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Aug 23, 2013
10:24 AM
Health Kick

Beetlejuice?

Beetlejuice?

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

I don't care how healthy they are, I just don't think I can swallow the idea of crickets and grasshoppers on my dinner plate. It's a little too Indiana Jones for me.

I have been hearing more and more about how nutritious insects are. In a recent time.com story, bugs from crickets to catepillars were touted for their nutritional value and culinary inclusion (even esteem) in foreign countries. In the story, May Berenbaum, the head of the Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, explains why crickets in particular are found in many diets.

"Protein is a big part of their value nutritionally, but they also tend to be calorie- and lipid-rich and they are generally good sources of vitamins and minerals,” she tells time.com. “There are ecological and economic benefits, too. [In general] some insects can be raised on foods that aren’t consumed by humans and rearing insects tends to produce far fewer greenhouse gas emissions.”

Hmm—healthy and good for the environment? With all this insect hype I wouldn't be surprised if they start crawling onto menus in the next few years. It might even spawn careers for caterpillar ranchers.

The other thing, besides Harrison Ford escapades, that comes to mind is the nursery rhyme. There was an old lady who swallowed a spider that wriggled and jiggled and tickled inside her...

Ick. Am I just too vanilla? Do I need a little red ant with my risotto?

What do you think? Would you eat little crawlers? 

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About This Blog

Contrary to the title of this blog, I'm not always on a health kick. I try (for the most part) to eat well and exercise regularly, but I'm far, far from perfect. I do, though, enjoy learning about health trends and scientific discoveries, and I hope to share information and pose questions that you might find interesting or useful. Hey, if you get a little inspired while you're reading, all the better. Just don't expect it on a regular basis. I'm a writer, not a celebrity trainer.

Why health? Well, I've been around the block enough times that I don't take it for granted anymore. I also recognize that our health is the result of myriad factors ranging from genetics to diet to habits to socioeconomic status to prejudices and beyond. It's a complicated puzzle with different pieces for each of us. That means there are few guarantees or absolutes and still a ton to discover. I never liked the rigidity of science in practice, but I love the insights it produces.

So let's start 2013 on a Health Kick. With any luck, we'll all be better for it.

– Jennifer Garrett 

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