Snakes frighten too many people. Sadly, worries over getting bitten or killed by venomous snakes are often overblown. Regardless, it’s easy enough to avoid trouble if you know what to look and listen for in nature. However, there’s something else to consider, from a survival standpoint. Can you eat snakes? The simple answer is yes, but there’s more to that story. As someone who grew up in an area with many snakes, I’ve eaten their meat before and found it quite tasty. Though personal tastes vary, you can certainly survive on snake meat. I’ll walk you through the health benefits and preparation of this delicacy so you can try it for yourself before the SHTF.
Is eating snake meat healthy? Eating snake meat can be a very healthy option. Although you need to be cautious in catching and preparing venomous snakes, the protein content and other health benefits are outstanding. Most westerners have never had a snake, but that doesn’t make it any less healthy for your body.
Health Benefits of Eating Snake
It’s common in places like Africa, where food can be scarce, to eat snake. Some cultures believe it has near-magical properties. You’ll find sellers hawking this meat as part of cures for everything. From impotence to cancer, people believe in the power of snakes.
Sorting out the truth from the rumors can be a bit of a chore, but I’ll help. First, take everything you’ve ever been told about what snakes can cure and throw it out the window. Next, it’s always worth mentioning that there are plenty of things science has yet to study. Hence, it might be true that a snake is good for more than a meal.
Before we get into the unusual history of snakes as cure-all’s, it’s worth looking at the pure facts. How much protein can you get from a snake? Does it have any other health benefits? The answers may surprise you.
Snake Meat- A Breakdown
When you serve any meat, it has health value. However, some are far more nutritious and healthy than others. Snake meat is outstanding for human health. It’s high in many of the things our body needs, and low in fat. Here are the basic statistics on eating snake:
- Calories- A serving of meat is 3.5 ounces. A raw snake has just ninety-three calories per serving. To put that in perspective, a serving of chicken breast has around a hundred and sixty-four calories, and it’s considered healthy meat. Eating snake may be good for your heart. Moreover, it can undoubtedly aid in keeping you trim.
- Protein- There are eighteen grams of protein in a serving of snake meat. The chewy texture is a result of the fat to protein ratios.
- Vitamins & Minerals- Among other benefits, snake meat has amino acids, linoleic acid, phosphorous, salts, B vitamins, and omegas.
- Fat Content- Snake meat has about a third as much fat as beef of the same weight and portion size.
Snake is considered white meat, like all reptiles and birds. The natural color of the flesh, either raw or cooked, has no bearing on this designation. While some find it bony, or fishy in flavor, I believe this is a failing in the preparation. Like all cooking, skill and ingredients are a deciding factor. The results will vary.
When I ate rattlesnake, it was very similar to eating chicken. There wasn’t a strong flavor to the meat itself. All the ‘yum’ factor came from the spices. I’ve had it barbecued, in lemon and butter, and several other ways. All of them delighted my palate. Plus, none of them tasted ‘fishy’ or had noticeable bones.
The Strange History of Snake Oil
For example, the ‘Snake oil’ salesmen who became synonymous with shysters got the idea from a legitimate source. Chinese workers who were brought in to work on the railroad lines used a form of literal snake oil on arthritic joints. Oddly, it worked just fine. Because the first snake oil used for this was from snakes that don’t live in the USA, the effect didn’t work when reproduced here.
The Chinese water snake is particularly high in Omega 3 acids. The reason imported snake oil worked was because of the omegas. Specifically, it helps to reduce inflammation. However, not every snake has such a high concentration. Resultantly, what was once a valid health benefit became misunderstood. Ultimately it was used to create fake cures. Unscrupulous salesmen preyed upon victims who may have tried the original.
Should you ever find yourself stranded in China, with arthritis or other inflammation issues, it might be worth noting that snake oil can help you. Here in the USA, it won’t do you as much good, but you can still eat snake. It’s not a cure-all, but the health benefits outweigh the downside of the sordid history and people’s often unnecessary fears.
Breeding Snakes as Food Animals
If you want to eat snake meat, breeding is one option for survival. Fortunately, breeding snakes for food isn’t very different from breeding other animals. They have slightly different environmental and dietary requirements than most livestock. However, they don’t require as much space as goats, chickens, or other animals.
