain locations. If you need help locating worms for your worm bin, call the Recycling Hotline at (360) 676-5723 or (360) 384-8040.
Do Feed Your Worms:
Dont Feed Them
Wood Worm Bin
Tape measure, skill saw or rip hand saw, hammer, saw horses, long straight edge or chalk snap line, screw driver, chisel, wood glue and drill with 1/2" bit.
USE EYE AND EAR PROTECTION
Measure and cut plywood as indicated in drawing. To make the base, cut the 14' 2 x 4 into five pieces: two 48" and three 20" long. The remaining 12" piece will be used to make the sides. Nail the 2 x 4s together on edge with 16d nails at each joing as illustrated in the base frame diagram. Nail the plywood base piece onto the 2 x 4 frame using the 4d nails.
To build the box, cut three 12" pieces from 16' 2 x 4. Place a one-foot 2 x 4 under the end of each side panel so that the 2 x 4 is flush with the top and side edges of the plywood and nail the boards in place. Nail the side pieces onto the base frame.
To complete the box, nail the ends onto the base and sides. To reinforce the box, place a nail at least every 3 inches wherever plywood and 2 x 4s meet. Drill twelve 1/2" holes throught the bottom of the box for drainage.
To build the lid, cut the remainder of the 16' 2 x 4 into two 51" lengths and two 27" pieces. Cut lap joints in the corners, then glue and nail the frame together. Center the plywood onto the 2 x 4 frame and nail with 4d nails. Lay the top on the ground with the plywood side touching ground. Attach hinges to the top and back using short screws on the top and the long screw on the back. Position hinges so the screws go through plywood to 2 x 4s.
You can coat your bin with clear polyurethane, varnish, or paint to protect it from weathering.
Another Article on Compost and Worm Cultivation
In the latest back-to-the-earth movement, you can compost your garbage and grow earthworms at the same time.
Composting worms are hardy and can be grown in any type of stable container with one square yard or more mixture of bedding material, adequate organic matter and drainage. The worms live and feed in the upper layer of bedding mix. These materials must be deep enough to keep the earthworms cool and moist.
Hardware stores carry all the necessary items for the bin construction. Three good choices of material for constructing a worm-bed are a metal-staked wire mesh structure, a cinderblock arrangement, or a frame of untreated wood. The ideal size is 3 to 6 feet wide, 2 feet deep and 16 to 24 inches high. If you use wire mesh, line the sides with burlap to keep the worms from escaping and to provide aeration. The bed should be on the ground in a protected location to avoid freezing in winter. This bed becomes a vermi-compost bin and must have ventilated sides to keep it alive and growing.
The best-grade worms for our temperate zone are the angleworm Eisenia fetida. Other supplies like cotton burr and starter compost bedding are available from [various sources on the internet]
The initial stocking for angleworms is one or two pounds of worms per square yard of area in a bedding mix of approximately two-thirds shredded newspaper, including some cotton burr or other compost, and one-third decayed organic matter. Overstocking and underfeeding will result in fewer worms and smaller sizes.
After a three-week incubation period, the worm eggs hatch, grow rapidly, and reproduce in about three months. Depending on growing conditions, worms may take up to six months to reach their full size. A properly growing worm culture yields two or three pounds of worms per square yard of bed the first year and increases slowly as the population matures.
During hot summers or prolonged dry periods, sprinkle the bed daily with water until evenly damp. Avoid overfilling the container, or the worms may crawl over the rim. In wet regions, some overhead protection from heavy rains may be necessary because too much water can drown or force the worms from the bed. To help prevent flooding, use gravel, fine sand and a perforated plastic drainage pipe in the base.
Worms feed on a variety of organic matter, including manure, kitchen waste, decaying soft leaves, grass clippings and ground grains like cornmeal. Each week, apply one pound of food per pound of worms and one inch of partially finished compost to the top of the bed. Avoid overfeeding as it can lead to excessive heat, making an environment that causes the worms to dehydrate and die. Excess wet food also can grow unwanted web fungus, molds, mites, roaches and attract wildlife like armadillos that dig up the soil layers. (You may need to make a wire covering to keep out these larger pests.) Check the soil mix for adult ants and ant eggs, as they can quickly take over the bed.
