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We often see people asking “can Venus flytraps eat humans?” Well the answer is no, but what if we reverse the question, can humans eat Venus flytraps? It is an interesting topic and we will answer that here.
Humans and animals can eat Venus flytraps because they are not toxic. However these plants are an endangered species and should not be consumed by people.
What Happens if You Eat a Venus Flytrap?
Nothing bad will happen if you eat a Venus flytrap. You will probably get a bit of indigestion but that is all. This is also true for cats, dogs, birds, rabbits and other animals.
Venus flytraps in the wild are eaten by various animals. If the plant was poisonous scientists would have figured that out by now.
What research has shown is that these plants are safe to eat. Venus flytraps do not produce any substance that can harm humans if you consume them. Some plants are poisonous but the Venus flytrap is not one of them.
The digestive juices of a Venus flytrap are only harmful to insects, not humans or other mammals. If you eat a Venus flytrap, those enzymes will not be fatal to you. People with health issues might suffer a stomach ache but it will not be fatal. This is true for pets as well.
In the following sections we will explain why you should not eat Venus flytraps even though they are safe. But we need to touch on one reason right away.
Venus flytraps in the wild eat all kinds of insects including ants, spiders, grasshoppers etc. If you consume a Venus flytrap that has digested an insect, you will be eating the insect too.
If the bug has been exposed to pesticides you will be absorbing these in your body. It will probably not be an issue if you only eat a Venus flytrap once. But if you consume several carnivorous plants that eat insects exposed to chemicals, you could be putting yourself at risk.
Even if your Venus flytrap is indoors and fed by hand, you are effectively eating whatever the plant consumes. Omega One Freeze Dried Bloodworms is good for Venus flytraps, but do you really want some of that too?
That scenario is only possible if you eat large amounts of Venus flytraps. But why take the chance? And as we will show here, there are other reasons why you avoid eating these plants even if they are safe.
Can You Cook Venus Flytraps?
You can cook Venus flytraps just like any other plant, but there is no reason to do so. Unlike herbs and other plants, humans will not benefit from eating these plants.
We cook herbs like cilantro, basil, parsley and oregano because they add flavor to food. These plants are also nutritious. Venus flytraps do not provide either benefit.
You can cook a Venus flytrap any way you want, but it is not going to add flavor to your dish. You can combine it with herbs and other recipes, but there is nothing to be gained from it.
You have probably seen some forums where people ask if Venus flytraps are edible. Some people even want to try a Venus flytrap smoothie, which is a bad idea.
It is pointless to do so because these plants are not palatable. They are not poisonous, but that does not mean they taste good.
Rather than cook Venus flytraps, it is a better idea to take care of them. Make sure they get plenty of nutrition. If your plant is indoors and there are not a lot of insects, fish food or mealworms will do. They also need clean, mineral free water like Resway Distilled Water which is safer than tap water.
Before you decide to eat a Venus flytrap – cooked or raw – think about it for a minute. This plant eats spiders, grasshoppers and flies among other things.
A Venus flytrap takes 3 to 5 days to fully consume an insect. After a week or so its trap opens so the wind can carry away the remains.
If you neglect to check the trap you could end up cooking whatever insect is left inside it. While some people are up for it, most do not want bugs in their meals.
In short, do not cook Venus flytraps. It just is not worth the trouble. Better yet, do not eat it.
Why Eating Venus Flytraps is Not a Good Idea
The most important reason why we must not eat Venus flytraps is they are an endangered species. Poaching, destruction of its natural habitat and over collecting contribute to its dwindling population.
Venus flytraps are native to North and South Carolina. These plants can be legally grown elsewhere and with proper care will live. But Venus flytraps in the wild are being reduced rapidly.
Poachers steal Venus flytraps in the wild or those in private properties and sell them for profit. This is why non profit organizations and scientific institutions are taking steps to protect the species.
You can buy Venus flytraps legally in many places. The concern here is for those plants that grow in the wild. Unless these illegal activities are stopped, wild Venus flytraps will be even harder to come by.
And this brings us back to why you should not eat these plants. Just as most people do not want to eat endangered animals, we have to apply the same principles for plants.
Wild Venus flytraps are rare enough as it is. Eating the plant for fun will not help and make the situation worse.
Are Venus Flytraps Poisonous to Eat?
Venus flytraps are not poisonous. They look menacing in pictures, but less so in real life.
Venus flytraps usually grow up to 5 inches tall and the traps up to 2 inches. So it does not look as scary as it does compared to movie depictions.
But more importantly, Venus flytraps are not poisonous. You can eat the plant and you will not be harmed. You should never let children or pets eat these of course, but if it happens by accident they will be fine.
The worst thing that can happen is it will upset your stomach. This can lead to some cramps but nothing more serious than that.
If you are worried about your cat getting poisoned, relax. A Venus flytrap is in greater danger than the cat actually. Nothing serious will happen to your pet if it eats the traps. On the other hand, your pet can easily kill the plant.
How Venus Flytraps Work and Why the Plant is Edible
One of the things you quickly learn about caring for Venus flytraps is they do not pose any danger to you or your household. You can rest easy knowing your pets will not get sick if they eat a Venus flytrap, and that you should instead take steps to protect the plant.
A lot of what is scary about a Venus flytrap comes from lack of knowledge. The more you know about the plant, the more you will realize that there is nothing to be scared of. If you know how a Venus flytrap behaves, you will understand why it is safe to eat.
Venus flytraps and all carnivorous plants consume insects for the same reason, absorb their nitrogen. The enzymes convert nitrogen into nutrients the plant needs to grow traps.
A Venus flytrap lures insects into its trap by producing a fruity scent. When an insect lands on the trap and sets off the trigger, the trap will close.
The more the insect struggles the more it gets stuck. Once the trap is firmly closed, the plant secretes its juices to dissolve the insect and digest it.
When the plant has absorbed all of the nutrients, the trap opens up to reveal the carcass. As you can see, there is nothing poisonous about the process and nothing toxic to humans or animals.
What we have shown here is that yes, Venus plants are edible. But just because they are does not mean we should. Instead of treating them as some sort of exotic food, it is better to raise these plants and help conserve them.
My fascination with carnivorous plants began many, many years ago with Venus Fly Traps. Now I am more than happy to impart what I know with other enthusiasts and those who are curious about meat eating plants.