image by Lisa Brown
by Alison Baitz, NPR Goats and Soda
In southern Venezuela, the Ye’kuana people gather them from the mud around streams or dig them up from the floor of the highland forest. They’re gutted and boiled and eaten — or smoked and sold at prices three times that of other smoked meats. What is this lucrative, forageable fare? Earthworms.
“These edible worms are as much a part of the food supply as chicken is [in the U.S.],” says Darna Dufour, a professor of anthropology at the University of Colorado – Boulder and a colleague of Maurizio Guido Paoletti, a professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Padova in Italy. He’s the co-author of a paper on the “Nutrient content of earthworms consumed by Ye’Kuana Amerindians.”