Crickets are an old type of food for a new type of world. Earth is expected to be home to over 9 billion people by 2050, and currently, the bread basket of the United States is experiencing severe water shortages.
Perhaps that knowledge has helped the idea of eating insects in North America gain some headway. Crickets farms are springing into existence across Canada and the US. And now you can find delicious cricket snacks here on Salt Spring Island.
Recently, Country Grocer brought in these packaged goodies, crickets and meal worms, in small sample sizes for customers to buy and try. These insect snacks came from Entomo Farms, owned by the three Goldin brothers who created this business out of an obligation that they felt to help sustain, conserve, and perpetuate Earth, its systems, and life forms.
I bought a small pack of barbeque crickets and ate them in one sitting. The crickets were smaller than the ones I tried 20 years ago, so I wasn’t too intimidated. But I admit, I had to work a bit at getting over my ideas about eating insects.
I was mostly sold on trying them because of what Derek Dykeman, grocery manager at SSI Country Grocer, had to say: “Crickets are the most sustainable food in the world. They’re higher in protein than beef and take way fewer resources to farm.”
In fact, they have more than twice as much protein than beef, pound for pound.
According to the Entomo Farms website, farming crickets uses much less water than traditional farming. The site reads, “Over a span of a year, if a family of four ate one meal per week using Insect Protein, they would save the earth 650,000 litres of Fresh Water.”
The site goes on to discuss all of the nutritional values, such as crickets being high in iron, B12, and fibre. They contain 9 essential amino acids, are fed organically and are thus organic, and have a perfect Omega 6:3 ratio of 3:1.
Derek talked about cricket protein powder, which is currently available in bags and will soon be available in bulk at Country Grocer. It’s made with ground crickets. Bakers can remove a quarter of a recipe’s flour and replace it with cricket protein powder. Because cricket powder isn’t flavoured and will take on the flavour of whatever you put it in, you won’t be able to taste it. You will, however, increase your protein intake. It’s comparable in price to other protein powders.
There are several flavours to choose from, but Derek said the honey mustard crickets are the best. If you’re ready to be adventurous, those are the ones to try! You can find them in a display rack across from the cashiers.