10 Reasons Why You Should Start Eating Crickets
Almonds, hemp seeds, chia, oats, cacao and so on. These are considered to be some of the most powerful superfoods at the moment. But might we soon be adding crickets to this list? You are probably thinking why eat crickets, right? The idea of entomophagy (practice of eating insects) can be hard to swallow and some people have that initial “ick factor”. But once you get over that barrier you will be totally fine about it. Trust me! 😉
Bugs based food is already very popular in America, Canada and Europe. Crickets have been the most popular edible insect as they are easy to grind into a powder that can be added into any recipe without anyone noticing it.
These little crawling creatures are in every food we eat. Believe it or not, you eat insects every day without knowing. Read more about it at our post “There are Bugs in My Peanut Butter”.
But if you have already eaten an insect by choice before you might know you are not the only one. Edible insects are consumed as food in many countries around the world. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture (FAO) there are 2 billion people consuming insects as part of their diets. It means one third of the entire planet already eats insects and you can do it too.
We Love Eating Crickets
At Grilo Protein we believe crickets are the most amazing superfood in the world. And we feel great since we started adding cricket powder to our diets a few years ago. We are very passionate about our products and our team want to spread the word about how powerful insect based foods are. But sometimes is hard to convince people to give insects a go.
There are so many good reasons to start eating insects and we have put together 10 of them to make you agree that eating insects is a very good idea. Check them out:
1. Insects Are Very Nutritious and Healthy
They are high in protein, vitamins, fatty acids, rich in fibre and micronutrients such as copper, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, selenium and zinc. Crickets, for example, have up to 69% protein. They are also a quality protein source (all the 9 essential amino acids our body doesn’t produce) and high in Vitamin B12.
2. High Feed Conversion Efficiency
Insects have a high feed conversion efficiency because they are cold-blooded.
Feed-to-meat conversion rates mean how much feed is needed to produce a 1 kg increase in weight. Crickets, for example, require only 2 kilograms of feed for every 1 kilogram of body weight gain, whereas cattle require 8 kg of feed to produce 1 kg of body weight gain.
3. Less Greenhouses Gases and Amonia Emissions
The production of greenhouse gases by most insects is much lower than that of conventional livestock. For example, pigs produce 10– 100 times more greenhouse gases per kg of weight than mealworms.
4. Organic Waste Streams as Feed
Much as 50% of all food produced in the world ends up as waste every year.
Insects can feed on bio-waste, such as food and human waste, compost and animal slurry and add value to waste.
5. Food of the Future: A Solution to World Hunger?
Today the Earth hosts 7 billion people and from this amount there are nearly 1 billion chronically hungry people in the world. In 2050 we will be 9 billion and to feed all these people we need to re-evaluated what we eat and how we produce our food. With global demand for livestock products expected to more than double between 2000 and 2050 (from 229 million tonnes to 465 million tonnes).
It is estimated that insect-eating is practised regularly by at least 2 billion people worldwide. More than 1,900 species have reportedly been used as food. Surely there’s something for everyone!
7. Insects Require Less Land
About 70% of agricultural land, and 30% of the total land on earth, is used to raise livestock. It is easy to farm insects on a large scale without damaging the environment as they require far less land than traditional livestock.
8. And Less Water
Agriculture consumes about 70% of freshwater worldwide. According to FAO it is estimated that, by 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity. Imagine how much water we could save if we eat more insects and less beef! Crickets require 1 litre for 1 kg the production of 1kg of chicken requires 2 300 litres of virtual water, 1 kg of pork requires 3 500 litres and 1 kg of beef requires 22 000 litres.
9. Lower Risk of Passing Disease on to Humans
Because insects are taxonomically much more distant from humans than conventional livestock, the risk of zoonotic infections (diseases transmitted from animals to humans) is expected to be low.
10. Insects Taste Delicious!
Crickets, for example, can be described as having a nutty and earthy flavor similar to mushrooms. Some people say they smell like popcorn. Give it a go and find out yourself. Add organic cricket powder to smoothies, juices and baked goods recipes. Get some cricket recipes inspiration here!
Edible Insects : Future Prospects For Food And Feed Security Food And Agriculture Organization Of The United Nations, Rome, 2013
Mass Production of Beneficial Organisms
LIVESTOCK’S LONG SHADOW: environmental issues and options – Food And Agriculture Organization Of The United Nations, Rome, 2006
The Contribution Of Insects To Food Security, Livelihoods And The Environment – Food And Agriculture Organization Of The United Nations , Viale Delle Terme Di Caracalla 00153 Rome, Italy