Eating worms is not necessarily bad for humans. In fact, there are some worms that may be rather useful in treating certain illnesses. There are also some worms that we might eat unintentionally that will not usually cause us any harm. However, there are also worms that can hurt us as they are parasites of the worst form.
The first thing to ask yourself when thinking about the possibility of eating worms is whether you want to or not. It’s not usually necessary to eat worms for survival. There are rare instances where someone may be on a survival television show, living in harsh survival camp conditions to experience the rugged outdoors, or are truly lost in nature and need to eat whatever they can to survive.
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Eating an earthworm or two will not hurt anyone. In fact, they are full of protein, are a source of nourishment and food for many animals, and may provide a good deal of entertainment as documented in the popular book How to Eat Fried Worms.
Other worms are being used in experimental research to treat intestinal diseases such as ulcerative colitis. Worms are proving to alleviate the symptoms of this disease and give relief to those who suffer from it. And, while the idea of deliberating eating worms (or in this case worm eggs) may make some nauseous, those who are in the research trials are finding that it is far better than suffering from the condition itself.
If you do eat worms you will want to make sure they are dead or that you chew them completely before swallowing them. Live worms can live in a person’s intestines or stomach for ages eating other foods taken in by the worm’s host or the waste created by these foods. Live worms can also find their way out of a body and cause a great deal of discomfort both physically and mentally.
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Most worms that dwell in soil and gardens are fairly safe. However, there are many parasitic worms such as heartworms that infect dogs and cats. These worms are very dangerous parasites that can be fatal to both animal and human hosts.
There are also many insects that appear to be worms in the early stages of life, but they are not worms at all. Butterflies, moths and flies are commonly mistaken for worms in their youth. And, while maggots (baby flies) are not likely to hurt anyone, they are seldom among the animals (worms or otherwise) that anyone wants to eat, including children on a dare.