Eat bugs and tell your friends about it.
Since 80% of the world's population includes insects as normal part of their diet, there’s a chance that some of you reading this have already given bugs a taste at some point. In the United States, the idea to roast up a cricket for lunch is only just now starting to catch on. This is good news for our climate, since crickets (as well as other insects) are far more environmentally stable than most other forms of animal protein that we are accustomed to eating.
Today’s #DailyRevolution is to eat bugs, and tell your friends about it. Since you may be the first of your friends to the crispy-cricket-party, you’ll be able to report back on how delicious, not gross and good for our planet they are as a protein of choice.
You may have even heard whispers on the streets that crickets are the new kale. While we don’t know if we agree with that comparison, we do see the connection that has been made between the crickets in 2017 and sushi in the 1970's. In the 1970’s the idea of eating raw fish was horrifying and unsanitary to most Americans. It took celebrity influencers and persistent foodies coaxing their friends to give sushi a shot for it to become as normalized and mainstream as it is today.
So beyond being the latest food fad, why should we eat crickets?
These little guys are made of more than 65% protein, are packed with Vitamin B12 and omega-3s and are super-easy for your body to absorb the nutrients from. In short, bugs are good for you and even an ideal snack choice to go along with your fitness routine.
Eating outside of our comfort zones could also be a major part of shifting gears to save our climate and addressing the world’s food crisis. In a matter of 30 years from now the population is expected to reach 9 billion people, and our food system is already strained to keep up. This is an especially scary statistic since the methane produced by farming cows and pigs is far more detrimental than the emissions from all of the cars we drive combined. Crickets have an impressive feed-conversion rate: a single kilo of feed is able to produce 12 times more edible cricket protein than beef protein. Since crickets require a fraction of resources than other livestock it makes sense why they have been referred to as “the food of the future.”
*If you are vegetarian or vegan, tell your steadfast carnivorous friends to give this a try. Better bugs than cows for our climate’s sake.
Are you thinking “Okay fine, I’ll eat a bug, but where and how?” We’ve got you covered.
Option 1: Look up a restaurant that specializes in insect dishes. It's easy, just google: Where to eat bugs in [your city] ?
*Pro-tip: Menus change, so be sure to give the restaurant a call to make sure bugs are currently being served.
Here are a few spots that looked exciting to us:
- New York: Playground in Queens. Authentic Thai serving silkworms and grasshoppers.
- Los Angeles: Oaxaquena where you can add roasted crickets various dishes, or order as a side.
- Houston: Hugo’s - Authentic mexican by a Houston legend, Chef Hugo Ortega - known for their sautéed chapulines (grasshoppers) served with a side of chips, guac and salsa.
- London: Grub Kitchen, a new insect-centric restaurant by chef Andy Holcroft. Try their signature bug burgers (a blend of toasted crickets, mealworms and grasshoppers spinach, sun dried tomato)
Option 2: Try one of the cricket edibles on the market. There are a surprisingly large number of brands popping up that offer healthy snacks made with protein rich cricket flour. Here are a few popular brand that we’re into:
*Pro-tip: get your hands on some cricket flour and use it in your next smoothie.
Option 3: Get creative in the kitchen! This may be next-level, but if you’re feeling adventurous, cook bugs for dinner.
- You can try recipes that feature a more exotic variety of ingredients, or keep it simple with cricket-based cuisine.
- It's pretty easy to find places online to order live insects* but if you get hooked and really want to have your ingredients readily accessible, you can invest in a desktop insect farm by Livin Farms. This neat product is kind of like the ant farm you had as a kid, but more functional.
*Please be sure you order food-grade insects! Many bugs sold online are intended to feed reptiles and may not be safe for human consumption.
While currently the edible insect market has piqued the interest of entrepreneurs and investors, with many new bug-based startups having launched in the past few years, more innovation is still needed to make this a truly sustainable alternative. Currently, some crickets that are farmed on a large-scale are still eating a grain-based diet similar to what livestock chickens are fed, and grain is far from a sustainable crop. However, it is likely that an increase in demand for insects in the consumer food chain will drive incentive to invest in fine-tuning the process as the industry scales.
So let’s make crickets the new (more sustainable) sushi: Try a bug, and let us and all your friends know what you think! Share a photo or video on Instagram and tag @anewyearsrevolution!
Bug Business (Season 5, Episode 6) - Startup Podcast
How to Raise and Cook Crickets at Home - Epicurious
How Insects Could Feed the World - The Guardian
Why Exo Studied the Sushi Industry to Position Cricket Protein - Food Tech Connect