Food influencers and health-conscious bloggers have been extolling the virtues of crickets and cricket protein for years. As the insects make their way into the forefront of the debate about sustainable food, the rest of the (Western) world is finally getting on board with crickets as a food source. However, you can’t just expect someone to eat a cricket or start using cricket flour just because you say so. It takes some convincing, and luckily—the argument for cricket powder is pretty persuasive.
Around a quarter of the world’s population understands that certain insects are both nutritious and delicious, mainly due to the amount of protein they contain. Out of all insects, crickets are the ones that contain the most protein. Their relatively tiny bodies are made up of around 65% protein and in some cases, 70%. Best of all, it’s lean protein, which means that it gives you a healthy energy boost in addition to being a nutritious part of the food pyramid.
Not only are crickets a power-packed protein source, but they are also a complete one. They’re full of essential amino acids and rival red meat in the amount of iron they contain. Crickets also contain high levels of calcium. As if that’s not enough, you’ll also enjoy a ton of B12 when you grab a cricket protein snack.
No matter how you consume them, whole or in a powder, crickets are a great source of essential nutrients. They contain healthy fatty acids, along with selenium, magnesium, and potassium. Those vitamins and nutrients are essential, but people don’t often think about them enough. How often do you check your food for selenium? Adding crickets or cricket powder to your diet nearly eliminates the need for daily multivitamins.
As we mentioned earlier, you have a choice when it comes to how you eat your crickets. You can enjoy whole crickets that are dry roasted or fried with different seasonings to give you the perfect crunch. They are the perfect substitution for that late afternoon bag of chips or any other time you are craving a quick snack.
Another way to use this great protein source is cricket flour (which consists of dried, ground-up crickets. You can add it to any foods or beverages to which you normally add protein powder. such as smoothies, protein bars, cookie bites, and other energy-boosting snacks. Although it may take some experimentation, you can also use all-purpose baking cricket flour in any recipe that calls for flour, including bread, pastries, gravy, and other sauces.
With the way the world is going, we’re quickly losing natural resources. Animal agriculture is one of the most significant causes of global warming. Sustaining cattle, for example, requires tens of thousands of liters of water, and that’s just for a single kilogram of meat. Other animals aren’t as expensive to raise and slaughter, but their numbers are still substantial.
In contrast, crickets are wholly sustainable. Ecologically speaking, their footprints are as small as their bodies. The greenhouse gases they give off are practically negligible, and they don’t need much water. Feeding them is relatively simple, as well. Finally, it doesn’t take years to replenish them, whereas beef has to be raised over the course of several years.
Any protein-filled food is guaranteed to give you energy for days, provided that it’s a lean protein that doesn’t weigh you down, of course. Enter the crickets. A protein bar, shake, or snack that contains cricket protein is ideal for active individuals who need a jump-start. Whether you’re mid-workout at the gym, five kilometers into a 10k race, or halfway up the slope of a mountain, you can get over the hump with the vitamins and nutrients from the powder. For that matter, you can sip on a smoothie or snack on some yogurt in the middle of a maddeningly slow work-week.
Trying something new is exciting, but it’s common to feel iffy about eating certain new foods. You probably feel that way about crickets, but if you’re passionate about sustainable foods and healthy alternatives, then it’s worth experimenting. Would you ever consider switching over to crickets as your primary source of protein? What recipes would you make first?