The wilderness of John the Baptist was a real wilderness of sparse vegetation and comforts in some areas and yet was full of palms and figs in other areas. It was ‘wild honey’ from the sweetness of the palms and figs that became his famous food along with his locusts.
The locusts were acceptable under Jewish law to eat as food. The Book of Leviticus gives the definition: “All winged insects that go on all fours are detestable to you. Yet among the winged insects that go on all fours you may eat those that have jointed legs above their feet, with which to hop on the ground. Of them you may eat: the locust of any kind, the bald locust of any kind, the cricket of any kind, and the grasshopper of any kind. But all other winged insects that have four feet are detestable to you.” That would be flies, wasps, bees, etc. that one could not eat, but the juicy “jointed legs above the feet with which to hop on the ground” one could eat. Yum!
John the Baptist was simply taking on the life and style of a prophetic type (like Elijah) that runs through scripture. He had separated himself for service to the Lord (In John’s case his parents presented him from birth for this vow). He took the Nazarite vow as others before him: no drinking of wine or grape vinegar or liquor of any kind, no cutting of his hair and no touching dead bodies. Again, his role was to be a messenger for the coming Messiah… not a kosher poster.
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” Jesus