1

votes

Snails (escargot) for food?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created March 07, 2011 at 6:31 PM

Is there something specific to snails that would make them desirable as a paleo food? I know the French love their escargot, now my question is whether I am missing any specific nutrient by not having snail, or my intake of fish and beef already covers anything included in snails?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 04, 2011
at 05:43 PM

Total Omega-3 fatty acids61.0mg Total Omega-6 fatty acids4.8mg the omega 6 ratio

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 21, 2011
at 03:25 PM

yes, don't go picking snails out of your garden and eating them. But the snails you will get at a restaurant will have been fasted properly and hey, they're a great vehicle for butter!

Ac1e55cf06c2180f4008ff01953d10dd

(3524)

on March 08, 2011
at 05:13 PM

Travis that info is on molusk but I did not find any on land snails...

9e7039b63b656582f66d84c5255b436d

(1132)

on March 08, 2011
at 08:55 AM

I'm loving that website, hadn't seen it before, thanks

9e7039b63b656582f66d84c5255b436d

(1132)

on March 07, 2011
at 10:29 PM

I eat it all the time

9e2180e7bfd688eb52d4f0c536172024

(2004)

on March 07, 2011
at 10:03 PM

Octopus is very underrated. Not as chewy as one would expect.

7e1064164e012a1ead098098245b1cd4

(1197)

on March 07, 2011
at 09:01 PM

@Travis: Fair enough! But given the choice between a steak and a snail I know which I would choose.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 07, 2011
at 08:22 PM

But they run barefoot - and that's Paleo!

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on March 07, 2011
at 08:15 PM

Snails do not run very fast either.

Ac1e55cf06c2180f4008ff01953d10dd

(3524)

on March 07, 2011
at 08:02 PM

I understand many hunter gatherer cultures used to have snails, even insects, etc.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 07, 2011
at 07:32 PM

The Hadza eat large land snails, so yes, they probably would eat them. Paleohacks is riddled with false assumptions regarding what HGs or paleolithic people would or wouldn't eat. The idea that having animals walking around precludes tuber consumption or the foraging for berries or in this case snails is ridiculous. They would have eaten everything they could find and there likely would have been a sexual division of labor, with each gender targeting different things (meat/honey for males usually and tubers/berries for females etc.)

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11 Answers

6
2248abf977dd5d09733f5d4e2510fc12

(147)

on May 21, 2011
at 04:25 AM

Be careful with snails. They come with toxins from their intestines and meningitis-causing parasites.

You need to properly starve and repeatedly wash them for a week, and then thoroughly cook them and get rid of the intestines (you only eat the foot).

I'd prefer grass-fed, but I'd take farm-cereal-raised any time over wild ones, especially if they weren't properly cleaned for a week. Eating uncommon stuff is a great way to become a case study: e.g. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17137529

If you do it right they might totally be paleo.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 21, 2011
at 03:25 PM

yes, don't go picking snails out of your garden and eating them. But the snails you will get at a restaurant will have been fasted properly and hey, they're a great vehicle for butter!

5
4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on March 08, 2011
at 07:55 AM

Snails are very nutritious

http://jennysfood.blogspot.com/2010/04/escargot-la-jardin.html

and there is even a theory that the high Omega 3 levels are in part responsible for our massive brains!

http://newsletter.vitalchoice.com/e_article000935502.cfm?x=b6P9VQK,b1pTrCB7

So yes, I'd say they are excellent candidates for a paleo diet! I just don't happen to like them....

3
Medium avatar

on March 07, 2011
at 08:32 PM

Snails are actually fairly nutritious: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/finfish-and-shellfish-products/7742/2

100g wouldn't really be that much.

Ac1e55cf06c2180f4008ff01953d10dd

(3524)

on March 08, 2011
at 05:13 PM

Travis that info is on molusk but I did not find any on land snails...

9e7039b63b656582f66d84c5255b436d

(1132)

on March 08, 2011
at 08:55 AM

I'm loving that website, hadn't seen it before, thanks

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 04, 2011
at 05:43 PM

Total Omega-3 fatty acids61.0mg Total Omega-6 fatty acids4.8mg the omega 6 ratio

2
9e7039b63b656582f66d84c5255b436d

(1132)

on March 07, 2011
at 09:31 PM

Clams, squid and octopus are also mollusks - you've probably eaten all of those, snails are common food in Spain - try with rabbit.

9e2180e7bfd688eb52d4f0c536172024

(2004)

on March 07, 2011
at 10:03 PM

Octopus is very underrated. Not as chewy as one would expect.

