Mama Knits Crochets and Quilts

Mama Knits Crochets and Quilts

A mom and needle craft blog

Protein, then and now

So, we’ve recently tried a new thing in our diet.  We are not vegetarians or vegans, but there are things that we minimize, and meat and animal products are on the list.  Also, two of us are really good about not eating sugar, and we are starting to replace wheat with gluten free products.  We do eat fish, and I guess that is our main source of protein, although we don’t have it every day.  We do tofu sometimes, and have a fair amount of beans and lentils, but I think our protein sources are a little on the low side.

Last month we got the Coloradan magazine from the CU Boulder alumni association.  It had a picture of a cricket on it.  The article inside regarding crickets was about Dave and Lars Baugh, twin brothers who started Lithic Nutrition, a start up health foods company that markets cricket bars and cricket-protein powders.  Crickets — the new superfood?  Supposedly, yes.  According to the article, pure cricket powder is 67% protein by weight, compared to about 35% for lean beef.  They also have more calcium per gram than milk, more iron than spinach and more vitamin B12 than salmon (Coloradan, June 1, 2017, “Superfood”).  Another ‘great’ thing about eating bugs in general is that they are plentiful, easy to cultivate at a low environmental cost, and a lot of the people on the planet eat them already.  The environmental aspect really caught our attention; that’s a big reason we don’t eat beef and try to minimize diary.  Raising cattle has a huge environmental impact.  They burp out methane as they chew and ruminate.  Methane is a greenhouse gas, like carbon dioxide, but has even more detrimental impact.  Cultivating cows and feed for cows requires a lot of water as well.  The Coloradan article cites the UN report “Edible Insects: Future Prospects for Food and Feed Security,” for the following — that “growing one pound of cricket protein requires less than one gallon of water…for one pound of beef, it takes 2,500 gallons.”  That’s big.

So we’ve been eating crickets.  Specifically, 100% pure cricket powder (flour) made from Acheta Domesticus that are given plant and veggie-based feed, and then humanely frozen, boiled to pasteurize, then roasted and milled into a fine powder (https://lithicnutrition.com/product/pure-cricket-powder).  We’ve been adding this flour to breads and other baked things, pancakes, and once to a smoothie.  It has a bit of a nutty flavor, but really not much of a flavor impact at all, especially in the smoothie, I was pleased to discover.  So far, I have no complaints.  I’ll keep my eyes (and mind) open on the topic, but so far I think the bugs are going to stay in my kitchen.  I’ll warn anybody who comes over to eat, though…