03-30-2011, 11:50 AM
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Earthworms are high in protein and would be a great food. Most North American Night Crawlers we see for sale in the states (bait shops, walmart) are imported from Canada. Precise origins are unknown, but probably not in residential areas where excessive fertilizers/pesticides are in use. Some care is advised here as worms will absorb chemicals in their tissue, that will not be released in their castings. Generally, worms simply don't/can't live in ground that is heavily treated with petro-chemical fertilizer/pesticides.
If you are really concerned, dig or pick your own from property you have that is not subjected to such chemicals. BTW, nightcrawlers in a proper bedding material, can be kept in the refrigerator for very extended periods of time (or could be processed and frozen).