As part of your everyday, healthy Paleolithic lifestyle, we're proud to announce our latest organic tea creation, Protein Tea: A Paleo-Friendly Blend.
Two Leaves founder and CEO Richard Rosenfeld is fond of saying the new tea includes “a little something extra”, and it does — a lot of little extra somethings. For maximum protein power, this paleo tea is primarily comprised of tiny insects, sourced from within the United States. Although Rosenfeld notes you would actually have to take the bugs out of the sachets and eat them to get the full protein benefits, there’s probably nothing more Paleolithic than that.
“You’ve got to figure that cavemen and women were so hungry, they were probably eating and drinking just about anything that didn’t kill them. If a bug or two crawled into their food and drinks now and then, I’m sure they didn’t mind,” he says.
Entomophagy — the human consumption of insects as food — has been receiving widespread publicity in the past several years, and growing in popularity as a result. According to a 2013 report from the United Nationals Food and Agricultural Organization, there are more than 1,900 edible inspect species on earth, and two billion people in the world eat a wide variety of insects regularly. The bugs are packed with protein fiber, good fats and vital minerals. Rapper Nas recently invested in Exo, a Brooklyn-based company that makes protein bars out of crickets.
“We think Westerners could learn a lot from places in the world where insects are snacks, not just pests,” Rosenfeld says. “If steeping a little sachet full of a variety of bugs is a step in that direction, we think tea drinkers are just the adventurous group to join us.”
Other ingredients in each sachet include small amounts of the herbs that the insects were feasting on when they were harvested in completely organic fields. Two Leaves and a Bud has long been a company that seeks out tea ingredients from gardens where pesticides are not sprayed; this time the company sought out conventional farms growing plants that typically attract plenty of insects, like caraway, alfalfa, fennel and spearmint, and asking farmers not to use chemicals to ward off the bugs. Rosenfeld saw it as a chance to change the pesticide using practices at a few conventional farms in the process of sourcing tea.
“We thought he was a little crazy when he first asked us not to spray insects off our crops, and he smiled and said he gets called crazy a lot,” says Harold Petrie, of Crooked Creek Pastures in Roanoke, Virginia. “But I’ll be darned if he didn’t come back a couple of months later when our crops were crawlin’ with critters, scoop ‘em up and make some decent tasting tea out of it. I told him before long he’ll be changing his company name to Two Leaves and a Bug. He said he’d think about it.”
The insects for Protein Tea: A Paleo-Friendly Blend are hand harvested on each participating farm, and then rapidly freeze-dried to preserve flavor and plump up when steeped in hot water. Different varieties of insects are blended primarily to look attractive in each sachet, because as Rosenfeld notes, “the gross-out factor is already pretty high up there for Westerners with this tea, so we have to make it look as good as possible.”
APRIL FOOL'S, tea lovers! You know us -- we can't resist a good joke. And if you read this far in this blog post, there's something in it for you: 20 percent off of your order on our website today, by using promo code ProteinTea16 at checkout.