by Alison Lueders, Great Green Content
Did you know that there is such a thing as cricket flour? Me neither. But there is! And some brave 5th graders at the Trinity School in Tampa recently baked some chocolate chip cookies – made with cricket flour – and pronounced them “awesome.” Far from being some school yard prank, they were learning firsthand about sustainability and sustainable food choices.
Crickets are actually a sustainable food source for humans. According to the founders of Exoprotein.com – who make protein bars out of crickets – crickets are a far more concentrated source of protein, they are a complete protein, and they provide more iron than beef does and nearly as much calcium as milk.
In addition, they cause far less environmental damage than an equivalent amount of beef or poultry protein does. Specifically:
- crickets produce about 100 times LESS greenhouse gas emissions than cows do
- crickets require about 1 gallon of water to produce 1 pound of crickets, while cows requires about 2000 gallons of water to produce a pound of beef
- crickets grow faster and require far less land on which to do so
Cricket flour by itself doesn’t taste like much, according to the kids. But in a recipe with sugar, spices and chocolate chips, the classic flavor of the cookie is maintained while the kids get a shot of healthy protein. Cricket flour is milled so finely that it looks like any other flour – there are no cricket legs or antennas or eyes to be seen.
Cricket flour can be purchased anywhere from Amazon.com to your local health food store. And because it is a flour, recipes for it abound. From brownies to smoothies, muffins to pizza, cricket flour can be substituted for wheat or other flours in traditional recipes. While there’s an “ick” factor for many western people at the thought of eating bugs, 80% of the world eats insects as a normal part of their diet.
A food of the future
As the world reinvents everything along more sustainable principles, rethinking our foods and food sources is just a natural thing to do. Business Week says crickets are a “food of the future.” For more information about crickets as a good source, check out this FAQ from CricketFlours.com.