Is it safe to eat palm tree worm? Is it healthy? Is it nutritious? What can I benefit from eating worm? These few questions and much more could be going on in your mind at the sight of this article.
To answer these few questions, it is a big fat YES from me! Yes, you can eat some types of worms but not all worms, it is safe to eat certain worms but not all worms, certain worms are healthy, certain worms are nutritious and there are several things you can benefit from eating worms.
Well, one of such beneficial worms is the sago worm, which is equally known as coconut worm, palm tree worm, palm grubs, palmetto grub, palm tree weevil, edible maggot, Asian palm weevil, grugru, grew-grew or sago palm weevil.
Sago worm is the larva of the red palm beetle and since this is the case, another concern is if it is safe to eat insects? Yes, it is! Studies reveal that insects are highly valuable and essential source of vitamins and minerals such as calcium, protein, fat etc.
Researchers and nutritionists also attest that palm tree worms have nutritional components that are comparable with that of fish and meat.
A 2017 research conducted by Kasi et al to determine the average length and weight of palm tree worm in various instar larval stage, and to determine total protein content in various instar larval stage by using kjeldahl method. The results showed that the highest levels of total protein obtained at the third instar larval stage is 12.04% and the lowest in the first instar larval stage is 8.02%.
Total protein will be decline after the third instar larval stage for the proteins used for pupation in the process of metamorphosis Elemo et al., (2011) report that the dried and defatted palm tree worm is comparable to an egg protein.
Note that 1g/100gram dry weight of processed palm tree worms will give the following health and nutritional benefits to the human body.
Nutritional Composition Palm Tree Worm Larvae (g/100g dry weight) are as follows:
• Amino Acids (g/100g dry weight)
• Aspartic acid 2.29g
• Threonine* 1.15g
• Serine 1.33g
• Glycine 1.04g
• Alanine 1.37g
• Protein 25.8g
• Fat 38.5g
• Ash 2.1g
• Tyrosine* 0.97g
• Phenulalanine* 0.73g
• Histidine* 1.02g
• Lysine* 1.72g
• Arginine 1.62g
• Tryptophan* 0.23g
• *Essential amino acid
• Carbohydrates 33.2g
• Energy (kcal) 583
• Valine* 0.81g
• Methionine* 0.27g
• Isoleucine* 0.75g
• Leucine* 1.62g
Why Palm Tree Worms are Essential
Palm tree worms naturally contains high amount of fatty acids specifically oleic acid (40.1%); and linoleic (n-6) (13.0%), so there is no point still using oil to fry them. These worms taste better when fried on an empty pot without using oil.
On the average, palm tree worms takes about seven minutes to fry. During frying, the aroma that comes from it will make you salivate and hunger for more of these creatures.