Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

I was at a friends house the other day at Beerwah and as she was running late, got talking to her husband who belongs to a local farming family of some generations.

I had brought along some home grown chokos so the talk turned to gardening. I mentioned I grow organic fruit and veg and was asked if I was "one of those greenies?" Now I always thought a greenie was someone who objected to trees being felled etc so was a little nonplussed.

This gentleman believes there is a real need to use some chemicals to deter pests as he believes eating foods contaminated with (some varieties of??) snail slime (which won't wash off??) can poison us.

I have heard of someone dying from eating a snail and contracting some kind of parasite on the news fairly recently (details??) but this is the first I've heard that snail slime can be toxic to us.

I've done a bit of a search and can't come up with any information on the subject. Does anyone know any more about this? Either yay or nay.


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I was more concerned that no-one on this forum was previously aware of this issue.  I personally don't usually wash my home produce, however will now start.  With things like mesculan salad I dont' usually inspect every leaf for blemishes.  


Lissa hits the nail on the head, more people are starting to grow veggies and a lot of them turn to places like Brisbane Local Food for knowledge and information.  


Usually I am pretty lax about dealing with pests, and figure that they are entitled to their share however with this knowledge if I see snails around (luckily that is about the only issue I don't have lol) then I will be using beer traps or similar to combat them.  

Do your chooks like to eat snails and slugs, Donna? You've got to catch the pests first though unless the chooks can free-range. I wash everything from my garden since we're within smelling distance of the Narangba Industrial Estate and the dust and other krud which floats about here has to be seen to be believed. Nevertheless, there will be dust and car exhaust muck on everything we grow here in the suburbs so washing produce seems like a sound idea, regardless of snail trails.

Apparently all land snails, water snails and slugs can be carriers.

As I have a problem now with rats and mice I will be taking much more care to wash my home grown produce before consuming. It would be interesting to find out statistics/incidences for our area apart from the poor kid who died recently.

In recent years, the parasite has been shown to be proliferating at an alarming rate due to modern food consumption trends and global transportation of food products. Scientists are calling for a more thorough study of the epidemiology of A. cantonensis, stricter food safety policies, and the increase of knowledge on how to properly consume products commonly infested by the parasite.


Intermediate hosts of larvae of for Angiostrongylus cantonensis include:

  • land snails
  • freshwater snails
  • slugs

Paratenic hosts of Angiostrongylus cantonensis include: predatory land flatworm Platydemus manokwari[8] and amphibians Bufo asiaticus, Rana catesbeiana, Rhacophorus leucomystax and Rana limnocharis.[8]

 Pathogenesis of Human Angiostrongylosis

The presence of parasitic worms burrowed in the neural tissue of the human CNS will cause obvious complications. All of the following will result in damage to the CNS:

  1. Direct mechanical damage to neural tissue from the worms' motion
  2. Toxic by-products such as nitrogenous waste
  3. Antigens released by dead and living parasites

 Eosinophilic meningitis

Eosinophilic meningitis is primarily caused by parasitic infestations, specifically infestations of A. cantonensis. Like other forms of meningitis, eosinophilic meningitis is marked by the inflammation of the meninges. The meninges become inflamed as the result of dying A. cantonensis larvae and the general presence of the young adult worm in the central nervous system. This inflammation can lead to mental retardation, nerve damage, permanent brain damage or death. 



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