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  #1   ^
Old Wed, Jul-25-18, 04:48
Demi's Avatar
Demi Demi is offline
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Default Fancy a slice of cricket cake? Why cooking with insect powder could be the future

Quote:
From the Daily Telegraph
London, UK
25 July, 2018

Fancy a slice of cricket cake? Why cooking with insect powder could be the future of food

"That smells weird," says a confused family member as I add a generous dose of brown powder into my pasta dough. Unlike the usual silky, yellowy-beige mixture, this is a deep, dark brown, and I have visions of Italian nonnas storming my house, waving wooden rolling pins in the air, decrying my crimes against pasta. The reason: I’m baking with cricket flour, which is currently causing a buzz (sorry) in the culinary world.

Why? Well, while UK headlines tell us about the rise of veganism and ‘meat-free Mondays’, global meat consumption is in fact soaring – and some believe insects could be a viable alternative protein.

As the world's population rises (from 7.6 billion today to an estimated 9.7 billion in 2050), and affluence increases, the amount of land and water set aside for meat production will have to grow drastically, with “major negative consequences for land and water use and environmental change,” according to a report published in the journal Science last week.

Consequently, we’re placing a huge strain on the environment, given that livestock are responsible for harmful levels of greenhouse gas emissions, and have an insatiable appetite for food and water. “Changing meat consumption habits is a challenge that requires identifying the complex social factors associated with meat eating and developing policies for effective interventions,” the report concluded.

How might altering these habits work? For many, it’s cutting down on meat. But another option could be a simple one: bugs. Insects are a traditional food source in much of the world – particularly Asia, Africa and South America, the very regions eating more animals. Shifting consumer behaviour over here remains the biggest challenge.

Despite looking a bit like prawns, many of us squirm at the thought of eating crickets. We British are yet to embrace mealworms, ants or any of the other 2,000 edible bugs available across the world.

Recently things have begun to change. Thanks to rising eco-consciousness, as well as a search for healthier food options (crickets contain far more protein, iron and calcium per 100g than chicken, beef or pork), edible insects are slowly beginning to infiltrate our kitchens – and we’re not talking about the cockroaches skittering along your skirting on a hot summer’s evening.

Quote:
How environmentally friendly are crickets?

According to Eat Grub, citing a UN food report from 2013, farming insects is far more sustainable than more commonly eaten livestock.

For example, per kilo of protein, only 1g of greenhouse gases are emitted, compared with 2,850g for beef, 1,130g for pork, and 300g for chicken.
Just 15 square metres of land is enough for a kilo of insect protein. For beef, the figure is 200 square metres; for pork 50 square metres; and 45 for chicken.

Insects consume one litre of water per kilo of protein. Cows consume 22,000, pork 3,500 and chickens 2,300.


Over the past few years, several European countries, including Britain, have begun permitting insects to be reared and sold as food. Farms producing crickets and other bugs have emerged, such as Thringill Farm in Cumbria, while in Helsinki a bakery now sells cricket bread. The Cricket Cookbook, by Austin Miller and Zoe Anton (available at amazon.co.uk) offers home cooks tips on incorporating the bugs into their diets, through recipes for chocolate chip cookies, blueberry avocado smoothie, and much more.

Perhaps the most appealing method, for Western tastes, is cricket flour: grinding the insects into powder makes them more palatable and easy to use at home. Its flavour is mild and slightly nutty, and the options are endless: bake it in cakes, breads, brownies; mix into pancake batter; or simply add to a smoothie or a protein ball.

According to Sebby Holmes, chef and owner of Thai restaurant Farang, crickets are an incredibly versatile food source. Holmes, who previously cooked at Thai restaurants The Begging Bowl and Som Saa, helps produce recipes for Eat Grub, which sells a variety of insect products in the UK, and puts on bug-themed pop-ups at his north London restaurant.

“It’s limitless what you can do. If you turn crickets into flour they can be sweet or savoury. If you roast them they taste a lot like peanuts; if you fry them, they taste like shrimp. There aren’t too many proteins that can be sweet and savoury just by a cooking method,” Holmes explains.
He says his favourite Thai-inspired dishes like cricket with soy and pandanus (“basically salt and pepper crickets, which school kids in Chiang Mai eat for lunch”) might soon be on the menu full time.

