Crickets for Human Consumption
A lot of people might find themselves turned off by the idea of consuming crickets. There’s a variety of benefits to adding some bugs into your diet though, both on a personal and a societal level. As the population rises we’ll be seeking alternative sources of protein to add to our diets, and crickets are already beginning to show up in some places as a viable food source.
Benefits to You
Crickets make for a fantastic source of protein, of course, but there’s also a few little known factors relating to their value as a food stuff apart from that.
They’re high on Omega-3 fatty acids as well, which is normally only available as a supplement or within oily fish. This vital nutrient reduces inflammation and has benefits for your heart and brain as well, it’s one of the most common dietary supplements for most people who are trying to keep their body and mind sound.
Another great advantage to chowing down on some arthropods once in a while is that their exoskeletons are composed of chitin. While this is obvious, what’s not obvious to most people is the fact that chitin is treated by your body as a functional fiber. Not many animal sources of meat can boast that they add fiber to your diet.
These chirpy little bugs are also an excellent source of dietary calcium, boasting roughly 78mg of calcium per 100 grams of cricket. In addition to this vital, bone-building mineral they’re also a rich source of iron, ¾ of a cup of crickets can make for 53% of your daily recommended iron intake.
If you’d like to benefit from crickets, but find yourself worrying about getting their legs stuck in your teeth, there’s a few companies that now produce cricket powders. This is essentially ground-up crickets which make a fairly tasteless additive to other foods. An arthropod based protein powder if you will.
Benefits for Everyone
In addition to the health benefits for you, there’s also a lot of abstract, societal gains that can be made if we begin to use these beneficial insects as a source of food. Raising crickets requires less space and time than managing livestock, and leaves much less of an ecological foot print. This can all lead to less strain on our natural resources, and also make accessing the market fairly easy for newcomers.
Another great advantage to using crickets as livestock is the fact that a “ranch” can easily be installed in urban areas, rather than requiring large swatches of the countryside. The ecological and societal benefits are pretty clear. Those who have a moral issue with eating animals may also have less of a problem with eating insects, but that really comes down to personal choice.
They even beat out chickens as far as being easy and cheap to raise, and requiring less space. They may not be the food of tomorrow, but they could conceivably be the food of the day afterwards.
Cricket Recipe - Sauteed Crickets
No article on this sort of thing would be complete without adding a delicious way to add crickets into your diet. So without further ado, let us present a simple way to prepare these insects for consumption which is virtually guaranteed to taste great.
- 1-2 cups of crickets
- ½ stick of butter
- 3 garlic cloves
- ¼ cup chopped purple onions
- Cayenne pepper to taste
- Melt butter in pan. While doing so, thinly slice garlic cloves in order to allow for more complete release of flavor. Add the onions as well at this stage and let the butter simmer at low heat for a few minutes.
- Add your crickets and sprinkle with the cayenne, adding enough to suit your personal tastes. Cover the pan and keep on a low heat, enough to simmer the butter and not burn it.
- Allow to sit for five to seven minutes while covered.
- Briefly agitate the food in the pan, making sure that everything is cooking evenly. Replace cover and allow the mixture to simmer for another five to seven minutes.
- Remove pan from heat, allow it to cool, and dig in.
- Carefully remove insect legs from teeth, and bask in the joy of your newest culinary adventure.
Crickets make an excellent addition to almost anyone’s diet, they’re not only protein-filled but also nutrient rich. Give the above recipe a try and you’ll be delighted if you can move past your personal prejudice on the matter. Even if you don’t want to eat the bugs themselves, you can gain some benefit from the commercially available cricket powders. So why not give it a shot and try cooking up some insects for a novel experience? There’s nothing to lose and you may just have found something great.