A bit ago the news was been abuzz with Shailene Woodley’s behind-the-scenes video (accompanying her new cover of Nylon magazine) where she predicted that the future of food is insects. She said, “I’ve eaten ants…and June bugs.” It seems that celebrities are getting in on the insect-eating fun.
The other day I came across an Instagram post via Katy Perry where she wrote, “Just celebrating a run of 141 shows with a fun scorpion snack in Bangkok!” … yes, Katy, yes!
This inspired me to dig into OTHER cases of famous people getting their bug-grub on. According to Google, these other celebs enjoy a cricket or two:
- Angelina Jolie reportedly feeds her sons Maddox and Pax crickets. “My boys love to eat crickets…They ate them like Doritos,” she shared. Jolie herself has snacked on a few and claims they taste like potato chips.
- Salma Hayek claims to enjoy fired ants, smokey grasshoppers, and worms. In 2010 Hayek told David Letterman that insects have been a part of her diet since she was a child.
- Jessica Biel may not include insects in her diet, but we’ll include her in list list for her bravery on The Daily Show when she tried a chocolate-covered cricket.
- Similarly, Zac Efron put his fondness for exotic foods to the test when he tried scorpions and crickets on the George Lopez show in 2010.
- Even Jessica Simpson tried to eat insects. In Thailand she sampled a few bugs from a street vendor but her gag reflex got the best of her.
A weird trend… celebs taking part before the general population… this seems vaguely reminiscent of the juicing cleanse, no? (Although unlike the juicing cleanse, it’s pretty clear that eating bugs DO have health benefits instead of being a crazy fad.) Let’s take a look at the similarities between the two:
- The idea of consuming only water or juice to rid the body of “toxins” is not new. Virtually every major religion has son fasting ritual. Similarly, 80% of the world’s population is already eating bugs, and has been for thousands of years.
- Both have roots in fitness fads.
- Both started picking up speed when celebs got involved. In Juicing’s case, celebs such as Beyoncé, Jared Leto, Demi Moore, and Ashton Kutcher started tweeting about it. Entomophagy-enthusiasts noticed their largest press surges when people like Shailene Woodley drank the ento-Kool-aide.
According to the New York Times, cleansing’s more recent popularity is traceable to the 1990s, when Peter Glickman, the Scientologist and entrepreneur, repackaged a 1940s diet called the Master Cleanse (Stanley Burroughs wrote the book “The Master Cleanser” in 1976). Who will be said to have officially started the ento-trend?
Some are wary of celebrity’s involvement in the ento-movement. In my interview with Greg Sewitz, co-CEO of Exo, he made it clear that there’s a fine line between starting a trend and partaking in a spectacle. “We don’t want to turn this into a novelty item. The narrative would be ‘Look at these celebrities eating these gross foods.’ It would be cool to see celebs eating our bars or other snacks so that people would want to try this new, trendy, healthy, bar on a larger scale. If someone sees a celebrity eating a bar, they might also buy the bar – not because they are fans of eating bugs, but because the bar is trendy. We want to avoid anything that feels fear-factory.”
I agree. I’m looking forward to reading about celebs enjoying a cricket powder protein bar or a mealworm-based cookie, but until then I’ll still applaud figures like Katy munching on scorpions.