Insects could be your smoothie’s new superfood

That’s right. Insects. Not blueberries, kale or chia seeds but crickets. Before you pull a face, take a minute to read on. New food company Crushed Protein has created a protein powder that’s made of yup, you guessed it, crickets. And no, there’s no crunchy legs.

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Crickets are punchy powerhouses of protein. The hoppers contain three times more protein than steak, more calcium than milk, ten times more vitamin B12 than salmon and all nine essential amino acids. That’s a whole lot of help for a tiny insect.

Co-founder Darcy Laceby says: “We started Crushed Protein after giving up dairy. We needed an alternative to whey protein, what we found was that plant based proteins lacked the amino acid profile of whey proteins, something that is an absolute necessity in muscle building and recovery.”

While we might balk at the idea of eating insects, more than 50% of the world already eat them and many consider them a delicacy. Crickets are actually part of the crustacean family – think of them as tiny lobsters.

Image Crushed Protein wants to replace dairy and whey protein with cricket-powered powder

Unsurprisingly they have a much smaller impact on the planet too. Per kilo they require 12 times less feed than cows, produce 100 times less greenhouse gas and use 22,000 times less water than traditional farming. Plus they can be farmed vertically to save space.

Those stats should have anyone eco-conscious sitting up and taking notice.

Crushed Protein admit insects as food is a perception issue, but their ready to mix protein powder doesn’t taste at all cricket-y.

Plus they’re funding micro-insect farms in Africa that can support and feed orphans. By farming insects, orphanages not only have year-round access to this popular protein source but also have the option to sell a portion of their harvest at local markets for income that may be used to purchase fruits and vegetables, clothing and pay for school fees.

Pass the crickets.

Still not convinced? Noma released a recipe book for insect cooking last year. Read our interview here.