If you had surveyed the public a couple years ago on who was interested in insect-based meals, this is all you’d be hearing: crickets.
And today, we’re in a time where insect protein is being seen for its massive potential. It is being heavily researched on; it has been made into viable, edible products; and it forms part of the solution today’s concerns surrounding food security, global nutrition, and the overall health of our planet.
Insect protein has gone through a makeover from being presented as a whole-insect food on your plate (not sexy), to fun and innovative presentations through sophisticated flours, moreish snacks, and even burgers.
As a nutritionist who is passionate about designing a more sustainable food future, I look out for alt protein solutions that not only have a lower ecological footprint, but also a rich and balanced nutrient profile. It’s not easy having both boxes ticked!
Cricket protein is one of my favourites to talk about as it contains all the 9 essential amino acids that humans must get through food. This makes it a complete protein which is so precious. With poultry, eggs, and fish being the other complete proteins out there, crickets are doubtlessly the world’s most sustainable complete protein!
Planning for a more resilient future of food doesn’t mean one alternative protein source will rule them all. Instead, it will require all the alternatives to band together and fill each other’s gaps.
I certainly see insect protein as part of the protein solution of the future, and I’m excited to see all the developments!
Charlotte Mei is a nutritionist and presenter on a mission to improve nutrition literacy and help people build a healthy relationship with food.