Have you ever seen a baby eat birthday cake for the first time? Their eyes get big as the dopamine spikes in their brain, the sensations reflected on the smile that begins slowly and ends in uncontrollable giggles.

When was the last time you tasted something that delicious, for the first time? Flavors that your brain didn’t recognize, but instantly interpreted as pleasurable?

Maybe it was in a Turkish market, or a food stall near the Taj Mahal. Perhaps it was ceviche in Lima, or Peking Duck in Beijing. Or maybe, you just finally decided to try those weird looking kale chips at Whole Foods, and realized they actually tasted much better than the gooey boiled spinach you were forced to eat as a kid.

Whatever it was, it probably sparked something new in your brain, a new entry in the flavor database – not only the sweet / savory / spicy elements, but your emotional reaction to them. Did you love it? Hate it? Melt in a momentary mouthgasm?

See, now that you’re no longer a child, your brain can instantly recall flavors it’s experienced before. And along with recognizing the taste, it also loads the emotional connection you had with that food. As you get older – and presumably more mature – the connections you have with tastes changes.

Cheesy poofs might not taste the same way at 28 as they did when you were 12. Salad likely tastes considerably different to your grown-up self, than it did when you were in grade school. The foods you convinced yourself were gross back then, you probably love now, and vice versa.

So what about foods that you’ve never tasted, AND you have convinced yourself, as an adult, are disgusting? What would happen if you were wrong in your judgment there, and then discovered the truth?

Yes, I’m talking about eating bugs.

See, if you grew up in a western country, you’re probably deeply convinced (aka brainwashed) that insects are gross, yucky, nasty pests that should be exterminated. They’re not food to be eaten, with maybe the exception of wilderness survival. And even then, ughhhh. Right? Admit it, that’s what you grew up believing.

But when you come from such an extreme bias, emotionally charged with repulsion and negativity, it’s an ideal setup of two opposing extremes to have your mind blown from the beautiful reality of how insects actually taste.

Makeup sex. Need I say more?

Now that I have your attention, listen – insects taste amazing. Really, they do. I was on the other side of this whole discussion a few years ago, even though I was surrounded by vendors selling insects and friends eating those bugs on the regular, they just…looked…so…gross.

And so I turned up my nose, and refused to eat them, and you know what? I was totally missing out!

However, because I was in that extreme place of believing a lie, that insects were somehow dirty, or gooey, or slimy, or not fit for human consumption, when I finally learned about how healthy and sustainable they are, I made a conscious choice to go experience eating bugs with an open mind, and wow…I discovered they were really quite tasty!

Each new insect I tried, and have eaten since, has been a discovery of flavors I never knew existed. Every bite, unique textures, and highly agreeable ones at that. Each new recipe, or new product with an original twist on using that insect, as they say in Latin America, riquisimo!

Every insect is an exploration of new taste sensations, new culinary surprises, new flavorful joys that delight the senses while simultaneously making you feel good about the nutrition you’re feeding your body.

And on top of that, you can be proud of yourself for supporting protein farmed in a sustainable, eco-friendly manner.

It all adds up to a version of the toddler eating birthday cake, except the adult version – the pleasure derived from the deliciousness is the same pure happiness, but with the added bonus of being a virtuous person for eating healthy and sustainable, too!

Love your planet.
Love your body.
Love your food.

Entovegan Love #EatBugs - open your mind to the new taste of happiness - Raquel Cortman and tarantula

Model: Raquel Cortman
Insect: Tarantula
Photographer: Josh Galt
Location: Mexico

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