When times are really tough and food has run out during a long-term survival scenario, or when you’re just out of supplies on an extended expedition, you’ll have to broaden your horizons when it comes to what qualifies as food.
Many animals that are simply not found on our everyday menus will suddenly find themselves headed for the dinner plate or the stew pot, including some that ordinarily don’t sound very good.
High on that list of animals are reptiles and amphibians, and among the most common amphibians are frogs. So, can you eat frogs for survival?
Yes, frogs and toads can be safely eaten for survival purposes (with some toxic exceptions) so long as they are prepared correctly and not a poisonous species.
Frogs are sort of an ideal survival source of protein if you can find them. They have a good quantity of meat, are easy to catch and if they aren’t poisonous really don’t have much in the way of defenses.
We will tell you more about eating frogs in a survival situation below.
Where Can You Find Frogs?
Frogs can be found all over the world anywhere there is plenty of water and as long as it isn’t too cold.
As amphibians, frogs depend on water for life and also for reproduction, so if you are near a river, pond, lake, stream, swamp, marshes or wetlands, look around and you’ll be sure to find plenty of frogs and toads that you can catch.
There are so many species and frogs are so successful, population-wise, they can make a great mainstay or supplement to your survival food supply.
Fast Facts on Frog Meat Nutritional Profile
Frog meat has a very simple, very straightforward nutritional profile: It is pretty much all protein, with very little fat and almost no carbohydrates.
It is also extremely low in sodium and cholesterol, but it does have a little bit of iron, calcium and potassium for your trouble.
Obviously, frog meat is in no way nutritionally complete, and it is entirely possible to “starve” eating nothing but a diet of frog.
However, when it comes to packing in the protein and basic calories, you can do a whole lot worse than frog.
Plan on supplementing your diet with other wild edibles and you’ll be in good shape.
Beware Toxic Frogs and Toads!
Before we go any further, you must understand that not all frogs are good for eating, or at least good for eating without expert preparation.
Around the world, there are many species of both frogs and toads that have toxic defense mechanisms against predators.
These toxins can be saliva or emissions that are expelled through the skin, or it could be an inherently toxic nature that suffuses all parts of the frog, usually resulting from a steady diet of toxic plants or insects.
Many such frogs are vividly and brightly colored, like the infamous poison dart frog, or else have eye-catching patterns that warn predators to stay away.
Some toads, like the bufo toad, look entirely common and mundane, just a warty brown.
In any case, it is vital that you familiarize yourself with any frog that you plan on eating.
Throwing caution to the wind and cooking up a freshly caught frog might be the last mistake you ever make, otherwise.
Keep in mind that many toxins are not sufficiently broken down by cooking to render the frogs safe to eat, and some frogs are highly dangerous even to handle because their toxins can be absorbed through your skin.
You should make it a point to learn what the most common edible species of frog are in your area if you want to incorporate them as part of your survival plan. You have been warned!
Does Frog Really Taste Like Chicken?
Kind of. Compared to chicken, frog meat is typically stringier but it has a surprisingly clean, clear and inoffensive taste that lends itself to all sorts of seasonings and various methods of preparation.
This is definitely a good thing, because frog can easily be roasted, grilled, baked or fried at your preference and depending on how much time you want to spend and what other ingredients you have on hand.
Frog legs are one of the most popular parts of the frog enjoyed around the world, and are delicious when grilled or fried with a little seasoning and a sauce for dipping.
Should You Cook a Frog Prior to Eating It?
Yes. Eating any kind of raw meat is a fast way to contract all sorts of diseases and foodborne germs. This is especially likely if you are eating, even handling, raw reptile or amphibian meat.
Should You Clean a Frog Prior to Cooking?
It is generally recommended, though you do not have to. Some cuisines utilize whole frogs in soups or stews for flavoring, and the frog is subsequently cut up or pulled apart to add to the mixture.
However, much of the time frogs are thoroughly cleaned prior to cooking with only choice cuts being consumed.
If you don’t think that a whole, intact frog is your idea of good eating, know that the powerful rear legs and the back meat of large frogs and toads makes for a pretty good, clean and wholesome meal.
Can You Eat Raw Frog in an Emergency?
You can, but you really shouldn’t. Unless you are in a situation of the uttermost desperation never eat raw frog meat. The risk of contracting salmonella or various parasitic infections is just too high.
Spend a few minutes cleaning and cooking it and you won’t have to worry about getting deathly sick.
Is it Safe to Eat Frog Skin?
Yes, so long as it is properly cooked, but it tends to be a bit chewy and nasty compared to the meat.
This is largely a matter of preference. Definitely try it, and see what you think. If you like it, great; it will simplify preparation and is a little extra protein to boot.
Can You Eat Frog Eggs Safely?
Yes, but it is recommended that you cook them first into a sort of a scramble or slurry. Raw frog eggs composed similar risks to eating raw frog meat, not to mention that they are pulled from water which is likely contaminated with its own pathogens.
Are Frog Bones Safe to Eat?
You can eat frog bones if they are very small, but keep in mind that like all bones and especially cooked bones the risk of splintering and perforation of the throat or intestines is always a hazard.
Especially if you’re eating frog legs it is far more recommended that you eat the meat off of the bone in a manner similar to chicken before breaking open the bones and eating the marrow within. Discard the hard part.
However, if you are eating cooked frog and just so happened to swallow a tiny bone from a lower limb or foot it is probably nothing to worry about.
If in Doubt, Just Go for the Legs
If you catch a frog and are worried about preparing it properly, rupturing organs or otherwise making a mess of things, just go for the rear legs.
The rear legs are easy to detach, easy to skin and easy to cook and once they are done you can eat the meat right off the bone just like you would with a fresh batch of fried chicken.
The larger toads and bullfrogs especially can provide quite a bit of meat on those powerful legs they use for hopping, more than worth the minimal trouble it takes to catch them.
Tom Marlowe practically grew up with a gun in his hand, and has held all kinds of jobs in the gun industry: range safety, sales, instruction and consulting, Tom has the experience to help civilian shooters figure out what will work best for them.