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Discovery Magazine 3/1/2001

What's for Dinner?

How about some roast beef, mashed potatoes, and corn for dinner? Or what about chowing down on a big pepperoni pizza? Or maybe a bowl of red ants' egg salad followed up with a dish of fried locusts? What! Insects for dinner?

Insects not only are an important food source for birds, fish, and lizards, but also provide many people in the world with the nutrients needed to live a normal life. In the southern part of Africa, some people roast termites and eat them like you and I eat popcorn. In Central America, the eggs of an insect called the water boatmen are made into a cake. Even in the United States, many stores sell chocolate-covered ants and fried caterpillars. Ever since the Flood, men and women all over the world have been eating insects with God's approval (Genesis 9:3).

The Bible tells of a man named John the Baptist who prepared the way of the Lord by preaching in the wilderness of Judea. He taught the people of his day that the kingdom of God soon would be established by the Messiah (Matthew 3:2). He also commanded them to repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins (Mark 1:4). John was a hard worker for the Lord. He didn't wear the nice clothes we have today; nor did he live off of pizza, chips, and cookies. John was a rugged man who clothed himself with camel's hair and ate locusts and wild honey.

Locusts are a kind of grasshopper about two inches long. In swarms, they can cause great devastation.(Do you remember the plague of locusts that God cast upon Egypt?) But, when handled a few at a time, they can make a tasty meal --or so I've heard. Locusts are prepared in different ways. Some are ground up and mixed with flour in order to make cakes. Sometimes, after removing the head, wings, and legs, they are boiled and spread on bread, similar to the way we spread jelly on toast. One man who tried fried locusts said they tasted more like shrimp than anything else.

Even though we don't eat many insects in this country, we need to learn what others eat so that we might develop friendships with them. As the saying goes, "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach."



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