One of the safest and EASIEST wild foods to find, and one of the most nutritious, is worms! Ya, I know, but stay with me.
First, the facts: Worms are about 97% protein, comparable to the protein you would receive from consuming eggs and cow’s milk. The Yekuana people believe they have some medicinal uses as well, they give worms to people suffering from malaria and to women who have just given birth. In fact, for a month after delivery, worms and cassava are all those women eat. A study also found that earthworms contain significant amounts of calcium, similar to dairy products and are also a source of iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and copper.
They are MOST plentiful and easiest to harvest after rain. If it's dry, bring a little mustard powder, sprinkle a likely, mulchy patch of ground and water it (The mustard will encourage the worms to surface).
You CAN eat worms live (or "raw" if you like), but I like them cooked. And the BEST way to start is to clean them, not just from the outside, but from the inside. A worm's digestive system generally takes about 24 hours to cycle so to clear the dirt out, you need to replace what they already ate. I normally bring a small bag of flour in my provisions which is PERFECT. Just separate-out some flour and drop the worms in, they'll eat the flour and pass the dirt. Otherwise I drop them in a cup with water, they'll still pass the dirt.
Next, if you only put them in water, boiling for 10 minutes is good. Otherwise, I always bring a tiny container of cooking oil so breading them, chopping them up and putting them in an omelet, is good. Deep-frying is good too if you have enough oil, but they're great in stews, casseroles, and pastas! But if you want to get fancy, here's a recipe. Bon appetite!:
1 c. earthworms
1/2 lg. onion, chopped
1/2 c. water 1 bouillon cube
1 c. yogurt or sour cream
3 tbsp. butter
1/2 c. mushrooms Whole wheat flour
Wash earthworms thoroughly and place in boiling water for three minutes. Pour off water and repeat the boiling process twice. Bake on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees F. for 15 minutes. Roll the worms in flour, brown in butter, add salt to taste. Add bouillon and simmer for 30 minutes. Saute onions and mushrooms in butter. Add onions and mushrooms to the worms. Stir-in sour cream or yogurt. Serve over rice or noodles.
Now then, doesn't THAT sound good? *:d