Okay, the headline might be slightly misleading (as is the photo). We don’t mean eat the cricket whole like it’s Fear Factor or something. (So, you’re safe, little guys in the photo!) But with cricket flour or cricket bars, which use milled (aka ground up) cricket, you’re getting a lot of protein and helping save the environment.
Here’s how crickets compared to protein that’s derived from animals:
• Insects contain about 1/2 the fat and 1/3 more protein than beef, making them about 20 times more efficient.
• Beef farms create more than 100 times the methane gas than cricket farms.
• Beef requires about 25 lbs. of feed per pound. What about crickets? A measly 2 lbs.
• Cattle require 2,000 gallons of water per pound. How about crickets? One gallon of water.
*More Benefits of Munching on Crickets
*Crickets aren’t just protein-filled; they’re packed with vitamin B12, calcium, iron, and other beneficial nutrients. They’re also low carb, making them an excellent source of protein for those wanting to lose weight, too. Also, cricket flour isn’t as heavily processed as other forms of flour — or many ingredients in standard protein bars; this means their bars or the flour doesn’t need artificial sweeteners to boost taste and that it’s healthier than other refined forms of flour.
*Next: What Are Cricket Farms? *
Where Do The Crickets Come From?
Don’t make us tell you the story of the birds and the bees … or the crickets and the uh, other crickets? But seriously, crickets are mass-produced in cricket farms, where they’re grown and then milled and made into a fine powder (aka cricket flour). Whole crickets are used to make the flour and are excellent in baked goods, but because of their high protein content, they are blended with coconut flour, tapioca flour, or other gluten-free flours. It takes about 5,050 crickets to make a pound of flour. Some bars, like the aforementioned Exo or the Chapul tend to have high sugar content, but it’s natural sugar and the body doesn’t process it like it would refined sugars.
The Edible Cricket Market
Many natural and organic food stores are stocking their shelves with bug-based products as bug proteins become more accepted. Some protein bars have added flavors, such as chocolate, coffee, coconut, and peanut butter, but the synthetic ingredients are, typically, kept to a minimum.
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