Does this title strike horror into your heart? Why? Here is a tasty, nutritious and environmentally friendly food source. Eaten by millions of people around the world but just not so much by us here in the West. Massively less land and water required than for meat production, all the essential amino acids and rich in protein. Sounds ideal doesn’t it. So here I go….
The culture I was brought up in has given insects a pretty bad record. They carry disease, irritate you with bites, contaminate food and make you jump when you suddenly discover them. So a dash of salt and pepper isn’t really going to change that overnight.
I also know that I struggle some days to meet my recommended protein intake. Where you choose to check your needs will give you different suggested requirements but there are many health advisory bodies suggesting that women over 50 would benefit from upping their intake. The MyFitnessPal app sets at 78g a day for me, whilst other research says around 55g. Today I managed 45g and I suspect that’s typical for me. I rarely eat meat, although have fish a couple of times a week, and could do better with alternative protein sources so insect protein seems like it could be a good, simple addition to my diet.
So that’s the background but that doesn’t mean that I’m not going to look at a whole cricket (with 69% protein) and feel a gag reflex coming on at the thought of crunching it up in my mouth. I’ve spent a really long time looking at the websites selling edible insect options and put things in the basket only to waiver and shut it down without ordering a thing. I also read this highly detailed post from Angela Skujins which really made up my mind for me in terms of my limits https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/ywx9y5/i-tried-living-on-bugs-to-see-if-ill-enjoy-the-future-of-food. OMG the things with eyes and the huge spiders…
At the risk of sounding like I’m doing challenge ‘lite’ here (well alright I am but I doing what I can) I have decided that the best way I can consider introducing myself to this food source is via a protein powder that I’ll put into veggie/fruit smoothies that I make already.
So I did it. Really no fanfare or drum roll. Just some slightly nutty smelling powder into my usual fruit/oat smoothie and down it went. No drama, really.