No, not those kind of dates. It really is an annoying name for a fruit. Every time I want to talk about them, I feel like I have to explain myself.
Dates. I just recently discovered them. Around May 1st, to be precise, when I started my 30 Day Ayurvedic Diet Challenge, and No-Refined-Sugar Challenge. Dates are one of the few fruits I’m supposed to eat according to Ayurveda (along with figs, apples, pears and persimmons – that’s it), so I decided to buy some at Whole Foods. And I liked them. A little too much. I started eating 5, 10, 15 a day. Probably too many.
Last Saturday I was at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market and I came across a booth with SEVEN different kinds of dates. I bought a bag of Medjool (same as Whole Foods) I was shocked when I tasted them. They were SO MUCH moister and sweeter than the WF dates I’d been getting. The difference totally blew me away. I mean, I thought Whole Foods carried quality stuff. But these dates were AMAZING. No comparison. Delicious. I’ve been trying to shop at Farmer’s Markets more often, and I’m hoping that I’ll get to the point where I shop almost exclusively at FM’s. This date experience has really encouraged me to work toward this goal. I’m not sure if the bag I bought at the market was a pound or half a pound. I hope it was only half, because I ate the whole thing in 24 hours. I really don’t think I need to be ingesting a pound of ANYTHING in one day.
The funny thing is, almost every time I pick a date up (THE FRUIT), it makes me think of a cockroach. Obviously the resemblance isn’t strong enough to gross me out, but it’s still there. I actually believe that we should start eating bugs again. Yes, again. Do you realize that all primates eat insects? They eat bugs in Asia and South America. Our repulsion to eating insects is purely cultural. Insects are all protein, no fat. Insects are the most numerous life forms on the planet (aside from bacteria). They’re also cleaner than the other animals we eat – they don’t get the swine flu, or avian flu, or E. coli. You can’t get food poisoning from bugs. And I just did a little research on diseases – the only insects that transmit diseases are the ones that feed off of humans and human waste. Isn’t that kinda funny? It’s like we’re the impure ones that make ourselves sick. So yeah, the only disease-spreaders are mosquitoes, ticks, cockroaches and house flies. Obviously, these aren’t the kinds of insects I’m talking about. We’d be eating crickets, meal worms, cicadas, ants, larvae, worms. Insects are cleaner and cheaper and more eco-friendly than any other edible animal out there. If you had to do it, would you rather slaughter a cow, or “slaughter” a cricket? Animal rights activists don’t care about ants. And lobsters are arthropods, same as insects. Why is it ok to eat a lobster in the United States, and not a cricket? Why? Think about it. I mean, seriously think about it. Get past your conditioning and squeamishness and look at it logically and objectively.
I’ve actually given this a lot of thought over the past few years. My dad was a hobbyist entomologist. And today, I saw this brief article in Scientific American: http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=entomophagist-calls-for-cricket-cas-10-05-19
Maybe we’re moving in the right direction. I get the feeling that I’ve gotta step up my game though. I’m sure I’ve eaten an insect as a novelty, but if I really believe this (which I do), I’ve gotta walk the walk. Lead by example, right?
All right. I found one. A restaurant in Santa Monica that serves insects.
This article give a good overview, and pictures!
Scorpion pizza, yum! Who’s going with me???????