Scrumptious Silkworms

For this week’s BeWeave It, we offer an advance warning to the squeamish that they may want to stop reading now. Still reading? Good. Our topic today deals with silkworms, and more specifically, the eating of silkworms. The silks that we weave and wear typically come from the cocoon of the Bombyx mori, also known as the domesticated silkworm. In order to harvest the longest silk thread possible from the cocoon it is boiled before the silkworm can emerge and break the threads.

Silkworms...yum!
Silkworms seasoned with
garlic and chile.
Photo by Tomchen1989 

The result is a long piece of beautiful silk, and a copious amount of boiled silkworms. What to do with these boiled buggies? Why eat them, of course! In markets in China and Vietnam the worms are fried, and in Korea you might find vats of boiled silkworms at an outdoor market. The silkworms are packed full of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals making them a healthy snack.

Along with all the health benefits, silkworms are also much easier on the environment than domesticated livestock, and they also require less land and water. Given the rising global population, some scientists think silkworms (and other insects) might be the protein source of the future. Bon Apetit!

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