Fortune magazine estimates that within the next few years, the edible insect industry will be worth almost $400 million in the United States. Don’t fret – they don’t taste that bad. Here are six reasons you should try cricket flour as your new source of protein.
What Is Cricket Protein?
Cricket protein, or cricket flour rather, is flour that’s obtained from milling crickets for human consumption. The result is a fine grain powder similar to that of flower. Because whole crickets are used, cricket flour is extremely nutritional (more on that below). The idea is just catching on in the West but for thousands of years people have been eating crickets as a regular part of their diet. In fact, just about everywhere but North America and Europe the world eats bugs (first world problems). It’s incredibly sustainable and actually highly nutritious.
Six Reasons To Try Cricket Flour
1. It’s More Sustainable Than Other Flours
Crickets require far less water to maintain as opposed to that of beef. In fact, crickets only require about one tenth the water that beef require to maintain (obviously, they’re quite a bit smaller). Also, cattle require a certain amount of acreage per animal if they’re range fed, and quite a bit of feed if they’re not. Whereas crickets only require about one sixth the amount of feed needed for cattle. Then, there’s the whole water requirement. One pound of crickets require about only one gallon of water. In comparison, chicken require approximately 567 gallons per pound, pork requires 800 gallons per pound, and cattle require 2000 gallons per pound. Because of the lower water requirements, crickets are being looked at as one of the most sustainable sources of food. You can make protein supplements from them, pasta, and even chips. If you’re a creative baker, you can make just about anything you want.
2. Cricket Flour Is High In Protein
Crickets are a high source of protein. Actually, they’re somewhere around 65% protein. They’re also a complete protein which means that they contain all essential amino acids that our human bodies require. Here’s a chart below comparing proteins associated with cricket powder when compared to beef, eggs, and soy:
3. Cricket Flour Is Rich In Other Nutrients
Think of it this way: when you eat a chicken breast, you’re eating just the chicken breast. Or when you eat some flank steak, you’re eating just the steak. If you wanted some more nutrients you might have to go for the liver, for example. Well, with crickets, you get the whole thing. Because cricket flour is made by processing whole crickets, you get all of the other nutrients that come along with it. Crickets are a great source of other nutrients as well.
4. Low In Carbohydrate/Fat
For every two tablespoons of cricket powder, there are only 0.8 grams of carbohydrates. Subsequently, there’s only 2 grams of fat. Cricket powder is great for those looking for a little extra boost in their protein intake while attempting to keep carbohydrates and fat at bay. Let’s be real, a lot of high quality protein supplements are also laden with sugars and also relatively high in carbohydrates – something most of us can do without.
5. It’s Gluten Free
Finding quality products that are gluten free can be a challenge. Cricket flour is completely gluten free and it’s also common for other products/supplements made with cricket flour to be gluten free as well. Other gluten free products can also be made with less than par ingredients. With cricket flour, you know you’re getting quality nutrients.
6. Cricket Flour Does Not Taste Gross!
I promise you on this one. Cricket flour has no nasty sort of “bug” taste. Really, cricket flour takes on a more nutty flavor – and when mixed with other things like almonds, cocoa, or fruits like strawberries or blueberries, it tastes phenomenal.
I prefer the company, EXO – the company behind EXO Protein Bars. EXO is run by two outstanding individuals, Gabi who turned down a job at a hedge fund, and Greg who turned down going to grad school to pursue their EXO company. EXO produces Cricket Protein Bars out of high quality ingredients and the company has been quite popular among gyms and Crossfit boxes across the United States. They have a pretty amazing product list as well: cocoa nut, banana bread, applecinnamon, blueberry vanilla, peanut butter and jelly, and more. You don’t have to take my word for it but you can check them out for yourself:
A Word To The Wise Regarding Cricket Flour
**Please note: if you’re allergic to shellfish such as lobster, shrimp, or crabs, you should highly consider staying away from crickets. Crickets are arthropods just as lobster and shrimp and may cause severe allergic reactions including up to anaphylaxis and death.
1. N.a. “Cricket Flours FAQ.” Cricket Flours. 2016. Web. 5 June 2016.
2. N.a. “Why Cricket?” EXO. 2016. Web. 5 June 2016.
3. Tarkan, Laurie. “Why These Startups Want You To Eat Bugs.” 25 August 2015. Web. 5 June 2016.