Cricket Flour is the New Protein Powder
Are crickets really the food of the future? It’s quite possible that yes, they are. There has been a recent increase in the use of cricket flour in food products – especially among Paleo enthusiasts – but before you bug out, let’s look at the facts behind this nutritious source of protein.
Eating insects isn’t a new idea. Over 80% of the world eats close to 1,600 species of insects and has been for hundreds of years; only in America and Europe there’s a stigma surrounding insect consumption. Crickets are a powerful source of complete protein. They contain almost 13 grams of protein per 100 grams, have three times the iron found in beef, and are a good source of calcium, magnesium and vitamin B12, among other nutrients.
However, no one expects you to pick up a cricket straight from the lawn and eat it. A common form to consume these critters is as flour. Crickets are farmed, then roasted and ground into flour, which happens to be gluten-free. Cricket flour is commonly combined with other gluten-free flours and used in baking. Currently, you can find everything from protein bars to cookies made with cricket flour at many health food markets.
Not sure what to expect? People describe crickets as having a nutty, slightly earthy flavor. Although, if used in a recipe with stronger flavors (like chocolate chip cookies), you won’t even taste the difference.
There is a benefit to farming crickets from an environmental standpoint as well. “Microlivestock” is the word being used to describe the process. A cricket takes only six weeks to mature, as opposed to a full two years for cattle, and females lay around 15,000 eggs in their lifetime, making them an abundant source of protein. Furthermore, crickets produce 80 times less methane (a gas that contributes to degradation of the ozone layer) than cattle.
Still hesitant to give them a try? A recent Belgian study found that after people (aged 26-45) ate crickets for the first time, 92% of them said they would eat them again.
This post was originally published by the Natural Gourmet Institute. Learn more about today's Natural Gourmet Center.