Humor Magazine

Gluten-Free Madness

By Dianelaneyfitzpatrick

A couple of geniuses took an annoying thing about 2016 and tried to put a positive spin on it. Biologist Gene Kritsky and entomologist Jenna Jadin are in National Geographic talking about how you can take cicadas, those obnoxious chatterboxes, and skewer and eat them. Literally. Like as a snack.

That would have made Gene and Jenna my heroes. What's not to like about turning your cicada rage into a tasty treat? I myself wouldn't eat them, but I like the general idea of biting the heads off an enemy, especially one that disrupts your nap. And there's something symbolic and satisfying about getting nourishment out of one of the plagues.

But then Gene and Jenna had to go and ruin it by pointing out that cicada-on-a-stick snacks are gluten free.

Do you hear yourselves? Gluten-freesians, do you hear yourselves? You'd rather eat a stack of bugs than a noodle. This is what we've come to as a nation.

I want to go on record as saying I think you're all being ridiculous and the world has gone mad. I say that with some trepidation, since some of my best friends are gluten-free. What am I saying? The whole country is gluten-free. My husband and I are the only people I know for sure who still eat spaghetti that isn't forged out of zucchini and pizza crust that isn't made of cauliflower.

But to resort to eating bugs because they're low-carb, high in protein and gluten free? I would put that, along with fat-free potato chips, under the heading of Why Bother? Isn't There Something Else in the Pantry That Would Make More Sense? I know I'm no spokesmodel for healthy eating. And my Ho Ho may be made of chemicals and lard, but at least it didn't crawl out of the ground. And if it did, it would have been an adorable cartoon commercial.

According to the National Geographic story, cicadas are best scooped up in the early morning hours. That's when you're most likely to get the newly hatched babies and the moms, which are fatter and juicier than their adult male counterparts, right after they crawl up from the depths of Old Testament Hell and before they have a chance to climb a tree. Once you've collected a good number of them, take them in the house and roast them or deep fry them. Serve with hot mustard or cocktail sauce and enjoy! Serves 4.

The article includes a recipe for candied cicadas, but it calls for a cup of white sugar and I don't see the gluten-free-high-protein-low-carb crowd going in for that kind of thing. At least not here in California, where white foods are punishable by a $100 fine and possible jail time.

I know it sounds like I'm making fun of gluten-free disciples. I understand there are some people who have serious life-threatening allergies and reactions to gluten, as well as people who can meet all of their weight and fitness goals just by giving up that one food group. There are probably seven of them in your entire state. Some of the rest of the anti-glutenites are just trying to be difficult. My gluten-free friends, I'm happy to report, don't make a fuss when they are guests in my house. (They don't dare. Have you read my blog? At all?) They eat their salads and leave a quiet pile of croutons in the bottom of the bowl, politely covered by a spinach leaf so as to not draw attention. When I say I'm making pancakes, they don't protest, but then they make a breakfast out of berries and the mint plant on my kitchen counter.

Depending on their level of politeness, with some of your guests you might be hard pressed to even know they're gluten-free. You can take it as a sign, however, if they get up from your table, ask, "What year is it?" and go into your back yard and start scooping up cicadas.

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