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Squirrels Side-Eye the General Public Amid Reports That Eating Acorns Is Cool Now

Eating the nut of the oak isn’t new for peoples all over the world, but eating it for food world kudos certainly is

Squirrel eats acorns as U.K. considers acorns to be food again Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Acorns are ... cool?

Okie doke: Acorns are having a renaissance,” says the Independent. Metro asks: “Could acorns be the next superfood trend?” The Woodland Trust announces acorn eating advice; the Guardian, the source of Metro’s cry, reports on acorn foraging courses and acorn tagliatelle. Squirrels all over the country look up from their breakfast, sneer, and move on.

As with so many allegedly nascent food trends that purport to have magically beneficial properties, acorns are old news. Scientific American made a tentative case for “rediscovering” the nut of the oak in 2014; the Hupa, Karok, Miwok, Pomo, and Yurok Native Californian tribes deliberately and meticulously cultivated oak orchards as a reliable food source; acorn-fed pigs are prized in Spain and around the globe; across history, acorns have served as essential nutrition in times of famine or war. But now, they’re cool.

Humans do have to leach acorns by repeatedly soaking them in changes of fresh water to remove unpleasantly bitter, inedible tannins. Squirrels don’t bother — and their apparent renaissance could be attributed to both the growing cache of foraging and the need for cool things to find new things that are cool. Next time a squirrel runs across a London park, nut in mouth, afford the acorn hypebeast appropriate respect.

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