As more and more people search for sustainable ways of eating – locally produced food; plastic-free packaging; less meat – perhaps the time for bugs is now. Intrigued, I picked up some cricket flour via Eat Grub’s website, distributed them among colleagues ranging from dubious to enthusiastic, and we set about seeing how the flour would alter our favourite recipes.

On opening the packet, I was immediately struck by the nutty, chocolatey smell – there were definite hints of Oreo (Holmes recommends cricket brownies). The powder is quite thick, and very expensive at £9.99 for 100g (by comparison a kilo of spelt flour at Tesco costs £2.20), which can only come down when appeal grows and production intensifies.

I went for two options: a cricket pasta and a cricket bread – with surprisingly good results. Substituting around 25 per cent of regular wholemeal flour for cricket powder, a loaf turned out thick and wholesome, and was excellent toasted with a little butter. It didn’t, however, rise as much as regular bread, so the loaf was quite small. Despite using white flour, the pasta ended up darker than wholemeal pasta, though its nutty flavour wasn’t in any way unpleasant.
One colleague opted for pancakes, using one part cricket powder to three parts self-raising flour. “They were deliciously filling with a subtle umami taste. This quick upgrade on my midweek breakfast made me realise how versatile an ingredient cricket flour can be,” she declared.

Another baked brownies, following her favourite fail-safe Nigel Slater recipe, and was a little less impressed. Using 50 per cent cricket flour, the bake was rather different than usual, “ballooning up at one point and then cracking.” It cooked quickly, and the result was “nice and fudgey.” But the brownies had a “slightly bitter aftertaste, and they were a little dusty.” Her housemate pronounced: “I’ve had worse non-cricket brownies.” Overall, they were decent, but that particular household wasn’t blown away.

Shami Radia, co-founder of Eat Grub, which alongside cricket flour stocks products like buffalo worms and an edible insect starter pack, says: “We’re not expecting this to be mass market yet, we’ve got a way to go in terms of getting mass appeal.”

He was inspired after tasting termites during a trip to Malawi. “They were really good served with chilli and lime and a beer,” he explains. “I read later that they’re high in protein and iron, calcium, zinc, omega 3 and 6 – nutritionally they’re second to none. Then there’s the fact they require a fraction of the land, water and feed traditional livestock does. It makes total sense.”

Nutritionist Fiona Hunter agrees: “Crickets are an excellent source of lean protein. They are also a good source of some vitamins and minerals, particularly magnesium and B vitamins. And from an environmental point of view they are a much better way to produce protein, creating fewer greenhouse gases and needing much less water.”

If we can all get over our sqeaminshness, insects could fit seamlessly into our eco-friendly, health-conscious diets. Whole bugs might be a bit much for most – I tried some deeply unappetising creepy crawlies in Bangkok – but, in powdered form, they are far more accessible and versatile.
Make it more affordable, and perhaps, in a few years’ time, we’ll all be eating mealworm porridge for breakfast, crunchy roasted crickets as a pub snack, or buffalo worm chilli for dinner.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/food-an...r-could-future/
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  #2   ^
Old Wed, Jul-25-18, 06:38
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Ms Arielle Ms Arielle is online now
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THought I remember a cricket tortilla chip came on the market a few years ago...
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  #3   ^
Old Wed, Jul-25-18, 06:50
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teaser teaser is offline
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https://www.ucdavis.edu/news/don%E2...study-cautions/

Quote:
"While there is potential for insect cultivation to augment the global supply of dietary protein, some of the sustainability claims on this topic have been overstated,” said Lundy, who headed the research at UC Davis while seeking his doctorate in agronomy. “Our study demonstrates that the sustainability gains associated with cultivating crickets as an alternative source of protein will depend, in large part, on what the crickets are fed and which systems of livestock production they are compared to.”

“Insect cultivation is more likely to contribute to human nutrition at a scale of economic and ecological significance if it does not rely on a diet that competes with conventional livestock, but more innovation is needed for this to become a reality,” Lundy said. The goal will be to design cost-effective processes to feed large populations of insects on underutilized organic waste and side streams, he said.

Crickets efficient at converting feed
It's widely assumed that crickets and other insects are efficient in converting feed to protein compared to conventional livestock, Parrella said. However, there is very little data to support this, and the story is far more complex, he said.


