We’ve viewed the insect as a pest in the states, but companies like Big Cricket Farms, Next Millennium Farms, and Bitty Foods are betting that we’ll change our tune. Traditionally seasoned and put in a tortilla in Mexico, the snack also serves as a stand-in for pretzels at any bar. They’re wildly popular in Southeast Asia, too. The versatile little critters can even be ground into flour. Cricket muffins might not sound great, but try making pastry with a steak.
Research is beginning to trickle in that supports the nutritional value of crickets, too. Pound for pound, the insect has double the amount of protein as beef, and it’s that good kind of protein, the kind with all nine amino acids. Crickets also have five times as much magnesium as beef. Not to mention the iron those little things are packed with, almost three times as much as any prime cut at the grocery store (again, pound for pound).
The nutritional aspects of the bugs are amazing, but the environmental benefits are even better. With most cricket ranches choosing waste beer grain as their feed of choice and using a fraction of the water normal ranches use, it’s downright responsible to choose “microlivestock” over traditional livestock. Substantially less input is needed to run a cricket farm, and the negative output is also chopped. The methane levels produced by microlivestock are a fraction of the levels produced by cows and pigs.
It may be a hard sell now, but perhaps soon the day will come when cricket burgers are commonplace.