Can I eat a live wasp?
August 21, 2006 11:14 AM   Subscribe

Can I eat a live wasp? If so, what would the safest method of eating it?
posted by sleslie to Food & Drink (21 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
i would kill it asap--crunching it with your teeth, etc. those sucksers sting--a lot. unlike bees, they will repeatedly sting you until they get away, or you kill it. if you swallowed one whole, i imagine i'd sting you a couple of times on the way down. i would expect to be stung 10-30 times in my mouth before it died or was swallowed. they sting fast.
posted by lester at 11:20 AM on August 21, 2006

Best answer: Not sure about a live wasp, but:

Bees and wasps are OK eaten after a good boiling. The poison is basically a protein which disassembles at boiling temperatures. The stinger softens. Pounding them before boiling is effective. Bee and Wasp Larvae are delicious!

From here.
posted by ifranzen at 11:20 AM on August 21, 2006

Cut off the stinger?
posted by mhuckaba at 11:24 AM on August 21, 2006

Can you eat a live wasp?

Well, yeah--you can eat anything solid and organic that fits in your mouth. I've heard of certain cultures in Africa and South America eating live mealworms and ants, and wasp eating doesn't seem too far off. As for how...well, I'm no expert, but I'd guess that the safest way would be to pin the wasp down somehow and remove the stinger and wings before popping it in your mouth.

Alternately, you could put the wasp in the freezer until became docile with the cold. You might not even have to remove the stinger that way.

God, I can't believe I just wrote that.
posted by Iridic at 11:26 AM on August 21, 2006 [1 favorite]

My (strictly theoretical so far) guess:
Hold it by the wings (both wings between your thumb and finger), and use your teeth to pulverise the stinger and poison sac into mash, then chew up the rest and swallow. I suspect that the poison has little to no effect in the mouth and digestive tract, as opposed to when it is injected under the skin.

Are you planning on entering Fear Factor or something? :)
posted by -harlequin- at 11:38 AM on August 21, 2006

I reserve the right to be wrong ;-)
posted by -harlequin- at 11:40 AM on August 21, 2006

Cooling it first sounds good, or maybe blowing smoke over it, which I understand beekeepers do to make bees docile. The other thing would be to get it down fast. What if you dropped it in a glass of water and chugged that? It might go straight down to your stomach that way. What it does when it gets there is anyone's guess, but I think it would be dead in a couple of minutes.
posted by LarryC at 11:42 AM on August 21, 2006

As mentioned above, putting it the freezer to slow it down a bit is a good method. Technically it would still be alive (if you are doing this for a bet or something), but it would then be easier to pull off some of this other advice (biting the stinger off first, etc).

If you want a less gross experience, you can try putting it in the freezer first, then quickly swallowing it whole along with a mouthful of some liquid, or maybe some jello, if it is not too large a wasp. Or pour some honey on it - that will further inhibit it from moving around at all.
posted by mikepop at 11:46 AM on August 21, 2006

Get small (but considerably thick) ziploc plastic bag. Put wasp inside. Close. Swallow.

You get the bonus fun of checking if the wasp goes out alive at the other end.
posted by qvantamon at 11:47 AM on August 21, 2006 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Would there be any danger in eating a wasp, though? What would the poison do to your stomach? Would there be any dangerous reactions that could require epi-pens?
posted by sleslie at 11:50 AM on August 21, 2006

If you're putting it on the freezer, you might as well freeze some ice around the lower part of the body, while leaving the upper part free. I don't know if a wasp can survive this, but if it can, I think you could swallow it with the ice butt, and, if you use ice enough, by the time the ice melted enough to allow it to pinch you, the creature would be well molten in your stomach acids...
posted by qvantamon at 11:51 AM on August 21, 2006

Okay, you've already figured out how you're going to catch it? From the catching to the eating seems like a short step.
posted by Sara Anne at 11:59 AM on August 21, 2006

Best answer: The danger wouldn't really be in anything happening to your stomach--the danger is the wasp stinging the inside of your throat on the way down. Even the comparatively minor amount of swelling a sting causes if you're not allergic to any degree can be dangerous--swelling right inside the throat is a good way to close off the airway at worst; at best it'll be a miserable experience.
posted by Drastic at 12:02 PM on August 21, 2006 [1 favorite]

ROTC Survival Training saves the day! Ok - I never actually performed this, but I did instigate a wager against our favorite schoolyard scapegoat: eat that cricket scurrying across the floor in study hall and we'll pay for your lunch.

Kid says no problem - all you have to do is shake the bastards real quick like to get them briefly incapacitated and in a state of shock and they go down with substantially less kicking and screaming on the way. He snatched that poor thing up, shook his fists like a prize fighter over his shoulders (rap, rap) and downed that stunned sucker like a pro.
posted by prostyle at 12:14 PM on August 21, 2006

Get small (but considerably thick) ziploc plastic bag. Put wasp inside. Close. Swallow.

I think this would constitute a choking hazard.

Per the above post (about swelling throat stings), I think choking would be the real danger here. Cut the stinger off. After that, it wouldn't matter what happened next.
posted by cowbellemoo at 12:16 PM on August 21, 2006

Swallow it with a large spider. Then swallow a bird to catch the spider, then swallow a cat to catch the bird. Let us know if you need help after that point.

Warning: Perhaps you'll die.
posted by hydrophonic at 12:16 PM on August 21, 2006 [57 favorites]

Response by poster: Catching is easy -- the wasp reponsible for this ask mefi question is slowly drowning in a water bottle. A note for future wasp-eaters: this is a good way to immobilize the wasp and its stinger.

No one, at this current time, has eaten any wasps for fear of throat swelling.
posted by sleslie at 12:20 PM on August 21, 2006

Response by poster: (er, no one here at the place full of dare-happy miscreants I work with has eaten the wasp).
posted by sleslie at 12:23 PM on August 21, 2006 [1 favorite]

Best answer: My cat did once.

Her cheek swelled up real nice from being stung on the inside. She looked hilarious for at least three days - like she had the mumps. After that, she stopped chasing wasps and bees.

If you have to learn that lesson first-hand like she did, have fun.
posted by jellicle at 2:09 PM on August 21, 2006

Skunks eat wasps.
posted by mlis at 4:55 PM on August 21, 2006

A first hand account of wasps and their effects on the human tongue:

I was on my leadership course in the army, taking a break between drill instruction when Baxter caught a wasp with his bare hands. He held it up to my face and I stuck my tongue out in jest...the bugger bit me right on the tip of my tongue. Within a minute it felt as if someone had punched me in the jaw. My tongue didn't swell up much, but my whole mouth was sore. Wouldn't ya know it, I was the next one up to give a drill lesson (present arms) to the other candidates. I managed to shout (err...project) my way through without any issues, and by then end of the 45 minute lecture felt normal once again.

My guess is the tongue is a large enough muscle that it can take the sting pretty well, but I'd hate to image what would have happened it had stung my throat or the roof of my mouth.
posted by furtive at 5:57 PM on August 21, 2006

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