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coffeeslugThey sat there on our potato plants in the early-morning fog, tiny coffee cups raised high, waiting for The Perfect Man to drench them all in their favorite new breakfast beverage. Unlike the slugs in that Hawaii study (the one where coffee was toxic to the slimy little potato-plant-munching devils) apparently Alabama slugs LOVE caffeine. I’m pretty sure I heard one of them request extra froth.

It seems that everyone has their own favorite anti-slug strategy. Sympathetic gardening friends left suggestions on my Facebook wall: cayenne pepper and garlic oil sprinkled around the base of the nibbled foliage; nifty copper tape that mysteriously repels the slimy marauders.  Or, if you have the culinary fortitude, you can even cook them up and eat them just like Tim Pearce.

Pearce, the assistant curator of Mollusks at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, shares handy slug recipe tips in a strikingly unappetizing post on Tribe.net.  It’s a pretty good bet you won’t ever hear Rachael Ray exhorting the importance of slitting open your future lunch to peel back the translucent skin and pull out the “foul-smelling digestive gland” located in its posterior. And, if that tidbit of advice isn’t enough to inspire spontaneous vegetarianism, there’s more. “It is a very good idea to cook land mollusks before eating them,” Pearce advises, “as they are good vectors for human parasites.” Yum.

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