I’m Addicted to Dates. And I think we should eat Insects.

May 20, 2010

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!
http://www.la.cityzine.com/2008/01/16/weird-food-wednesday-typhoon/

Scorpion pizza, yum! Who’s going with me???????

(I’m serious).

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8 Responses to “I’m Addicted to Dates. And I think we should eat Insects.”

  1. Shelli Stapp said

    I just couldnt bring myself to do it in Vietnam. Ekkkk. Cant wait for your blog after you try it.

  2. Gloria said

    Yeah, I’ll go! The thing is that Typhoon/The Hump is a place that I and others were boycotting because they were serving endangered whale meat a few months back. It was in the news. Not sure at what point boycotts, both personal and organized, get called off.

    When I was in Thailand I wanted to eat grasshoppers. I was going to do it but the lady wouldn’t just sell me one. I had to buy a bag of them, like one grasshopper and 50 of his friends. What was I going to do with all the other grasshoppers?!? So for economical sense, I didn’t do it. I didn’t think I’d have more than one.

  3. Violet said

    Bwahaha. Ok, well, I don’t know if I could do it. The texture alone is enough to make me never want to try it. There are certain foods that I can’t eat because of the texture & I’m pretty sure this wouldn’t be any different. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this though (and Gloria’s comment about the grasshoppers…lol) and can’t wait to read about it after you try it out.

    Hmm…I’d like to think that I would try anything once, but I think this might be one of the few things that just freaks me out too much. Maybe you can convince me to get over my fear of insects & just eat some up! hahahaha

    • lunasealife said

      Alright, I can understand the texture thing. We’ll just blend some mealworms into a shake for you or something. Dates, almond milk, meal worms. Problem solved. 😉 heeheehee

  4. Deneka Davis said

    I love you Michelle but pleaseeeeeee say it ain’t so ???? Are you really considering eating bugs?? Callll me we need to talk:) I understand that there fat free, but this is getting rudiculous lol:)

  5. […] Dates (medjool, pitted and sliced) […]

  6. […] it dehydrates me. I don’t want to eat sugar.* I DO want to eat a lot of vegetables, and maybe a pound of dates in a day if I feel like it. I don’t want to eat dairy** – it makes me break out, and I can get […]

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