9e7039b63b656582f66d84c5255b436d

(1132)

on March 07, 2011
at 10:29 PM

I eat it all the time

1
Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 21, 2011
at 04:34 AM

working at a french restaurant, you get the chance to discuss snails often and someone once told me some research had been done that linked eating snails with protection from breast cancer. Obviously i have not looked into it much, as I freaking love snails and will eat them any chance i get regardless, but food for thought (if anyone has any concrete info on this either way, please respond).

1
0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on March 10, 2011
at 01:15 PM

Snails appear to be a good source of Protein, Vitamin E, Magnesium and Selenium.

Interestingly there is speculation that some Neandertals made use of snails as a food source during paleolithic times.

From johnhawks.net

Evidence from Neanderthal bones collected from the Shanidar cave in Northern Iraq decades ago and analyzed recently by Tuross indicate that at least that particular Neanderthal was not a heavy carnivore. Neanderthals, she suggested, had a varied diet that included meat, but that was not solely or even largely made up of it. One possible alternative food was found in abundance in the cave, she said: land snails.

"This was not a heavy meat-eater,??? Tuross said. ???So what else can they be eating? I think the answer is escargot."

If you like the taste then eat them. If not then don't. You are not missing anything in particular if you choose not to eat them.

I've not had the chance to try them myself.

1
B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

on March 08, 2011
at 08:09 PM

As always, check to see how animals are raised.

Wikipedia tells us:

Heliciculture

Because a typical snail diet includes decayed matter, carrion, and a wide variety of leaves, the contents of their stomachs can sometimes be toxic to humans. Therefore, before they are cooked, the snails are first prepared by purging them of the questionable contents of their digestive systems. The process used to accomplish this varies, but generally involves a combination of fasting and purging or simply feeding them on a wholesome replacement. The methods most often used can take several days. Farms producing Helix aspersa for sale exist in Europe and in the United States. Farm-raised snails are typically fed a diet of ground cereals.

Looks like snails are another tasty animal that is better for us when raised a bit more in the wild.


Now (summer 2011) I'm tempted to set up an aquarium and raise my own on the leftovers from my organic veggie garden... Evethough is seems like much work for little meat.

1
4aa3281b2b5c6ec066c82675ee3df5f7

on March 08, 2011
at 03:44 AM

snails are eaten all over the world cuisines I have had snails in include french, korean, vietnamese, spanish, Thai, indian, Scandinavian, and english/irish. All where very good I thought. I'm sure you don't need to eat them but they are easy pray in a primitive situation and were most definitely eaten!

1
A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 07, 2011
at 08:21 PM

Snails are paleo.

So what? So is brain/insects/dirt/worms and a whole host of things I am not gonna eat!

Don't become obsessed or stressed out over what you might be missing. The cortisol from that is worse by far.

http://www.paleonu.com/panu-weblog/2011/2/28/proof-that-orthorexia-exists.html

0
B7fec4bf394de8dfa6403067aea94e1b

on May 21, 2011
at 11:51 AM

I've had snails in French restaurants and as street vendor fare in Korea. Personally, I don't really like the way sea snails taste (too briny, with a little sand thrown in) but when you're out in Seoul, there are only a few options from street vendors, which also include pig offal (good stuff) and silk worm pupae (working my way up to trying it. It smells terrible.) Technically, whatever moves out of its own volition is paleo so long as its not chock-full of toxins, but you're probably not missing anything in particular if you don't eat snails other than the exotic eater street cred for having tried snails.

0
7e1064164e012a1ead098098245b1cd4

(1197)

on March 07, 2011
at 06:47 PM

I doubt you are missing anything! Would cavemen scramble around trying to find snails when they could be hunting a giant (insert mammal)?

I personally love escargot, with lots of garlic butter, but they are not a staple food (not sure of the nutritional data but I imagine they are mostly protein with little anything else). If you like them then don't feel like you have to exclude them, but they are most definitely not an essential food on a paleo diet.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 07, 2011
at 08:22 PM

But they run barefoot - and that's Paleo!

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on March 07, 2011
at 08:15 PM

Snails do not run very fast either.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 07, 2011
at 07:32 PM

The Hadza eat large land snails, so yes, they probably would eat them. Paleohacks is riddled with false assumptions regarding what HGs or paleolithic people would or wouldn't eat. The idea that having animals walking around precludes tuber consumption or the foraging for berries or in this case snails is ridiculous. They would have eaten everything they could find and there likely would have been a sexual division of labor, with each gender targeting different things (meat/honey for males usually and tubers/berries for females etc.)

Ac1e55cf06c2180f4008ff01953d10dd

(3524)

on March 07, 2011
at 08:02 PM

I understand many hunter gatherer cultures used to have snails, even insects, etc.

7e1064164e012a1ead098098245b1cd4

(1197)

on March 07, 2011
at 09:01 PM

@Travis: Fair enough! But given the choice between a steak and a snail I know which I would choose.

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