Worms grow most vigorously in the warmer months, feeding continuously near the bed surface if kept dark by covering with a lid or carpet scrap. To sort, remove the top two or three inches of soil, and separate the larger worms using a wire mesh screen. Handle them gently to avoid bruising. Take only as many worms as you need for a few days of fishing. Store them in clean paper ice cream cartons filled with moist bedding material or peat moss. Perforate the lid, and protect the worms by keeping them at room temperature (refrigeration isn't necessary, but avoid the heat of direct sun, trunk or tackle box). Check them frequently to see that they remain moist, but not wet.
Angleworms are wonderfully useful creatures. They keep your garden growing, eat your organic garbage and are the ideal bait for a wide range of fish species.
Food For Worms
How to Feed Your Worms
Select foods that are suitable for worms including most fruits, vegetables, cereals and grains, and other organic items like cardboard and tea bags. It is best to cut food scraps into small pieces before placing them in the bin. The smaller the pieces the more surface area there is for bacteria to start breaking down the food, making it easier for the worms to consume. Some people put their food scraps, including eggshells, into a blender and make a slurry. The worms seem to love this, but it is not necessary.
Keep shredded black and white newspaper over the food at all times. Newspaper or bedding helps keep the bin dark and moist and discourages fruit flies. Other organic material such as burlap or shredded cardboard or paperboard can also be used. The worms live in these materials and they also eat them.
To feed the worms, place the food under the newspaper in a different part of the bin each time. Do not bury the food in the castings.
LOTS more on food for worms HERE: http://www.recycleworks.org/compost/wormfood.html
Best Temperatures for Worms
Redworms tolerate a wide range of temperatures, however, the ideal temperature is between 55 – 77 degrees F. Bedding with a temperature above 84 degrees F. is harmful, sometimes fatal, to redworm populations. The temperature should be measured inside the box, because the temperature in the moist bedding is usually lower than the outside air.
This article has lots on the topic so check it out! http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/compost/Redwormsedit.htm
How Do Worms Reproduce
Did you know that worms are “hermaphrodites?” That means that each single worm has both male and female reproductive parts. This is one of the coolest facts about worms! Not a lot of people understand exactly how worms reproduce and how the male and female organs work together. In this article, we will explore not only how worms reproduce but also the worm’s life cycle!
Now that you know that worms are hermaphrodites and they each have both organs inside of their bodies, you are probably wondering exactly how you can tell when a worm is ready to start reproducing. Well, when a worm is about four to six weeks old, it will start to form a whitish band around its head, which is called a clitellum. This is where both reproductive organs exist.
Now, even though worms have both sets of organs inside their bodies, they do still need another worm to mate with and they will end up joining together when they are ready to mate. Their heads will face in opposite directions and they will put their clitellums together. Sperm will pass from one worm to another and it will be stored in sacs.
After this step is done, a cocoon will form on each of the worm’s clitellum’s. The cocoons will each hold about one to five baby worms and the conditions are very important in order for the cocoons to hatch. It has to be dry and the cocoons can keep for years until the conditions are just right before hatching.
As soon as the baby worms hatch, they are only about a half an inch long and they are white in color. Worms do not nurture their young and as soon as the baby worms are born, they will start eating. In about four to six weeks, the entire life cycle will start over again! It does not take long for the baby worm to grow into a full adult.
One of the most amazing things about worms is that they can live for years and years as long as the climate and conditions are right. Worm’s bodies are roughly made up of ninety percent water and one of the ways that a worm will die is because of the water drying up! One of the coolest things about worms is that when they die, their body just becomes part of the compost in the soil and throughout their life and death, they are helping the soil one way or another!
Life Cycle of Worms
(2) PHOTOSENSITIVITY METHOD
Worms are highly sensitive to light, and will readily move away from light sources. By strategically introducing light, worms can be guided to burrow to a desired location, allowing for easy collection of the remaining castings. If outdoors, choose a sunny location to work; if indoors, place the piles under bright light for the entire process.
