The Incrdible, Edible - Locust

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“And John was clothed with camel's hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey” Mark 1:6

Jesus is the star of the Gospels and rightly so, but we see Him being presented by another man – John the Baptist. The Gospels have much to say about this man as well .By our reckoning, he would have been a rather strange man. He preached what seemed to be a strange message; We hear his message in Matthew 3:1, 2 – “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Repent and follow Christ was, and still is the message of the Bible. It represents mankind’s only hope of salvation. Jesus Himself speaking in John 14:6 says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.“ Peter preaches a similar message in Acts 4:12 – “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

The message seems just as strange today as it was then. We forget just how narrow the road is. Scripture also tells us that most will take the broad way that leads to destruction, and few will find the narrow way. How about you? Which path are you on – the broad way or the strange, narrow way? Eternity depends on your decision.

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The Habits of John

We read of John’s strange clothing of camel’s hair and leather in Matthew 3:3. His style surely stood out in a crowd. Perhaps one of the strangest characteristics of John was his diet – locusts, and wild honey.

Have you ever eaten a locust? They may be a little on the crunchy side, but they are edible – and they are healthy. The protein value of locusts is extremely high. Up to 60% of a locust meal is protein. However, some species do lack the necessary amino acid methiomine, and is considered substandard to casein which is the main protein of dairy products. Still, as a whole, the nutritional value of locusts is incredible.

The body also needs a certain amount of fat. Locusts check in with approximately 12% fat content. That may not be near as high as the protein content, but still it is sufficient to maintain health.

Feeling a little tired, worn out maybe? Locust meat is the fix you need, It contains a high level of iron. It is also a rich source of iodine, niacin, phosphorus, riboflavin, and thiamine. Trace amounts of calcium, magnesium, and selenium can also be found. Who knew?

There are many advantages to eating locusts. Consider the following: They can be seasoned to taste (Of course, the more seasoning used the less locust you taste. It doesn’t do much for the crunch though.); they cause no greenhouse emissions; they are a much healthier alternative to America’s accepted junk food snacks; there is no packaging to discard; they are cheaper than store bought food. Who can beat free?

Try These Kosher Recipes

Locusts are also considered a kosher food. Locusts are the only insect which is considered kosher. Directives in the Torah list four types of desert locust that can be eaten - the red, the yellow, the spotted grey, and the white. No doubt, John spent his lunch hour munching on one of these.

If you’re game, try this recipe from Moshe Basson:

  • Gather about 25 locusts
  • Have ready about 2 liters of vegetable stock with a little turmeric added to it.
  • Throw the locusts in the boiling stock, whole. Cook for about 3 minutes.
  • Drain the locusts and let them cool somewhat.
  • Twist off their heads: this will also pull out the black, threadlike viscera.
  • Remove the wings and small legs.
  • Make a seasoned flour with 4 tablespoons any flour, 3/4 teaspoon salt, a little pepper and chili powder, a shake of ground coriander, and dried garlic granules.
  • Roll the precooked locusts in a beaten whole egg, then roll them in the seasoned flour. Shake excess flour off.
  • Fry in olive oil for 1 1/2-2 minutes, till color turns golden brown.
  • Alternately, use prepared “shnitzel” crumbs, or fry in tempura batter.
  • Serve with a lemony tahini sauce
  • Crunch! Enjoy!

John the Baptist probably didn’t have these recipes tucked away in his camel’s hair, but Oh! If he had. Try this one:

Grasshopper fritters (courtesy of wikihow.com)

Ingredients: ¾ cup sifted flour; 1 tsp. baking powder; 1 tsp. salt; ¾ cup milk; 1 egg slightly beaten; 1 cup grasshoppers

  • Sift 3/4 cups of flour, 1 tsp. of baking powder, and 1 tsp. of salt together in a bowl.
  • Add 3/4 cups of milk and beat the mixture until it's smooth.
  • Slightly beat one egg and add it to the mixture.
  • Take 1 cup of grasshoppers and dip each of them in the egg batter. Make sure that the wings, legs (and the heads, if you like) have been removed.
  • Fry oil in a frying pan.
  • Deep fry the grasshoppers in the pan until they're crunchy and golden brown.
  • Add salt and serve them.

The Benefits of Honey

We know that locusts would make a good fit with the Atkins Diet, but what about the rest of John’s Jordan River Diet – honey.

Honey is a wonderful sugar substitute. It is also considered Kosher even though it is made by insects that are not considered kosher. If you need energy, a couple spoons of honey is the answer, but there are many benefits to eating honey that go beyond the nutritional. Honey possibly aids in the healing of certain allergies. It can be used as a dressing on burns, and there is some evidence that it may kill cancer cells. However, none of these have been proven clinically. Traditional Indian and Chinese medicine rely heavily on the use of honey. It is said that a drink of honey with warm water can strengthen the circulatory system.

Matthew 3:3 tells us more of John’s ministry, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” As he traveled the Judean wilderness preaching, God kept him healthy through nature’s food supply – no added preservatives, no fillers, no toxins. How much better was his diet than what most of us eat today.

