Would you eat cricket protein. I know I would especially if it did not taste like a cricket. Except I do not know what a cricket tastes like, but from watching Bear Grylls it does not look like it tastes great. While the consumption of insects has gained renewed attention recently, it is in fact nothing new. It is likely that humans have consumed insects, the most abundant terrestrial life form excluding bacteria, since we have been around. They are easier to catch than large prey, we did not farm in the early days as hunter / gathers, and food was food not entertainment. You ate to stay alive not for taste. Today, 80% of the world still eats insects, and eating insects simply makes sense.
Why Eat A Bug?
Insects are exceptionally nutritious. They are high in protein and low in saturated fats and sugars. They are a complete protein, containing all the essential amino acids, and are also high in micronutrients such as iron, calcium and B-vitamins. Crickets, for example, contain substantially more iron than beef. Most insects have marginal environmental impact. They produce virtually no methane, reproduce extremely quickly, and require minimal feed, water and space.It is estimated that crickets are 20x more efficient to raise for protein than beef cattle. Plus there are billions of free range insects out there.
Just think of it, a food source, that you could ingore until needed but is always there when you need it. We need a new source of protein, one that can sustain the world into the future. Earth’s population is growing each year and shows no signs of stopping. To meet the demands of this immense growth, we’ll have to increase our food production. Conventional livestock is simply not going to do the job, fishing is killing the ocean, plus the meat industry on the whole producing more greenhouse gases than the entire transport industry.
EXO is a company that uses cricket powder protein to make dietary supplements. They started with 2000 crickets. They wanted to find out if we could make a food product using insects that actually tasted good. With a recipe for cricket flour, an oven, and a blender. They had created a basic protein bar recipe for a snack that was both healthy and delicious. After attending a conference at MIT on the breakdown of global systems that sparked a conversation about insects’ tremendous environmental benefits relative to other food sources. The team at EXO intuitively understood that only by combining insects with something more familiar like a protein bars would people here be convinced to eat them.
With Vitamix and a oven to make cricket flour, EXO came up with a recipe pretty quickly; it had respectable nutritional value and tasted damn good. They tested it at a local CrossFit gym. When one of the trainers yelled to the rest of the class. The class went crazy for them and they knew they had something special.
Growing awareness of the advantages of insect food sources started, a 200-page United Nations Report detailing the environmental, social and nutritional benefits, legitimized the idea with the popular media that insects are food. EXO teamed up with a rock star chef at one of the most progressive restaurants in the world.
Exo believes that insects are one of the solutions to humanity’s protein dilemma. They are as natural to eat as fruits and vegetables and are a more complete form of protein than many livestock alternatives. Insects can provide us, ethically and sustainably, with the nutrients that our bodies require. Think of all the different marketing tool and taglines. “Hop to it”, “Get jumping”….
I can not wait to try the first ones we get. These are brand new and have just hit the market. It may be a novelty at first but I think bugs as food are here to stay.