(3) FREE-FOR-ALL/MEDITATIVE METHOD
If you love getting to know your worms up close and personal, this slower-paced, hands-on style may just be the method for you.
How To Raise Worms In Winter
Article on the subject: http://www.ehow.com/how_8378983_can-raise-earthworms-winter.html
Use a plastic tote as a bin for the worms. The size recommended by Mary Appelhof, author of "Worms Can Eat My Garbage" is 1 foot high, 2 feet deep and 3 feet wide.
Find a suitable location for the bin such as a garage, unused closet or basement. The temperature of the bin location should average between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Relocate the bin to a warmer area in the winter or make sure the location is heated if there is a possibility of temperatures falling below 40 degrees.
Find an appropriate bedding for the bin. Shredded newspaper or peat moss are two possibilities. Place the bedding in the bin and add 1 gallon of garden soil. Add enough water to the bin to make it moist. Don't add too much water or you will create soggy bedding.
Obtain your earthworms and put them in the bin. About 2 pounds of worms should suffice for home use. Place them in the bin on top of the bedding.
Feed the worms about twice a week. Kitchen waste, such as potato peels, crushed egg shells, and coffee grounds all make good worm food. Make sure whatever you food you use is moist. Feed the worms less food than normal if the temperature at the bin location falls below 50 degrees in the winter. Cold weather reduces the worm's activity, so they need less nourishment.
Replace the bedding after two months. Harvest the largest worms at this time also. Dump the contents of the bin onto a large piece of plywood in a lighted area and form the compost into a tall pile. The earthworms will move into the bottom of the pile to escape the light. Remove the top part of the pile every few minutes. Eventually you will have mostly earthworms on the plywood. Harvest the largest ones and replace the bedding of the bin. Repeat this process monthly.
Take the compost you collected and use it to improve your garden soil.
Keep the lights on in the bin room during winter cold snaps. Cold weather makes worms want to crawl and light inhibits their activity.Take your harvested worms to local bait shops to see if they wish to purchase.
Avoid feeding your earthworms kitty litter, meat or dairy products. Avoid using a bin made from pressure-treated wood. The chemicals used to treat the wood might harm the worms.
Please Stay Tuned! I will be adding more on Meal Worms (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mealworm), and other types of edibles.
I have eaten worms before and they are really good food. I cook them in Chili. They taste just like string beans mixed in the Chili. I also noticed lots of energy for many hours after eating them! Yum!
Please share your ideas on this subject too. How important this subject seems now.
What do crickets eat?
Leaves, Grass, Fruits, decaying plants, other worms & insects, etc. Basically, the will eat anything. They''re probably one of the most easily grown & reliable source of food in the aftertime.
There might be some uneasiness around eating crickets. Cooking & grinding them into a powder (& mixing it with with flour or soups) is a solution. There are even protein bars on the market made out of crickets.
In fact, Clinton's "Global Initiative" has put $1 million into a company trying to make cricket farming a viable food source.
Why grow crickets?
-They eat anything. (You can collect grass seed, and save it for their winter diet. They will even eat cardboard & wood)
-Can be grown in containers; Making them pest free in a controlled environment.
-In the unlikely event you find yourself in need to run away from your safe location, you can carry crickets (or any other worms) with you. That same option doesnt exist for chickens, goats or fish. In other words, they're a very good back up plan.
How to search for beetle larvae in dead wood.
If there is dead decaying wood, there is very likely beetle larvae and other grubs in it. This is a useful food source (for chickens), especially in the winter
Chickens foraging for grubs
How to identify red wigglers.
(Look for them in composts, under leaf litter, or under layers of cardboard placed on the ground.)
How to trap crickets
(Even with no preparations beforehand, you can breed them as long as you have the know how)
Leave traps near places you hear the chirps from, at night.
eating insects is making it into mainstream publications about food and social networks - this is a real surprise