Are weevils poisonous, or just gross?
October 27, 2007 4:45 PM   Subscribe

I just ate a few bites of trail mix before noticing that the bag was infested with weevils. WILL I DIE??
posted by exceptinsects to Food & Drink (20 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
No, but you probably won't be eating trail mix for a long time. In fact if you eat 100 grams of weevilsit will net you 6.7 grams of protein according to This Website.
posted by Octoparrot at 4:49 PM on October 27, 2007

I hope you don't take this as a smart-ass response... In this situation, I would take a shot of vodka and/or hot tea to kill any of them that made it in. Likely though, they're already dead. Either way, it's a good excuse to have an adult beverage. ;)
posted by meindee at 4:49 PM on October 27, 2007 [4 favorites]

Hell, no. In New Guinea, some of the natives eat moths. I remember when my husband watched a companion catching them and eating them on boat trip. He was offered one, but declined, the big wuss. Of course, when he offered me a witchety grub, I was releived that it exploded from the heat of the campfire before I embarrassed myself by admitting I was reluctant.

They (witchety grubs & moths) are much bigger than weevils, probably have more protein, but not eating insects in a cultural convention, not a health issue.
posted by b33j at 4:51 PM on October 27, 2007

Best answer: If weevils were poisonous, the sun would never even have risen on the British Navy.

According to the incomparable Patrick O'Brian, ships' rations were infested with various kinds of vermin, which crew members learned to ignore (or, in the case of especially large and succulent rats, to enjoy).

Just remember: if you have a choice, always eat the lesser of two weevils.
posted by ottereroticist at 4:51 PM on October 27, 2007 [20 favorites]

Weevils are good protein, actually. But if you're scared, I'd go with a ol' shot of whisky to kill the ol' germs. If it was good enough for cowboys, it's good enough for me. And if that doesn't work? Just keep taking shots until you're too drunk to care that you're about to die.
posted by miss lynnster at 5:12 PM on October 27, 2007 [1 favorite]

Mod note: OH HAI - the answer "yes you wil die but not from this/right away" is not actually an answer to this question and might even be considered a wisecrack. Feel free to make this joke elsewhere. thanks.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:24 PM on October 27, 2007

No. I second meindee.
posted by wv kay in ga at 5:47 PM on October 27, 2007

Hey, that happened to me too! I know how it feels - as you're chewing on a bite, you look down into the bag and think - hey, something moved. Then, as your vision focuses, you see LITTLE BUGS ALL OVER THE FRUIT CRAWLING ON YOUR FINGERS AND ACKKCKCK and throw the bag across the room!

Anyhow, I didn't die from it, so apparently, they're just gross.
posted by pravit at 6:03 PM on October 27, 2007

The main issue from eating raw bugs is that they tend to be infested with parasites. I doubt that these parasites would thrive in the human body, but it's kind of gross.

For recipe ideas, try this book. No weevil recipes though.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 6:10 PM on October 27, 2007

When I was a little kid, I discovered the ew!!!! way that the oyster crackers were infested with weevils. I'm still a bit wary of oyster crackers, but at the time, I didn't even get sick from the eww! of it.

Also, what ottereroticist says.
posted by desuetude at 6:38 PM on October 27, 2007

Best answer: You won't get sick. Weevils always find a way to sneak into everything in our pantry and cupboards, the little rascals. I've eaten them many times without realizing it before it was too late. Weevils don't have many parasites because they don't feed on animals. They eat what we eat. If we get ecoli from them, that means they got ecoli from something they ate in our homes. The weevils we have in So Cal are different that those found in other regions, just like our tiny black ants are different than the larger black ants found in places like the American South. Don't sweat it.
posted by HotPatatta at 6:44 PM on October 27, 2007 [1 favorite]

Umm, locusts don't eat animals either but they are loaded with parasites. Trust me, I've seen them dissected.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 9:18 PM on October 27, 2007

My father told me he ate weevils as a child. They were in his rice. They called it "extra rice", sort of meaning, "rice with bonuses!" He turns 70 next year, so I think you'll survive with no ill effects.

(Well, if you consider my father normal. It's all relative. His last two emails to me were:
1. A link to the tiny Toronto house listing that was also on the blue.
2. And I quote, "I read in the paper. An older woman got hit by a car in your area, so be careful when crossing the street. You should look both ways since you walk so much. Be vigilant. You should wear a hat."

posted by typewriter at 11:03 PM on October 27, 2007 [4 favorites]

MetaFilter: you should wear a hat.

I would like to thank the poster of this question for giving me the heebiejeebies. I've never seen a weevil in my entire life, but now I'll be looking for them in everything I eat.
posted by davejay at 11:19 PM on October 27, 2007 [1 favorite]

There are a lot of cultures that consume insects as part of their regular diet. Weevils are not poisonous. You got bonus protein with your trail mix.

The U.S. government has a list of all the things that are allowed in your food. Brave souls, have a look:
posted by bolognius maximus at 6:08 AM on October 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

No, you won't. I lived in South America for a year, mostly on dried beans and rice, and boy, did I eat a load of weevils over those months. Pretty much everyone told me the 'bonus protein!' joke at the time.
posted by dowcrag at 7:10 AM on October 28, 2007

The very reason I haven't eaten Tuna Helper since 1992.
posted by tamitang at 7:45 AM on October 28, 2007

I poured Rice-A-Roni into a skillet once and was amazed to see the grains of rice wriggling. It had been infested by grain moths!

No, I didn't make Moth-A-Roni.
posted by Camofrog at 8:02 AM on October 28, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone, still alive.
I did try the Mass Quantities of Alcohol method, not so much because of the weevils but more because of this week being the one where I broke up with my boyfriend AND the entire county was on fire.
So now I have a hideous hangover but I think I will live.

Ottereroticist: heh. Patrick O'Brian fan?
posted by exceptinsects at 8:00 PM on October 28, 2007

Response by poster: Oh, duh, now I have read the entire comment and I see you did in fact mention O'Brian.
Did I say how I was reallly hungover? yep.
posted by exceptinsects at 8:02 PM on October 28, 2007

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