Video: They may be eco-friendly, but would you eat crickets?

18 April 2016

With 7 billion people in the world, we are into new territory when it comes to providing food for such quantities of people.

In principle, insects are a good source of some of that food. After all, 2 billion of that world population already eat them. And there may be good reasons why the rest of us should too.

For one thing, it’s a more efficient source of protein. Most of the cricket is digestible, compared with only 40% of a typical beef cow. So the production of the same quantity of protein involves less feed, and less usage of chemicals to grow it.

Farming crickets produces considerably lower greenhouse gas emissions, particularly 80 times less methane than cows.

And they are very nutritious. They provide good quality protein, containing all 9 of the essential amino acids, iron, vitamin B12 and calcium, as well as fibre.

So there are lots of reasons why you should. And only one reason why you might choose not to. And that reason lives on the level of primal disgust. I mean, it’s crickets.

Crobar cricket bars
Crobar, by Gathr Foods, won a World Food Innovation Award this year

People don’t make choices based on reason, but on emotion and their own sense of identity. So the intuitive ‘eww’ factor is a very real one which might undermine the potential success of the new phenomenon before it even gets started. Some smart marketing would be needed to win over a large enough group of early adopters to support it in its early days.

In the video above, I decided I would carry out my own unscientific research, and went off in search of some cricket bars to inflict upon unsuspecting friends.