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A trip to McDonald’s looks something like this:

Calories - 1,120
Sodium - 1,240 mg
Total Fat - 48 g
Potassium - 0 mg
Saturated - 13 g
Total Carbs - 148 g
Polyunsaturated - 0 g
Dietary Fiber - 8 g
Monounsaturated - 0 g
Sugars - 65 g
Trans - 2 g
Protein - 29 g
Cholesterol - 75 mg
Vitamin A - 4%
Calcium - 30%
Vitamin C - 9%
Iron - 30%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Notice this is based on a 2000 calorie diet. Over half of your daily allotment is found in this single meal packed full fat, carbs, and way over-the-limit sodium.

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What about Burger King’s Whopper Meal? You won’t have to eat again for a week.

Calories - 1,430
Sodium - 1,930 mg
Total Fat - 65 g
Potassium - 0 mg
Saturated - 19 g
Total Carbs - 185 g
Polyunsaturated - 0 g
Dietary Fiber - 0 g
Monounsaturated - 0 g
Sugars - 89 g
Trans - 1 g
Protein - 35 g
Cholesterol - 85 mg
Vitamin A - 0%
Calcium - 0%
Vitamin C - 0%
Iron - 0%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

I know it tastes good, but you might want to consider trading it in for some sautéed crickets.

Sources:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/549444-the-nutritional-value-of-locusts
http://www.greenprophet.com/2013/03/feasting-on-locusts-a-recipe-from-moshe-bassons-kitchen
http://www.wikihow.com/Cook-Grasshoppers
http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/dangers-benefits-raw-honey-5387.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey#Health_effects
http://www.myfitnesspal.com/food/calories/mcdonalds-big-mac-meal-with-fries-and-coke-with-no-onions-113208356

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Comments 12 comments

PlanksandNails profile image

PlanksandNails 2 years ago from among the called out of the ekklesia of Christ

Lifegate,

I think you may be on to something here. I ate locusts in Thailand for my first time with eggs. It helps not to look at their eyes when eating them, then they aren't half bad.

I'm not too sure where I could buy them around here except maybe the local pet store. I can only see the look on the store clerks face when he/ she asks who they are for.

Of them you may eat: the locust of any kind, the bald locust of any kind, the cricket of any kind, and the grasshopper of any kind. - Leviticus 11:22

If God approved them, then they must be good for you.


lambservant profile image

lambservant 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

Wow, Bill. That went a direction I never dreamed from you. I am glad you and Mrs. Lifegate are now eating healthy. But please, don't put any in my stocking. I am pretty sure I have an allergy to anything from the insect category. Maybe all that protein is why John had such strength and power in his preaching.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

Honey I love. Locusts? I think I'll pass my friend, but I enjoyed the information. Have a marvelous Sunday.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

PandN,

They say if you twist off their head and legs they go down smoother. Try it sometime. Can't say I really like them, but they are God approved! Thanks for stopping by.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Lori,

Who said we are eating healthy? I'd much rather have a Bic Mac than locusts a la mode. It's a strange sensation when the hairs on their wings touch the tongue, but it's really the crunch that gets you hooked - lol.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Bill,

If you soak them in enough honey you can't see the eyeballs staring back at you when you pop them in your mouth. The honey actually lets them slide down your throat whole - well maybe not. I like honey much better, too. Hope you enjoyed your Sunday as well!


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 2 years ago from Southern Minnesota

Hi Bill,

loved the showcasing of Bible foods and their benefits. I have always wanted to try the grasshoppers. One year I got as far as catching one and could go no further. I thought I had to rip of the head and legs while it was still alive and I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I think I could do it if it was boiled first. I might give Moshe Basson's recipe a try next fall.

There is a company presently making protein powder from these very sources and marketing them in a flour form for the very reasons you relayed in your article.

My step-dad also has honeybees in my woods so we do have a pretty much unlimited supply of honey and prefer it much over sugar. It really does work well as a cough syrup.

God always knows best!

Interesting read, God bless!


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Tammy,

One thing's for sure - if you rip off the head, it WILL be dead :) I've only had them once, and it wasn't bad, but I still prefer spaghetti. Honey - now that's a different story - love it! Glad as always that you were able to stop by and comment!


Jessica Chiverton profile image

Jessica Chiverton 2 years ago

Lifegate,

Very informative. Always knew that John ate the stuff but never thought about what the locusts really are. There is a tree in the Caribbean that is called locust. It gives off a stinky scent when it bears fruit but it makes a delicious dessert. Don't think I could handle eating the insect though. Thanks.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

You're welcome Jessica,

Although the locust is very healthy, they're not as fun to eat. They can be a little chewy, and the and legs and head are definitely a problem going down. I don't make a habit of locusts for lunch, but they are interesting little creatures. Thanks for stopping and taking the time to read and comment.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean

Bill, I've always been aware of locusts on the clean-meats list, but now you convince me that I'm missing out by not eating them (smile). I knew a gentleman who paid school kids to catch and bring them. I'm not ready, but "never say never."


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

There's a first time for everything, Dora. This is your time!

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