Edible Bugs: The Protein Source of the Future
Does the thought of eating crickets make you cringe? You may want to think again. Entomophagy (eating insects) has sparked the interest of a new generation of chefs, adventure enthusiasts and fitness fanatics, all jumping on board the cricket bandwagon.
Travel through southeast Asia and you will find edible insects are as common as beef at a butcher shop, and as a matter of fact 80% of the world’s nations are already eating bugs This has to make you think, maybe we are missing something. So I guess this new trend was inevitable.
Now don’t go picturing cricket legs sticking out of a muesli bar or stuffing wriggling live bugs into your mouth this is not same stuff that food adventure travel stories consist off… YUCK! I’m going to correct that image. Most edible bugs products by the time they get to you are ready to go, possibly grounded into a very fine nutty tasting powder.
Grilo Protein is the only organic cricket powder supplier in Australia and has launched a range of insect-based products: cricket powder (cricket flour), cricket protein powder chocolate, super greens and energy bars all packed with the benefits of cricket powder and boasting positive reviews.
See, no more Fear Factor than your regular processed protein powder products.
Why Should You Be Eating Bugs?
It turns out edible bugs are also fantastic for the environmentally conscious. By eating insects one day per week, you save 100,000L of water per year. Bugs on average require six times less feed and a lot less agriculture than cattle. Maybe “Mealworm Monday” will be the new Meat Free Monday?
Read more on why you should start eating bugs.
Crickets vs Beef
So how do these insects stack up when compared to other commonly consumed protein sources? Well by dry weight the average insect is about 50% protein with some bugs containing 75% protein making them very comparable to other animal protein sources.
|Grilo Organic Cricket Powder||Semi Trimmed Raw Rump Steak|
|Serving Size (g)||10||121|
|Energy per serve (kjs)||117||660|
|Protein per serve (g)||6.9||24.2|
|Carbohydrate per serve (g)||0.67||0|
|Fat per serve (g)||1.5||6.7|
|Saturated fat per serve (g)||0.57||2.6|
|Potassium per serve (mg)||110||432|
|Vitamin B12 per serve (µg)||3.1||1.7|
For a smaller serve and less energy intake the protein content of cricket powder is 69% protein a lot lower in saturated fat and lot higher in vitamin B12 which is essential for DNA reproduction, healthy red blood cells and energy.
How to Use Cricket Flour?
For athletes on an energy budget or athletes that struggle with meat products edible insects could be a fantastic choice. Cricket powder is a very versatile option (see recipes here!). It can be added to smoothies, baked goods, oats, with a fine texture and slightly nutty taste the possibilities of use are endless. Just be aware of the allergen possibility with insects closing relate to shellfish.
Cricket flour banana bread anyone?
About the author
Demi-Maree Faulkner is an accredited practising Dietitian (APD), nutritionist & sports dietitian. Demi has worked in the health industry for the past six years and her mission is to educate people on appropriate nutrition and inspire people to enhance their quality of life on a daily basis. Demi currently works in the areas of chronic disease management, weight loss, adolescent health and women’s health. Demi also works with many athletes including the Roosters NRL under 20’s team and the NSW high performance mens gymnastic team. Visit Demi’s website: fundamentalnutritionforall.com