You’re working on your nature survival skills. You probably know you can eat a frog, but what about toads? It’s a great choice to learn what you can dine on if you don’t have prepackaged food, but you need to be careful. For example, wild carrots look almost precisely like hemlock. One will kill you, and the other is a nutritious meal. Frogs and toads look a lot alike too. Does that mean one is fine while the other is deadly? Well, not everything is so cut and dried. I’ll walk you through the differences and dangers so you can make an informed decision.
Can you eat a toad? You can eat a toad. However, since toads have poison, it’s advisable to freeze them alive before cutting and cooking to help prevent toxins from escaping into their bodies. Proper preparation is essential. Toad is one food that requires a strong stomach to cook, but the meat is supposed to be very mild and smooth on the palate.
Are Toads Poisonous If You Eat Them
Eating a raw or cooked ‘as is’ toad might be the last mistake you ever make. Toads are poisonous. However, so are rattlesnakes and blowfish. Humans can eat all three if they prepare the meat properly.
Ultimately, you need the right skills and knowledge to eat a toad, just as you do for any other survival situation. That said, the toad is a food you eat at your own risk. The bufotenin found in many species of toads’ poison will make you sick and likely kill you.
According to the Bangkok Post, in 2016, three men in Thailand grilled some toad for a meal. Two died, and the third man was dangerously ill. Moreover, a couple of children who ate chicken cooked alongside the poisoned dish also got sick. Sadly, they aren’t the only ones who’ve made this mistake.
Let that cautionary tale be your guiding star for all food in survival situations. People have died from toad-eating even with proper medical care. In an SHTF scenario, you probably can’t count on having a hospital bed available. Just because you can do something doesn’t always mean you should.
Places Where They Eat Toad
In Asian countries, eating toad is relatively standard. Apparently, it goes well with beer and other alcoholic drinks. Many foods we don’t typically eat here in the west are part of Asia’s regular diet. Additionally, an expert in Australia has touted eating the highly poisonous and invasive Cane Toads as a way to help control the population.
Meat from frogs and toads might sound ‘slimy’ to Americans, but by all accounts, it’s not. Moreover, toad meat is said to be mild in flavor. It apparently would do very well if marinated and similar to chicken, would only taste like the spices you added.
Keep in mind, most toad eating people have experience with these animals. You may want to seriously consider other options if you’re searching for an emergency protein source. Pine nuts are ubiquitous and much less risky.
Clay is one of the traditional ways to cook toad. If you’re going to try this unusual delicacy, get an Ancient Cookware Clay Curry Pot. Traditional cooking methods like this have survived generations. Plus, you’ll appreciate the unglazed, led free clay for your meals. Click here to get Ancient Cookware on Amazon.
What Happens If You Eat Toad Poison
Although properly prepared toads are perfectly edible, poorly cooked toad can be deadly. Like other animals, it’s not generally recommended that you simply butcher your own toads. One of the essential survival skills you can learn is how not to risk your life unnecessarily.
Toad poison can have many effects. Death is the most severe. In some cases, like Arizona River Toads, the venom can cause alarming hallucinations. That’s terrible news for survival because it means you can’t tell reality from your imagination.
List of Toad Poison Symptoms
Not all toads have all the poison effects listed here. Cane Toads in Australia are among the most dangerous, but you should never assume a toad is safe to eat unless you know what it is and how to prepare it.
- Breathing Issues- Problems like breathlessness and gasping are common.
- Blood Pressure Drops- Because toad poison can affect the heart’s function, blood pressure may go down, causing tingling or numbness in extremities.
- Death- Typically, death from toad poison is a result of some of the other side effects listed here.
- Dehydration- Getting dehydrated as a result of vomiting or diarrhea is a secondary problem.
- Diarrhea- Much like food poisoning, your body may try to empty itself forcibly to get rid of the poison.
- Disorientation- Between visual disturbances and other symptoms, toad poisoning can also result in disorientation.
- Drooling/Salivation- A normal reaction to poison in the mouth for humans and animals is excessive drooling.
- Heart Problems- Especially, Cane Toad poison can make your heart stop beating effectively.
- Nausea & Vomiting- Like diarrhea, throwing up is a way your body attempts to clean out toxins.
