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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Bizarre Foods


Well, I’ve been on the beverage track for the past several posts and now I’m really switching gears. Have you seen this show on the Travel Channel called Bizarre Foods With Andrew Zimmern? I never get queasy when I watch medical TV shows (blood & guts don’t bother me) but I have to admit – I did have to look away a few times during this show. Zimmern’s a chef and food writer who travels the globe exploring (and eating) foods that seem pretty bizarre by American standards, such as larvae, testicles, rodents, eye balls, intestines, reptiles, spiders, live ants, tongue, mealworms, scorpions, silk moths, caterpillars, etc.

When I was a kid, I remember going to an imported food store that sold chocolate covered grasshoppers. I never did ask my parents to buy them, but I used to stare at them intently, trying to imagine why someone would want to eat those instead of Raisinettes or Goobers. I’ve met many people who’ve eaten insects during their travels and most say they’re delicious. Supposedly toasted larvae taste like pecans and some ants taste lemony. I have no current desire to give them a try myself, but most insects are high in protein (up to 20 g per serving, as much as 3 oz, a deck of cards sized portion of meat) and low in fat. Not all are edible though and some are very poisonous, so going into your back yard to scrounge up a snack is definitely not recommend. If you’d like to experiment, you should find a restaurant or store that sells insects prepared for human consumption (if you do, please tell me about it!).

So, what do you think? Have you tried any of the foods above or other “bizarre” dishes? Do you think bugs will ever become mainstream cuisine in the U.S.? Please share your thoughts.

One fun fact for today: most of us actually consume over a pound of insects in our lifetimes without even knowing it in grains, breads and produce!

photo courtesy of Geek Philsopher
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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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