Does eating 61 crickets in a minute sound gross?
Maybe, but it beats smoking, according to magician Richie Magic, who recently set a bugged-out world record by chowing down on 61 little buggers, breaking the previous record of 37 set in 2009 by Don "Inferno the Dragon" Wilson.
It wasn't pleasant, according to Magic, who found the taste of the critters a little bitter, among other things.
"I guess they're like sunflower seeds, but the legs got stuck in my teeth," he told The Huffington Post recently.
Still, the bugged-out record was a cakewalk compared to other world records he holds. In May, 2011, he extinguished 70 cigarettes on his tongue in 60 seconds.
"It takes a while for the tongue to heal after a record like that," he said. "I couldn't eat spicy food for a while. This one, there were no major after-effects.
Other than the legs getting stuck in your teeth?
"Yeah," he said.
Magic didn't eat the crickets just for kicks. For each record he sets, he wants to send a message. For instance, Magic, a smoker who has had difficulties giving up the habit, purposely extinguished the ciggies in order to send a message to kids not to take up smoking.
In this case, he chowed down on the bugs, not to warn kids about the dangers of eating bugs, but to offer a healthy alternative for protein.
"The stuff that's being pushed on kids in fast food restaurants is full of fat and processed carbohydrates," he said. "A healthy diet consists of around 50 grams of protein a day. The 61 I ate in one minute -- which set a Record Holders Republic World Record -- was 25 percent of my protein requirement for the day. Without as much fat as a hamburger."
VIDEO: RICHIE MAGIC HUMAN ASHTRAY
The idea of eating insects upsets many Americans' stomachs, but they are commonly eaten in other parts of the world, and famous foodies like Andrew Zimmern, host of the Travel Channel series "Bizarre Foods," thinks they have a place on the Yankee table as well.
"Should we be eating insects instead of Doritos?" Zimmern asked AOL Weird News rhetorically. "Yes, but it's a chicken-or-egg thing. The fact that we don't is illustrative of how far Americans are removed from our food sources. We've forgotten that our ancestors ate from necessity. As a result, we've become reliant on four or five food companies who only serve us center-of-the-animal foods.
"My grandparents used to go to the butcher shop and buy chicken heads and necks for soup. Now, you have to go to ethnic stores to get those, and the supermarkets only sell boneless breasts from the center of the animal."
Zimmern thinks insects should be a part of the American diet.
"They are replenishable, and they are an inexhaustible supply of protein once people get over the psychological barrier," he said.
Edible insect advocate and Huffington Post blogger Daniella Martin is trying to make that happen with an online cooking show, "Girl Meets Bug."
"There is no shortage of good logical science behind the idea of insects as food," she told AOL News. "They're a good source for animal protein and can be easily implemented in regions where it's hard to grow crops. However, insects have terrible PR -- they need rebranding!"
RICHIE MAGIC PHOTOS:
PHOTOS: WORLD RECORDS
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