Can you eat weevils?
In this article, we will answer the question “Can you eat weevils?” and discuss the types of weevils?
Can you eat weevils?
Yes, you can eat weevils. It’s OK to eat weevils since they are not harmful. These arachnids are classified as a protein source by the scientific community.
Insects have been studied as an alternative source of protein for humans and animals due to their high amount of proteins. The relative amount of protein can vary substantially, with crude protein content ranging from 23% to 76%, the highest content being in the adult locust (1).
Your food is safe if you find live weevils in it. Pesticides may be detected by the presence of dead weevils in your grain. Insects are eaten both consciously and unwittingly in various regions of the globe. People in the West, on the other hand, believe most insects to be disgusting. They can also cause allergic reactions to some people (1).
Only food producers are concerned about weevils. They must ensure that the food is devoid of larvae in order to fulfill food safety regulations. If weevils are found in the food, it may be contaminated. In addition, weevils alter the grain’s texture and flavor.
The stored-grain insects not only affect the grains in quantitative terms but also affect the grain quality adversely. The grain quality decreases with time and increasing levels of infestation. Insect infestation can also cause change in the chemical composition of the grain. It can lead to the increase in moisture, free fatty acid levels, non protein nitrogen content, and also decrease in pH and protein content (3).
Although weevils are a nuisance, you may limit their presence in your food. Getting rid of the weevils is the first step in eradicating the pest. You may soak the grains if you find the process tiresome. As they float, adults will leave the grains clean and undisturbed to be eaten.
Eating Weevils Have a “Yuck” Factor, Right?
Although insects are eaten in numerous cultures throughout the globe, many Westerners find it disgusting. It’s reasonable if you don’t want to consume weevils because of this. A large number of individuals end up throwing away perfectly edible food because of this. In order to keep the food safe from weevils, there are a few options:
Get rid of Weevils.
It takes a long time to find each individual weevil. As an alternative, cover contaminated beans or grains with water and let them to soak overnight. The bodies of adult weevils will float to the surface, making removal simpler. Infested flour, on the other hand, is a no-go.
Microwave energy has been used as an alternative to eliminate weevils from food. In a study, flour beetles in wheat flour and granary weevils in wheat were exposed to 2.45 GHz microwaves and no selective heating was obtained. It was reported that temperature (>82 °C) is required in the host media to control the immature stages of both species (3).
Prepare Food in a Way That Makes Weevils Hard to Spot
It’s less nasty to consume something if you can’t see the weevil bodies in it. It is possible to mix cooked grains or beans to hide the weevils. Infested wheat or grains may be turned into cakes, which hide the weevils better since they are baked with the rest of the components. According to studies, larvae of weevils are rich in minerals such as iron, zinc, manganese, calcium, and phosphorus which are all important supplements essential for the human body (2).
Make Non-Food Uses of Infested Food
There is no need to throw away food if you are unable to stomach the prospect of ingesting weevils. Instead:
Birds may be fed grains.
To produce play-dough or an ant-repellent, flour may be substituted. Make your own hot packs, beanbags, or other playthings.
You must first eliminate the weevils and their eggs if you want to manufacture anything from weevil-infested food. There will be a worse infestation if the weevils continue to eat, lay eggs, and reproduce.
What Kinds Of Weevils Are There?
Weevil in flour
Flour weevils, according to folklore, are the supposedly imaginary weevils. The red flour beetle is the most common name for them. It’s no coincidence that the flour weevil gets its name from the fact that it lives in close proximity to flour.
This kind of beetle is around 3 to 4 mm long. They have a metallic sheen to them due to the color of their outer sheath. With two wings, they’re oval-shaped. Nuts, grains, and dried fruit are also part of their diet.
They may infiltrate any environment, including homes, supermarkets, and even the mills that produce dry goods. Molds may also be caused by flour weevils. Their decaying corpses emit terrible odors, which wreak havoc on dried foods.
Rice, wheat, and other grains may be infested with these microscopic insects. Rice weevils have a body length of 2 to 3 millimeters. A variety of hues are available, from reddish-brown to black.
Boring holes in rice, cereals, or grains is what these weevils do with their snouts. Any rice that has weevils on it should be drenched with hot water. You’ll be able to tell the dead weevils apart since they’ll be floating. When you’re going to start cooking the rice, do this step.
The insect is known as the bolt weevil
Boll weevils typically measure 6 millimeters in length. Snouts are lengthy and the fur is grey. Little cotton ball plants, as well as buds, are their preferred food. In reality, their name is derived from their habit of nesting in the cotton boll. As a result, cotton harvests suffer massive losses.
When they arrived in America in the late 19th century, they quickly went to work in all cotton-growing regions. It’s a win-win situation since boll weevils can only eat cotton plants. There is no need to worry about them if you aren’t cultivating cotton.
The rose aphid
Small, red-and-black-colored weevils are called “rose weevils.” They may use their pointed snout to boreholes. Roses are the primary food source for these insects, which is why they’re referred to as such. Adult rose weevils, as well as their larvae, eat petals.
To learn more about eating weevils click here
In this article, we answered the question “Can you eat weevils?” and we discussed the types of weevils?
- Hawkey, Kerensa J., et al. Insects: a potential source of protein and other nutrients for feed and food. Annu. Rev. Anim. Biosci, 2021, 9, 333-354.
- Akande, Olamide A., et al. Assessment of Mulberry Silkworm Pupae and African Palm Weevil larvae as alternative protein sources in snack fillings. Heliyon, 2020, 6, e03754.
- Yadav, Deep N., et al. Microwave technology for disinfestation of cereals and pulses: An overview. J food sci technol, 2014, 51, 3568-3576.