At this point, you've probably stumbled across an article online that proclaims crickets as the future of protein. It is difficult to escape. Global Market Insights reports that the edible insect industry will be worth more than € 522M in 2023, and with a wave of new investment, media coverage and endorsement from athletes, the tide is slowly turning in favor of cricket proteins.
This is all happening because people are knowing that cricket protein conserves huge amounts of valuable environmental resources while maintaining optimal nutrition. We've known it here at Trillions from the beginning, and so does most of the world. More than two billion people around the world eat insects, and edible insects are mentioned in literature spanning centuries (we're talking about the Bible!).
According to the United Nations, nine billion people will occupy Earth by 2050, and to feed this growing population we will need to double food production in the developing world.
Enter the humble cricket. Although small in size, it packs a powerful nutritional punch. Here are some of the reasons why crickets will be the future of protein:
Crickets are 20 times more resource efficient than cattle in producing protein.
Crickets eat much less than other animals. Half a kilo of crickets requires just under 1 kilo of feed, compared to the 12 kilos of feed required to produce a pound of beef. That's twelve times less feed than cattle, four times less feed than sheep, and half the feed than pigs and broilers for the same amount of protein.
They also grow much faster - the average lifespan of a cricket is just 7 weeks from egg to adult, allowing breeders to produce much larger batches of insects to be used in protein bars like ours.
It is more ethical to harvest crickets than farm cattle.
Naturally, crickets live in very crowded conditions with very little water and space; in fact, they thrive in these kinds of environments.
There have also been studies showing that crickets and other insects actually lack certain pain receptors and experience pain very different from that of mammals. This is one of the reasons why many of our customers are actually vegetarians and vegans, and still choose to eat insects. If vegetarianism / veganism is generated from ethics, crickets are a much better option, and if it is for environmental reasons, there is no better alternative.
Eating crickets is a cultural adventure.
Ask more than 80% of the countries in the world and they won't blink at the thought of eating insects. More people eat insects than English speaking around the world! People have been eating crickets for centuries, you can even read about it in the Old Testament it says, "You are encouraged to eat locusts, beetles and grasshoppers." All over the world, people eat insects, from South America to Africa.
Western consumers are unfamiliar with entomophagy or the nutritional and environmental benefits of crickets, and that is about to change.
We like to compare the cultural trajectory of crickets and put the sushi journey on the table: rewinding a few decades ago and thinking about raw fish was repulsive to European audiences, but only because of a lack of experience and familiarity. Once this type of food was brought in in a slow but well-presented way, sushi slowly became an important part of the European diet, and now you can find it everywhere from airports to school cafeterias.
We predict the same cultural shift for crickets - this is why we try to normalize cricket consumption by including insect protein in products you know and love: protein bars made for athletes of all kinds, to contribute the most nutritionally. It's about cultural perception.
They are an incredible source of nutrition.
Last but definitely not least, crickets are a nutritional goldmine. They are rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber, low in fat and calories. This is just the beginning.
Crickets have 69% protein by weight, let's say you eat 100 grams of cricket, and 69 grams of pure protein. Identical chicken servings will only yield 31 grams, and jerky will only be 43 grams. Protein is so important to any diet, from the hardcore bodybuilder to the active mom looking to build and maintain muscle. The protein in crickets also has all nine essential amino acids, making it a perfect alternative protein source.
In addition to protein, crickets contain 2.2 times more iron and more calcium than milk, gram for gram, and are also packed with B vitamins.
Omega-3s don't just come in oily fish. Crickets are a dense source of omega-3s, rich in essential fatty acids that help reduce your risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Omega-3s can also help your memory and cognitive performance.
It's a true superfood, and it's time for it to be rediscovered.