Snakes can take years to reach a suitable size as food. Nevertheless, they make an excellent protein source. Plus, if you’re not opposed to breeding your own snake food, they can live virtually for free. They do need proper heating souces and hibernation chambers, food, and water. Fortunately, beyond that, a snake doesn’t require much.
If you’re going to breed pythons or boas, among others, you’ll need more than breeding boxes. Unlike desert snakes, most breeds require more water. Some swim and hunt in it, but most need it in the air to stay healthy. A good humidifier like the Petspioneer 4L Reptile Humidifier from Amazon is vital to snake health. I like the fact that this model turns off when the water level gets too low to run safely because I don’t need to worry about the engine burning out. You can get this quiet humidifier for your snake breeding when you click here.
Prepare Snakes For Breeding
Most snakes need to hibernate to breed correctly. You’ll have to prepare a hibernation chamber. You’ll need a box that’s a little smaller than your snake’s regular habitat. Snakes tend to burrow when they hibernate, so they need at least five to ten inches of good bedding to bury themselves inside.
I prefer ReptiChip’s premium coconut substrate for many snakes. The hundred percent organic bedding is safe and environmentally friendly, which is a huge bonus. Plus, I like the odor-absorbing qualities of coconut bedding. You can find some for your snakes on Amazon. To check prices and availability, click here.
The temperature needs to be an even 55° to 60° Fahrenheit for the snake to hibernate. It’s a good idea to give your snake warm baths every day for a week before they go into hibernation. Make sure they have a bowl of water in the hibernation box. Your snake will need about eight weeks to rest.
When you bring them back out, be sure to raise the temperature slowly. Once the snake is fully back to her usual self, you can introduce her to the male in a breeding box. Most snakes will indicate, by body language, when they’re interested. Moreover, when the female loses interest, she is probably fertilized. About 25-45 days later, depending on the breed, you’ll have baby snakes.
Catch A Snake for Food
Warning: Catching snakes in the wild for food is dangerous. You should never try it at home! This advice is intended only for life and death scenarios where no other food is available. Even then, avoid poisonous snakes. Learn to identify the local reptiles.
Should society, as we know it, devolve into a state of chaos, you may need to catch snakes to eat them. There are many traps and fancy devices that you can use to accomplish this task. However, it helps to understand the basics so you can get dinner even if you have no equipment.
The first thing you need is a sturdy Y shaped branch. You’ll want the crotch at the end to be shallow. The goal is to pin your snake’s head to the ground so it can’t get away or bite you. A deep Y will leave your snake enough room to escape.
In a pinch, you can pin the snake down with a straight stick, but there’s more risk involved. Plus, it makes the job harder since you have to hold it in place and remove the head. If you absolutely must try this, I suggest doing so with a friend.
Cut the snake’s head off quickly and cleanly. Do not go near the head, especially if the snake is poisonous, as they can bite after death. Continue to pin the body down until it has stopped moving. Even then, a snakes body and head can continue to move for up to an hour after death.
For those who plan to eat snake, I suggest stocking up on spices and salt. Whether you can survive on the basics or not, every bit of extra assistance helps.
You may want to include a set of Pro Snake Tongs from Ard Champs in your emergency equipment. The spring-loaded jaw allows you to have better precision, but I like the pistol grip handle the best. Catching snakes is tricky enough that having a tool designed for the job can certainly help. Add this useful grabber to your bug out equipment, click right here.
The many benefits of eating snake outweigh the risks. Especially in a survival situation, it’s a fantastic way to stay fed. As a result, you should certainly add this to your menu for TEOTWAWKI. You won’t regret learning how to make it now.
Moreover, the snake is an underrepresented food source in the western world. Hence, most people don’t think about eating it. That leaves plenty of food lying around, sunning itself on rocks for you. Learn to trap snakes safely, and you’ll be adding a vital skill to your repertoire.
Surviving a bad situation is one thing, but with enough food and forethought, you can thrive. Make sure you consider all the so-called exotic meats so you’ll be ready for anything.