Sam Broadbent is an ‘entovegan’ – he eats a plant-based diet but also adds insects to his food.
The 18-year-old highschooler from Maine, U.S, swapped lunchtime chicken and cheese sandwiches for bowls of crickets swimming in lentils.
Nightly pork chops were replaced in favour of crunchy grasshopper burritos.
Sam also gulps down protein shakes made from crushed crickets and even grills scorpions on his barbecue as a special treat.
He said his diet has also helped him bulk up in the gym.
Sam explained that he got introduced to veganism by watching videos of animal rights group PETA.
Looking at the environmental aspect of agriculture, his dad Bill set up an online supermarket to sell insects to supplement for animal products in the diet.
The more Sam learned about the business and veganism, the more he was drawn to it.
‘At the beginning, you are a little squeamish, but you get used to it,’ he said.
‘I used to eat meat twice a day, maybe chicken or turkey with pepper jack cheese in a sandwich for lunch and beef or pork for dinner with sweet potatoes.
‘Now for breakfast, I have oatmeal with cricket powder, which has a nutty flavour, and a banana or some strawberries.
‘For lunch, I usually eat a big bowl of lentils and a big bowl of crickets with broccoli and asparagus. Crickets have a unique flavour which is not dissimilar to sunflower seeds.
‘For dinner, I try and incorporate insects too. I have burritos with beans, rice, and chapulines which are grasshoppers flavoured with garlic and lemon.’
To bulk up, Sam drinks protein shakes, adding crushed up crickets to the mix. Sometimes he’ll add cricket powder to cookies or a protein bar as a treat.
‘Sometimes I have scorpions but they are a little bit of a delicacy,’ he added.
‘They have a salty flavour and are delicious when barbecued or sautéed. After doing this diet for most of the winter and spring, I feel better than ever.’
The teen said he tried to keep his diet under wraps at school but word spread about his cricket-packed lunches.
‘I try to be low key about it.
‘There is always going to be a segment of the population that is put off by it. Some people just don’t want to even try. But most people can see the reasoning behind it.
Sam discovered a passion for weight-lifting in 2017 and said his new lifestyle has helped him improve his performance in the gym.
The teen works out six nights a week and went from deadlifting 190lbs in October to 330lbs in June.
Sam added: ‘Fitness was another major motivator for me when deciding to take up this diet.
‘I have really been able to push my weight training a lot father these past few months. Insects are a wonderful source of protein.’
This Autumn, Sam starts university but says he’ll be taking plenty of bugs and insects with him for nourishment.
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