I'll believe the numbers here:

Quote:
For example, per kilo of protein, only 1g of greenhouse gases are emitted, compared with 2,850g for beef, 1,130g for pork, and 300g for chicken.
Just 15 square metres of land is enough for a kilo of insect protein. For beef, the figure is 200 square metres; for pork 50 square metres; and 45 for chicken.


when crickets are cheaper than hamburger. Or chicken for that matter, near zero greenhouse gases emitted suggests fairly cheap production costs. Might also take breatharian crickets. Also the source for these numbers is a company "Eat Grubs" that sells yummy cricket treats.
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  #4   ^
Old Wed, Jul-25-18, 08:25
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Susky2 Susky2 is offline
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Sorry...pass.
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  #5   ^
Old Wed, Jul-25-18, 09:31
Zei Zei is offline
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Quote:
“Changing meat consumption habits is a challenge that requires identifying the complex social factors associated with meat eating and developing policies for effective interventions,” the report concluded.
They're talking about eating healthy food, i.e. meats, like it's some kind of social problem like crime. I don't need to be cured through "policies for effective interventions" from eating healthy food, thank-you. In fact increasing my protein consumption (through meat) is benefiting my health in a way the typical carbohydrate-heavy vegetarian crop sources of protein could never do. Insect-sourced proteins might indeed turn into a viable nutrition source of the future. I'm guessing it may be high quality complete protein like from animals because bugs look more like animals than plants? But to get the idea going successfully among cultures with sufficient means to buy meat as opposed to people living at subsistence levels in need of any affordable protein source, that's going to take some doing to get those who have other options past the cultural "yuck" factor. Doable? Sure. I recall my mom casually mentioning those little flecks in the nightly dinner rolls were bugs. She didn't want to toss out all that flour. We had no trouble consuming them. But currently, the "yuck" force is strong in this one.
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  #6   ^
Old Wed, Jul-25-18, 11:38
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WereBear WereBear is offline
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What about our precious precious saturated fat? Raving about crickets as a "lean meat source" does not impress me.

Industrial farming methods are what is non-sustainable. Rotating crops and mixed use; that's the real future.
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  #7   ^
Old Sun, Aug-05-18, 05:43
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teaser teaser is offline
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https://www.sciencedaily.com/releas...80803134654.htm

Quote:
Eating crickets can be good for your gut, according to new clinical trial

Valerie Stull was 12 when she ate her first insect.

"I was on a trip with my parents in Central America and we were served fried ants," she says. "I remember being so grossed out initially, but when I put the ant in my mouth, I was really surprised because it tasted like food -- and it was good!"

Today, Stull, a recent doctoral graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, is the lead author of a new pilot clinical trial published in the journal Scientific Reports that looks at what eating crickets does to the human microbiome.

It shows that consuming crickets can help support the growth of beneficial gut bacteria and that eating crickets is not only safe at high doses but may also reduce inflammation in the body.

"There is a lot of interest right now in edible insects," Stull says. "It's gaining traction in Europe and in the U.S. as a sustainable, environmentally friendly protein source compared to traditional livestock."

More than 2 billion people around the world regularly consume insects, which are also a good source of protein, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. The research team was interested in documenting for the first time via clinical trial the health effects of eating them.

"This study is important because insects represent a novel component in Western diets and their health effects in human populations haven't really been studied," says co-corresponding author Tiffany Weir, a professor of food science and human nutrition at Colorado State University. "With what we now know about the gut microbiota and its relationship to human health, it's important to establish how a novel food might affect gut microbial populations. We found that cricket consumption may actually offer benefits beyond nutrition."

Raising insects for protein not only helps protect the environment, but also offers a more healthful option than meat in many wealthy countries with high-meat diets, says co-author Jonathan Patz, director of the UW-Madison Global Health Institute, where Stull will begin a postdoctoral research position in the fall.

Crickets, like other insects, contain fibers, such as chitin, that are different from the dietary fiber found in foods like fruits and vegetables. Fiber serves as a microbial food source and some fiber types promote the growth of beneficial bacteria, also known as probiotics. The small trial probed whether insect fibers might influence the bacteria found in the gastrointestinal tract.

For two weeks, 20 healthy men and women between the ages of 18 and 48 ate either a control breakfast or a breakfast containing 25 grams of powdered cricket meal made into muffins and shakes. Each participant then ate a normal diet for a two-week "washout period." For the following two weeks, those who started on the cricket diet consumed a control breakfast and those who started on the control diet consumed a cricket breakfast.

