Paleo diets ranked as the most popular search term in 2013, and the caveman weight loss plan continues to attract fans. What's new in 2014, however, may not appeal to everyone: Insects. Increasing the "ick" factor in the weight loss world, high protein bugs have become the hottest new Paleo diet trend, reported Outside magazine on March 28.
"People have been eating insects for eons," said insect advocate and caveman diet guru John Durant, author of "The Paleo Manifesto: Ancient Wisdom for Lifelong Health."
He considers insects high on the list of excellent sources of protein, pointing out that they are whole foods and regular fare for the world's hunter-gatherers.
"It checks all the boxes," declared Durant.
And food companies are climbing on the crawly, creepy bandwagon to manufacture goodies made from insects.
“We combine the crickets with almond butter, a little bit of dried fruit, and a touch of honey,” said Gabi Lewis of Exo.
It doesn't taste like crickets at all—whatever crickets taste like.
On their side: Rome-based U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization spokespeople, who issued a report expanding on the potential of insects for nutrition, reported the New York Times recently.
Among the advantages posed for Paleo dieters who want to hop over to the cricket kingdom:
- Scientists report that small grasshoppers contain enough protein to rank with lean ground beef.
- Insects offer fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, selenium and zinc.
Before you get buggy trying to find these little caveman-approved crunchies, we investigated ourselves in the spirit of our hunter-gatherer ancestors.
Here's what we found:
- The grocery store manager politely advised us to check with the pet shop, who informed us that they did indeed sell insects...for reptile consumption only.
- The health food store manager shuddered and suggested that if we were seeking "something crunchy," we try bran crisps.
- On Amazon, we discovered that we could buy Crick-ettes Seasoned Crickets in flavors such as Original Cricket Snax in Salt n' Vinegar, Bacon & Cheddar Cheese, and Sour Cream & Onion seasoning (click for details).
- Also online, we found (perfect for the hunter-gatherer gourmand) Larvets-Original Worm Snacks.
- For those who want to learn more, we discovered "Edible: An Adventure into the World of Eating Insects and the Last Great Hope to Save the Planet." Yum.
- And with impeccable timing, Bob the Rescue Kitten captured and brought a live cricket into our house. Chirp.