Loblaws Boldly Launches Crickets As Substitute For Protein
Did you know that insects are not only affordable but a nutritious source of protein? Many countries have known this for some time, and Canadian specialty stores have been offering them for a few years. But now Loblaw’s, Canada’s largest supermarket chain, has not only introduced cricket flour and cricket powder under its private label, President’s Choice, but is putting a picture of a cricket on its logo! This is a first for a major Canadian food retailer.
— National Post (@nationalpost) March 7, 2018
According to Loblaw’s, more consumers are searching for protein alternatives to meat because of ethics, the health value of meat, and the environmental impact from raising livestock. With its neutral taste, cricket flour is perfect for baked goods. It can also be added to smoothies, yogurt, soups, and oatmeal.
Currently, more than 80% of the world’s population eats insects as a normal part of their diet. They are regularly consumed in meals in China, Mexico, and Thailand. While Westerners have not deliberately chosen to eat bugs, food safety research reveals that they frequently are part of the human food chain via vegetables, fruits, and grains. Disregarding the creepy-crawly factor, insects are not harmful. Disgusted yet?
When it boils down to health and sustainability, crickets are healthier than meat products. At only 90 calories and 13 grams of protein for a 2.5 tablespoon, it fulfills the daily requirement for B12 vitamins. According to the University of Oxford, scientific studies show that crickets are more nutritional than meat products and have less fat and sugar. They are an especially efficient crop as they reproduce quickly and occupy little space. However, while Loblaw’s tests people’s curiosity and desire to try this new options, the chain is offering their cricket products at a costly $16 for a 113 gram bag. Entomo Farms in Norwood, Ontario, Loblaw’s cricket supplier, has seen its cricket business grow by 12 times since 2014.
Health Canada will soon release its new food guide which will provoke Canadians to think carefully about their consumption of proteins, especially from meat and dairy products. While it is doubtful that roasted crickets will replace barbequed steaks, chicken or pork in the near future, our relationship with food is changing, and crickets and other bugs will most likely become a part of our diet.
Remember, it was not so long ago that people cringed at the thought of eating lobsters, then known as the cockroach of the sea.
Are you ready to accept insects as part of your diet?
Would you incorporate crickets into your diet? Let us know in the comments!
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Julia loves spending her time outdoors as much as possible. Her favourite things include podcasts, dogs, photography, reading, picnics, interior design and travelling. Follow her personal account @juliarmelcher.