Excuse me, there is a bug in my food. Can I have some more?

Jurassic Snack

It was Saturday and I was wandering through the local Farmer’s market looking at goat cheeses, farmers who were specializing in micro-greens, organic growers, buskers, herbalists and food trucks. On this specific Saturday there was a new stand I had not seen before that was offering pancake mix and flour. I sampled the gluten free chocolate cookie that was moist and delectable as I listened intently to the man behind the table.

What he was offering was not just local fare, but truthfully a food that could save the world. Now I know you must be thinking that I am over exaggerating but what would you call a food that produces a higher ratio of protein to the amount of feed used, the protein was a complete source and easily digestible, it contains fiber and numerous vitamins and minerals as well as omega-3 fatty acids, it used less water to produce the final product (in fact one pound of this protein requires one gallon of water which is almost the same amount of water to produce one almond!), the resource was sustainable and the land required to produce this superfood was minimal AND able to be grown and raised in areas that are considered food deserts? I would say that sounds pretty SUPER to me!

So how is it this delicacy is not gracing your dinner table already? Well there is possibly one minor drawback and it is all in your head. In North America many people don’t bat an eye at eating Genetically Modified Organisms or food doused in pesticides, the fact that there are chemicals that I cannot identify on the label of ingredients has become commonplace, eating foods that destroy the rain forests or are caught in huge nets that literally scoop everything out of the ocean doesn’t seem to bother people as much as it should as long as they don’t know about it and everyone else is doing it. It is with this mentality that eating a 1600 pound herbivore (cow) is an acceptable practice even though it takes 2000 gallons of water and 20 pounds of feed to raise one pound of beef. This does not even begin to take into account the amount of land needed to not only raise this large animal but the amount of land needed to raise the crops required to feed it. Cattle is also a huge producer of greenhouse gasses which are a major concern in regards to their effect on Global Warming. Where did your beef come from? Chances are your meat is not local. How far did your food travel to get to your dinner plate? Your food probably earns more Airmiles than you do.

What is the alternative to all of this? Crickets. Before you wrinkle your nose and shudder with disgust at the thought of eating bugs, I am not suggesting snacking while out gardening on whole bugs (unless you felt the urge and knew which insects were edible) but rather incorporating a minimally processed cricket flour into your meal preparation. Really what is the difference between eating shrimp and crickets except how we perceive them? I am a lacto-ovo, pesca vegetarian and I have to say that the idea of incorporating cricket flour into my diet is a very sustainable and acceptable concept. Who says we cannot save the world one bite at a time?

If you are what you eat, I want to be a steward of sustainable, local, non GMO food.

Do you want to find out more? The stats below were taken directly from the Jurassic Snacks website.

Background

  • Over 80% of the world eats 1,600 species of insects.
  • It is estimated that insect-eating is practiced regularly by at least 2 billion people worldwide and the numbers are continuing to increase.
  • The most commonly eaten insect groups are beetles, caterpillars, bees, wasps, ants, grasshoppers, locusts, crickets, cicadas, leaf and planthoppers, scale insects and true bugs, termites, dragonflies and flies.

Sustainability

    • For every 100 lbs of feed, crickets produce 60 lbs edible protein which is significantly higher than Beef (5lbs), Pork (15lbs) and Chicken (30lbs)
    •  Water consumption: 1 gallon of water is required to raise 1 lb of cricket protein, 567 gallons per lb of chicken protein, 800 gallons per lb of pork protein and 2,000 gallons per lb of beef protein.
    • Crickets produce 100 times less greenhouse gasses than cows.

Cricket Contents

  • Crickets are 65% protein, cows are 33% protein, chickens are 23% protein, salmon are 22% protein and eggs are 12% protein
    • Jurassic Snacks Cricket Powder in minimally processed so it provides a cleaner source of digestible protein with a wider range of natural nutrients.
    • Crickets are a complete source of protein which means that they contain all 9 essential amino acids that the body can’t produce on it’s own.
  • Crickets are high in micronutrients such as iron, calcium and B-vitamins such as B12, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid. They also deliver a variety of minerals such as such a phosphorous, zinc, selenium and iodine
    • Calcium- 75.8 mg per 100 grams, which is similar to a leafy green vegetable.
    • Crickets contain 2.2 times more iron than spinach.
      • A ¾ cup serving of roasted crickets (a single serving of Jurassic Snacks Cricket Power Powder) contains 53% of your RDA for iron.
  • Dietary Fiber- the exoskeleton of crickets called “chitin'” and is a functional fiber that can help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol.
    • About one serving of Jurassic Snacks Cricket Power Powder contains almost 3 grams of fiber (about the same amount as beans)
  • Crickets contain omega-3 fats which is absent from many other protein sources such as chicken and beef.
  • Crickets are naturally gluten free.

Looking into the future:

According to the most recent United Nations estimates, the human population of the world is expected to reach 8 billion people in the spring of 2024. This means that resources are going to become scarce and the population is going to be forced to find alternative sources of protein that are more sustainable. Crickets are one of the most sustainable source of protein due to their rapid growth, high reproduction percentage and amount of resources required. It is estimated that 70% of agricultural land, and 30% of the total land on earth, is used to raise livestock so as our population grows, more food will be required but less land will be available to meet those requirements.
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