- Pain- From stomach cramps to eye pain and more, getting poisoned can hurt a lot.
- Paralysis or Twitching- Unfortunately, severe toxins can cause your muscles and even your lungs or heart to stop moving normally.
- Visual Disturbances- Hallucinations and other problems with seeing straight can result from toad poison.
Differences Between Frogs & Toads
Learning the difference between frogs and toads can help you eat safely in an emergency. Generally, frogs are okay, but there are exceptions. You can cook and eat them without worry. However, I do recommend using a lot of spice. In France, garlic is the preferred flavor for frogs’ legs.
Technically toads are a subspecies of frogs, but the differences are vital. For example, frogs spend most of their lives in water. Meanwhile, toads tend to spend more time on dry land and range further abroad.
Like the toad, frogs tend to have toxins in their skin. However, frog toxins are often mild and not harmful to humans. You should remove any skin and generally only consume the legs of frogs and toads. Regardless, it is essential to know the specific species you’re looking at before you try to eat either one.
Frogs Vs. Toads
There are two significant differences between frogs and toads that make them easier to tell apart. The first has to do with eggs. However, the second is more of an adult quality.
Frogs tend to lay their eggs in clusters. These lumps or piles of eggs are relatively easy to spot if you know where to look. Typically they look like clear jelly with a darker tapioca-like ball in the center. You can eat frogs eggs, though they don’t have a strong flavor and remain gelatinous after cooked.
Toad eggs tend to be more like strings or streamers of individual eggs. Although most species are difficult to find information on, Cane Toads have highly toxic eggs and tadpoles. I’d recommend you give any toad eggs a wide berth.
The other big difference between frogs and toads is the skin. Usually, frogs, who live in water, have damp skin. However, toads have a more dry texture. Unfortunately, a toad can get wet, and many species of frog or toad excrete toxins on their skin, so touching strange amphibians without gloves is a dangerous game.
Preparing Toad to Eat
The poison glands in a toad are in its head and back, so you should avoid eating those parts. Although some cultures strip the skin and eat a whole gutted toad, it’s safer, especially for the uninitiated, to simply eat the legs. Moreover, you should never feed the rest to your pets. Unfortunately, toads are toxic to dogs, cats, and other house pets as well.
In general, killing toads requires one of two methods. First, make sure you kill them quickly and cleanly, followed by removing the legs and stripping the skin right away.
I strongly suggest a high-quality dedicated set of butchering knives like the portable Mossy Oak Field Dressing Kit. This set comes with eight blades meant for game animals. You’ll find all the stainless steel tools you need to remove intestines, cut through bone, and skin any animal. Check the Amazon reviews right here.
Secondly, you can choose to freeze your toads if you have that ability. By freezing, you cause the toad to fall asleep and pass away. This means they are not under stress, which might prevent them from releasing toxins.
Fortunately, toxic toads can’t push out poison on demand. They only secrete them when under pressure. A quick, clean kill or a slow relaxing method will help you prevent extra toxins.
Once you have the cleaned legs off adult toads, you can fry them. Make sure you cook the meat completely to avoid any food poisoning issues. Also, do not eat juvenile toads as they might have more toxins.
You can choose to boil, bake, or even roast your toad legs. Some people prefer them smoked. However, the cooking method will depend on what you have available for cooking surfaces.
I recommend every survivalist have an excellent sautee pan available for quick cooking. The Cooks Standard NC-00346 from Amazon comes with a lid to help keep the moisture inside your meats. Additionally, it’s an anodized, nonstick pan, so you’ll have an easier time cleaning it when you finish cooking. Find out more about Cooks Standard by clicking here.
There’s nothing wrong with being brave and experimental when you know the risks of eating toads. When in doubt, always skip wild food until you understand more about it. Typically, if you can find a toad, then the insects, plants, and other things in its environment are also edible and less risky.
For those wild and savvy survival eaters who are willing to accept the personal risk, eating toad is probably very satisfying. You’ll know the pride that comes with hunting your own meal. Plus, the skill for cooking and eating a dangerous prey animal like toad means you won’t have much competition. Having a plentiful food source is always good in an emergency.
Before you start chasing toads, make sure you learn the species in your area. Some toads are much more toxic to your bare hands, so you should avoid those and eat safer toads. Bon appetite.