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?
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.
Snails are very nutritious
and there is even a theory that the high Omega 3 levels are in part responsible for our massive brains!
So yes, I'd say they are excellent candidates for a paleo diet! I just don't happen to like them....
Snails are actually fairly nutritious: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/finfish-and-shellfish-products/7742/2
100g wouldn't really be that much.
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!
Wikipedia tells us:
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.