Would You Eat Crickets Instead of Animal Protein?
It’s estimated that by 2050, the population of the world will be a staggering 9.6 billion. Food security becomes a serious consideration and an urgent one too. Today, we are looking at the cricket protein bar and other eatables to help us get through the day. Can protein from crickets help you get to your fitness goals? Yes, it can.
Cricket Protein vs. “Regular” Protein
One of the key elements of a diet is protein. Protein does many things:
- It repairs, regularizes, and builds cell growth
- It is the basic building material for bones, blood, skin, muscles, and cartilage
- Hormones and other chemicals are made with protein
- Certain proteins aid in weight management
Protein is found in animal products (think eggs, meat, and dairy products), grains, and legumes. However, the majority of Americans get their protein from animals. These sources will no longer be enough to feed the world’s burgeoning numbers. Nor are they sustainable and good for our environment. It’s now necessary to look at other sources.
A source that’s been widely talked about is humble cricket. It’s not too much of a stretch — more than 80% of the world eats insects and bugs as part of their dietary protein requirement. We are talking about over 1,000 varieties of insects being consumed in today’s world.
The ease of their availability and the large numbers in which they exist make bugs a smart food choice.
Benefits of Cricket Protein
- It has a wide variety of vitamins, including B12;
- Crickets are 65% protein;
- Crickets contain calcium, amino acids, iron, niacin, phosphorus, and riboflavin;
- Cricket flour is an alternative to wheat flour for those who have allergies and want a good consistency with their baking;
- Cricket protein is a good source for Omega 3 and Omega 6;
- Crickets are lower in fat content than even skinless chicken breasts. Crickets have 121 calories for a 100-gram serving. Ground beef is 288 calories for the same and the skinless chicken breast will give you 165 calories;
- While spinach is a good iron source, crickets have 15 times more iron content than the leafy green; and
- While traditional sources like soy remain popular, they may be an issue when it comes to absorption. With crickets, even though the protein content is less for the same size serving, the absorption is easier.
Growing Popularity of Cricket Protein
Its popularity has made it a part of the Chapul protein bar. It’s no ordinary bar! It’s gourmet and comes in four flavors. Choose from:
- Matcha, a combination of banana and green tea;
- Chaco, with chocolate and peanut butter;
- Thai and its tropical flavor of ginger, lime, and coconut; and
- Aztec with coffee, a hint of cayenne pepper, and dark chocolate.
Each bar has 25 to 30 crickets. They are designed to taste good so you can become accustomed to eating cricket protein. As society becomes more open-minded about consuming insect protein, you can expect to see more products like these on the shelves. You’ll also notice more options for your own meal prep.
You can use cricket protein flour and make your favorite recipes at home. Cricket protein flour can be used to make wonderful baked foods such as cookies, cakes, pastries, and bread. It can also be used in smoothies as a post-workout energy drink providing the much-needed protein that the body craves. Some people use it for seasoning because they like the taste and flavor.
- Unsalted butter — 10 ounces
- Sugar — 2 cups
- Cricket protein flour — 1 cup
- All-purpose flour — 1 cup
- Any flavoring that you wish to use.
Melt the butter in a medium to low heat to clarify it. Refrigerate it until it becomes solid again.
Set the oven on preheat 425 degrees.
Using a mixer, beat the clarified butter in a bowl and add the flour and sugar slowly. Mix thoroughly. Add your flavorings.
Finally, knead the dough until it is smooth.
Once done, roll the dough into a long tube about 2 inches thick. Slice these in one-inch sections and place them on cookie sheets. Make patterns on the dough if you like. Add nuts or other toppings at this point, if you so desire.
Bake until golden brown on the outside. This should take approximately 15-20 minutes, but you can insert a toothpick into the center biscuit to check doneness (it should come out clean).
Widely available, easy to farm and harvest, hardy, good for the environment and for agriculturists. What’s not to love about cricket protein? Soon this protein source will be more widely accepted, so why not get ahead of the curve and include it in your diet today?
Insect protein is not just served to shock people as they do on reality shows. As the population increases and the availability of food decreases, the world needs to look at other choices such as crickets for protein. We hear a lot about imminent food and water crises, so be a part of the change today — get your family eating an insect that requires hardly any resources to grow and is actually quite tasty!