Every participant served as their own control for the study and the researchers were blinded with respect to which diet each participant was on at any given time.

The researchers collected blood samples, stool samples and answers to gastrointestinal questionnaires immediately before the study began, immediately following the first two-week diet period and immediately after the second two-week diet period.

Participants' blood samples were tested for a host of health measures, like blood glucose and enzymes associated with liver function, and also for levels of a protein associated with inflammation. The fecal samples were tested for the byproducts of microbial metabolism in the human gut, inflammatory chemicals associated with the gastrointestinal tract, and the overall makeup of the microbial communities present in the stools.

Participants reported no significant gastrointestinal changes or side effects and the researchers found no evidence of changes to overall microbial composition or changes to gut inflammation. They did see an increase in a metabolic enzyme associated with gut health, and a decrease in an inflammatory protein in the blood called TNF-alpha, which has been linked to other measures of well-being, like depression and cancer.

Additionally, the team saw an increase in the abundance of beneficial gut bacteria like Bifidobacterium animalis, a strain that has been linked to improved gastrointestinal function and other measures of health in studies of a commercially available strain called BB-12.

But, the researchers say, more and larger studies are needed to replicate these findings and determine what components of crickets may contribute to improved gut health. "This very small study shows that this is something worth looking at in the future when promoting insects as a sustainable food source," says Stull.

Stull is co-founder of an award-winning startup and research collaboration called MIGHTi, the Mission to Improve Global Health Through Insects. In the future, MIGHTi hopes to provide home-use insect-farming kits to communities that already consume insects, including many in southern Africa. Insects require far less water to farm than traditional livestock and can help improve food security in impoverished communities while providing economic opportunities to women.

"Most of the insects consumed around the world are wild-harvested where they are and when they are available," says Stull, who has eaten insects -- including caterpillars, cicadas, grasshoppers and beetle larvae -- all over the world. "People love flying termites in Zambia, which come out only once or twice a year and are really good; they taste like popcorn and are a crunchy, oily snack."

She hopes to promote insects as a more mainstream food in the United States, and though the industry is currently small, the rise of edible insect producers and companies using insects in their food products may make this possible.

"Food is very tied to culture, and 20 or 30 years ago, no one in the U.S. was eating sushi because we thought it was disgusting, but now you can get it at a gas station in Nebraska," she says.

The study was funded by a multistate Hatch project (W3122: Beneficial and Adverse Effects of Natural Chemicals on Human Heath and Food Safety), the Karen Morris-Fine New Investigator Success Fund, the Climate Quest competition, and the Clinical and Translational Science Award program of the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (UL1TR000427). Entomo Farms donated a portion of the cricket powder used in the study.


This study brought to you by Big Cricket....

It's open access.

Quote:
Numerous circulating cytokines that mediate inflammatory responses are produced by T-cell populations. A Human T-cell panel of 13 cytokines/chemokines revealed only one significant change in a circulating cytokine in plasma from 10 randomly selected participants. Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (TNF-α) was lower after cricket consumption compared to the control diet (−0.525 [95% CI (−0.93–0.12 p-val < 0.05)]. Using the model fit to the data, changes in other cytokines were not significant (see Supplemental Materials Tables S5 and S6).


Statistical significance, low probability of being random, but they bought 13 lottery tickets. The more things you check, the higher the probability of a low probability event.

The cricket breakfast only had twice as much protein as the non-cricket breakfast. 20 grams instead of 10, I think that alone probably made for a marginally better breakfast.
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  #8   ^
Old Sun, Aug-05-18, 06:27
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BillyHW BillyHW is online now
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Yeah, I think I'm not going to order the Cockroach Fried Rice.

But by all means the rest of you can do so, it just means more beef for me.
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  #9   ^
Old Sun, Aug-05-18, 06:30
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teaser teaser is offline
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I'd probably buy cricket burgers if they showed up at prices comparable to beef or pork. I won't believe they've found a low resource way to mass produce them until then.
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  #10   ^
Old Sun, Aug-05-18, 07:17
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deirdra deirdra is offline
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I suspect Valerie Stull was younger than 12 when she ate her first insect if her parents let her go outside as an infant/toddler.
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