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Grow Edible Snails to supplement Caldas Nutrition

Protein deficiency due to poverty is a root cause of malnutrition in Caldas. Edible snails can be grown locally as a cheap protein source.

Photo of Avi Solomon
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Protein deficiency due to poverty is a root cause of malnutrition in Caldas. Edible snails can be grown locally as a cheap protein source.

Snail meat contains protein, fat(mainly polyunsaturated fatty acid), iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, zinc, vitamins A, B6, B12, K and folate. It also contains the amino acids arginine and lysine at higher levels than in whole egg. It also contains healthy essential fatty acids such as linoleic and linolenic acids. The high-protein, low-fat content of snail meat makes it a healthy alternative food.

Snail Pie and other prepared snail delicacies could be sold at local grocery stores to help ease snails into the local cuisine!

Concept Team: Irune Gonzalez Cruz, Sarah Fathallah, Sean Bunjamin, Johan Lofstrom

Farming Snails 1: Learning about Snails; Building a Pen; Food and Shelter Plants
Farming Snails 2: Choosing Snails; Care and Harvesting; Further Improvement

How do you envision this idea making money?

Local Caldas entrepreneurs can be encouraged and trained to start an edible snail business.

How does this idea create social impact, particularly around improving health?

This is a cheaper way of adding protein to the Caldas diet

How does this idea add social value at every step of the process?

Growing edible snails simultaneously provides a livelihood and improves nutrition

What are the short term steps we could take to implement this idea tomorrow?

Start a pilot edible snail farm in Caldas
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Attachments (5)


Ancient and Modern Maya Exploitation of the Jute Snail (Pachychilus)




Food-based strategy to improve iron status of pregnant women in Nigeria


Snail Farming Manual


Free-range Snail Farming in Australia


Join the conversation:

Photo of DeletedUser


The key to a very 'radical' eating habit is to introduce a new trend. I love snails grilled or deep fried on stick, dipped in hot sauce. That's how we eat it in Indonesia.

Photo of Irune Gonzalez Cruz

How to make "snail-eating" attractive to people?

I know here in the Basque Country snails are quite popular, so I conducted a super fast research (15 people) to get a better understanding and find some insights that could help us take the concept further.

> Some statistics:
70% have TASTED snails at some point
57% among the ones that have tasted snails, LIKED them
87,5% DO NOT KNOW HOW to COOK snails

> Most relevant quotes:
 "Texture, slime and smell are disgusting and people make noise when eating."
"I've heard that it is very difficult to clean them. People share tricks! (clean them in the washing machine, sailors attach them to the outside of the boat and have them hanging on the water...)"

"The best part of the meal is the sauce!"
"I love the sauce! Do snails really have flavour after boiling them so many times?"
"It's like eating meat! And it is very enjoyable taking the snail out of the shell!!!"
"My family eats them on special celebrations, they love them!"
"Once they are cooked they are not gelatinous any more"

[Cooking process]
"Boil the snails several times. Take them out of the shell. Cook them with the sauce (onion, tomato, "chorizo", "jamón", peper...). Put them back on the shells (not always)"

> Oportunities
*Try to introduce them as a prepared meal (grow snails and cook them before they are sold, until eating snails is accepted and liked)
*Cook them with a sauce that colombians like
*Make meaning around the snails. Tell a story or sell it as a "fun" and "enjoyable" food for kids (you have to take them out of the shell!)

Does all this inspire somebody?

Photo of Meena Kadri

Fab local insights and ideas, Irune!

Photo of Avi Solomon

Absolutely Irune! I've added you and Sarah to the Concept team:)
I found this recipe on a sailing message board:
serves 2
2 dozen small snails, or 3 Giant ones
80g Roquefort cheese,
3 large spoonfuls of fresh cream,
pink pepper and breadcrumbs.
Heat the snails with a little garlic butter, add fresh cream and half the Roquefort cheese. Once the mixture boils, place the snails in an oven proof dish and crumble the rest of the Roquefort on top. Finally, sprinkle the dish with breadcrumbs. Put in the oven to cook au gratin (heat from the top) for a couple of minutes. Serve.

Photo of Johan Löfström

how about adding a recipe challenge for this concept? in some ways it could be made to earn small income streams to the project

Photo of Johan Löfström

Is it a problem with some bacteria or risk of disease why you cook it many times and long?

If snail-farmers do not know this risk, they could bring in their snails to a Community Kitchen (as proposed in other concepts) to get a proffessional cook them against a small fee, and to be taught on safe methods, so they could learn how to do it themselves later on.

I have never eaten snails or frogs, I would prefer to only eat processed snail meat, if it was made into mince and blended with perhaps a nother kind of available meat into mince-meat-pies or is it possible to make tasty sausages out of the minced snails with spices in the mix?

Photo of Avi Solomon

Snail Pies seem to have worked in Africa:
Snail (Archachatina marginata) pie: a nutrient rich snack for school-age children and young mothers
Ukpong S. Udofia, Department of Home Economics, University of Uyo, Nigeria
International Journal of Food Safety, Nutrition and Public Health 2009 - Vol. 2, No.2 pp. 125 - 130
This study examined the moisture, protein, ash and iron composition of beef and fresh indigenous land snail and the sensory properties of their pies. The edible parts of the snail (Archachatina marginata) and beef and their pies were analysed using standard methods. The beef and beef pies served as controls. The snail and its pie had higher (p

Photo of Meena Kadri

Might be good to think about strategies for how eating snails might be popularised amongst locals for this concept?

Photo of Sarah Fathallah

I actually didn't know there was a non-edible type of snails... In Morocco, people are really fond of snails, and we have this sort of snail soup flavoured with thyme, cumin, and a snifter of lemon juice. I always thought of it as some sort of weird folkloric food, never linked it to its nutrition sources.