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The thought of eating crickets may be enough to trigger your gag reflex, but wait until you learn about their amazing health benefits. Cricket flour or cricket protein powder is made from 100% ground crickets. Labeled the “food of the future,” cricket species are quickly becoming an in-demand source of protein for many.
Cricket flour is a healthy alternative to wheat flour and can be incorporated into many recipes, including homemade protein bars, cookies, and bread. This new “it” protein might even replace other popular grain-free options such as almond and coconut flour.
Merriam-Webster describes entomophagy as “the practice of eating insects,” and a quarter of the world’s people now embraces this practice. However, most of the western population is still on the fence about joining the bandwagon. If you are among those reluctant to jump on board, keep reading and you might just change your mind.
There are nearly 2,000 types of edible insect species, including crickets. Not only are they accessible, but they can be highly nutritious. Cricket flour, in particular, is an exceptional source of nutrition that comprises all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. In fact, cricket flour has nearly triple the amount of protein compared to steak. Cricket flour is also an excellent source of calcium, vitamins B12 and B2, iron, potassium, and essential fatty acids.
Beyond their fantastic contribution to good health, eating insects can also be great for the environment. Crickets are cheap, easy to farm, and comes with a minimal ecological footprint (the quantity of nature it takes to support). Crickets also require less infrastructure and do not mind living in dense populations. They also reproduce rapidly and have shorter life spans than livestock. In fact, crickets grow twenty times faster than cows, resulting in faster production and fewer resources needed.
Unlike livestock, crickets also carry a much lower risk of passing on diseases to consumers. And unlike other animals where there is a great deal of waste, the whole cricket can be consumed.
Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends keeping bugs out of your food, the federal agency allows the consumption of crickets for as long as they are produced, packaged, warehoused, and shipped in a sanitary and wholesome manner. In layman’s terms, the crickets must be raised for consumption and not found in the wild.
The taste is nowhere near as horrendous as you may think. Cricket flour has a mild, somewhat nutty flavor, with no hint that you are munching on insects. Besides, the crickets being finely ground should eliminate any woes and worries you may have.
Considering the many advantages of cricket flour, it comes as no surprise that the product is becoming a staple in many households. If you are feeling adventurous, make sure to buy crickets from trustworthy sources. Avoid catching and consuming crickets at random since you can never be sure of what they eat, or if they have been exposed to pesticides.