Insect & Bug Protein - Don't Knock It 'til You Try It
In western society, it’s a common reaction to shudder at the thought of having to eat bugs. We're not surprised, as we’ve been raised to think that bugs are dirty and gross, and eating them is very primitive behaviour. However, the abundance of bug protein being consumed by over 2 billion people around the world is what makes us the weird ones.
And here’s the thing - you shouldn’t knock it until you try it.
One of the products that we’ve tried and loves are the Grilo Protein Cricket Bars. Aside from the name, you wouldn’t actually know that there were bugs in it until you were told there were.
Then there’s also the fact that we already eat more bugs on a day to day basis without even knowing it. This is with national food standards that dictate how many grams of insect fragments are allowed to be in products per unit.
And think it’s just a fad? Think again.
Here are why we think bug protein is great, and why we think that it’s here to stay.
According to Medical News Today, “100 grams of cricket contains around 121 calories, 12.9 grams of protein, 5.5 grams of fat, and 5.1 grams of carbohydrates. While 100 grams of ground beef contains more protein - around 23.5 grams - it is also much higher in fat, containing around 21.2 grams.”
Lack of nutrition, not having enough food or having the inability to ingest food can increase the risk of life-threatening diseases. Especially in the earlier days for babies and infants, not having enough nutrition can lead to impaired cognitive function.
As bug protein is highly nutritious, accessible, has simple rearing techniques and quick growth rates, it offers a cheap and effective solution to counter nutritional insecurity - especially in the face of social conflict or natural disasters.
Meeting the needs of a growing population
By 2050, our population is expected to have grown to 9 billion people - and we need to produce 50 per cent more food to cope with higher demands from the growing population.
With climate change being predicted to affect farming crops by 25% - it means that we’ll have to look to other sources of sustainable nutrition to be able to feed this growing population, all without negatively impacting the environment.
Better for the environment
Insect protein is less ruinous to the environment. Not only are they cheaper to grow than poultry and livestock, but they are also more nutritious than your traditional meat proteins as well. Now, with water becoming even more of a precious resource over the coming decades - wrap your head around the fact that 45 kgs of insect protein will only use 1/2000th of the amount of water that it takes to raise the same amount of cattle.
High in nutritional value
Cricket protein in the form of powder has 50x the amount of Vitamin B12 than chicken and 7x the amount in salmon by dry weight. The vitamin keeps the body's blood and nerve cells healthy and also helps to make DNA. If you don’t get enough of this vitamin, you’re more likely to suffer from heart disease, nerve system damage and anaemia. The benefit of consuming bug protein in powder form? You can put it in smoothies, bake it into cakes, bars and cookies.
They also contain calcium, zinc, iron, potassium, a bunch of other good stuff that your body will love you for.
If you’ve still got cold feet - we suggest taking baby steps. Try it in a bar or cake, and rather than searching for how it tastes different, think about the similarities it has. We think that insect protein is something that is set to grow exponentially in the next decade, as people realise we need to start taking control of how we can find a sustainable source of protein before we cause more damage to Earth.