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bacon bugs madagascar

Sakondry are saviors for this furry guy.

The sakondry bugs of Madagascar are pulling off quite a feat: helping to thwart starvation, relieving biodiversity loss and saving lemurs. All while tasting like delicious bacon.

These small cricket-like insects have long been a well-loved snack for locals. Pro tip: Find the youngest ones (those are said to be the tastiest), give them a quick wash, pinch off the heads then toss them in a pan with some water and salt, and voila … a crispy, crunchy savory morsel.

“They’re quite soft when they’ve been fried … Like a nutty bacon,” Lewis Kramer, a conservation research coordinator, told Metro.co.uk.

“I would happily have a bowl of them with a beer,” he joked.

Nutritionally speaking, however, the sakondry are much more than a snack. They might as well be singing Lizzo’s “Juice” ‘cause baby, they’re the whole damn meal.

Insects generally tend to provide a viable protein, fat and mineral source, all while requiring less land, water and feed than meat.

These facts are more crucial than ever, as around 1.64 million people in Madagascar are enduring an undeniable food crisis. Horrifically destructive tropical storms and relentless droughts—which the UN directly links to climate change—have led to desperate measures. Metro.co.uk reported that people were forced to eat ash mixed with tamarind and leather from shoes to temporarily stave off hunger.

As a last resort, some villages have taken to hunting forest animals, including the already heavily endangered lemur. With nearly 94% of the species threatened with extinction, this is hardly a sustainable option.

But U.K.-based organization SEED Madagascar aims to address these issues with a novel solution: a bacon bug farm.

Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

Created by anthropologist Dr. Cortni Borgerson, the program helps communities plant and grow the bean plants known to locals as tsidimy (also edible, so win-win). The tsidimy will attract colonies of sakonry after only six to eight weeks. Those colonies can then be harvested about a month later.


Knowing that a love for card playing is part Malagasy culture, Borgerson created a deck of cards to act as a creative user manual the farmers can refer to for best practices and troubleshooting. The deck includes everything from how to care for tsidimy seedlings to how to differentiate between male and female sakondry.

In only one year, these farms have raised more than 90,000 harvest-sized sakondry, which provided the annual protein equivalent of 2,700 eggs. Borgerson told Mongabay News that the program has also saved 25-50 lemurs per community each year.

As delicious and nutritious and sustainable as they are, the sakondry remain quite mysterious. But while research is still being conducted, these little bacon bugs are becoming a part of a well-balanced diet (and ecosystem) for Madagascar.

Now … who’s ready for an S.L.T.? Sakondry, lettuce and tomato sandwich, that is. Or perhaps some eggs with a side of sakondry? A maple sakondry donut, perhaps? The possibilities are endless.

10/10. The Mayyas dance.

We can almost always expect to see amazing acts and rare skills on “America’s Got Talent.” But sometimes, we get even more than that.

The Mayyas, a Lebanese women’s dance troupe whose name means “proud walk of a lioness,” delivered a performance so mesmerizing that judge Simon Cowell called it the “best dance act” the show has ever seen, winning them an almost instant golden buzzer.

Perhaps this victory comes as no surprise, considering that the Mayyas had previously won “Arab’s Got Talent” in 2019 and competed on “Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.” But truly, it’s what motivates them to take to the stage that’s remarkable.

“Lebanon is a very beautiful country, but we live a daily struggle," one of the dancers said to the judges just moments before their audition. Another explained, “being a dancer as a female Arab is not fully supported yet.”

Nadim Cherfan, the team’s choreographer, added that “Lebanon is not considered a place where you can build a career out of dancing, so it’s really hard, and harder for women.”

Still, Cherfan shared that it was a previous “AGT” star who inspired the Mayyas to defy the odds and audition anyway. Nightbirde, a breakout singer who also earned a golden buzzer before tragically passing away in February 2021 due to cancer, had told the audience, “You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” The dance team took the advice to heart.

For the Mayyas, coming onto the “AGT” stage became more than an audition opportunity. Getting emotional, one of the dancers declared that it was “our only chance to prove to the world what Arab women can do, the art we can create, the fights we fight.”

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Joy

5 easy ways to practice self care

Because taking care of yourself should never feel like a chore

Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life we forget the important things: like taking care of ourselves. While binge watching your favorite show and ordering take out can be just the treat-yourself-thing you need, your body might not always feel the same. So we’re bringing you 5 easy ways to practice self-care that both you and your body will thank us for.

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via Pexels

Three people engaged in conversation at a party.

There are some people who live under the illusion that everything they say is deeply interesting and have no problem wasting your time by rambling on and on without a sign of stopping. They’re the relative, neighbor or co-worker who can’t take a hint that the conversation is over.

Of all these people, the co-worker who can’t stop talking may be the most challenging because you see them every day in a professional setting that requires politeness.

There are many reasons that some people talk excessively. Therapist F. Diane Barth writes in Psychology Today that some people talk excessively because they don’t have the ability to process complex auditory signals, so they ramble on without recognizing the subtle cues others are sending.

It may also be a case of someone who thinks they’re the most interesting person in the conversation.

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