It’s one thing to talk facts and statistics about all the reasons to try crickets, mentioning how they’re high in protein, low in fat, can help with a multitude of ailments and keep our beautiful planet green and growing. But let’s really talk for a minute, without pushing all these benefits you may have heard before. Let’s take a look why we’re so afraid of eating bugs and trying new foods in general. What’s there to be so scared of?
Perhaps it’s a reflex from early in life. Our parents forced us to try foods arguably great for our young and growing bodies, but really didn’t appeal in aesthetic or texture. After all, who wants to choke down weird green food when a yummy supply of honey-glazed Cheerios was in the cabinet for the taking? I can remember the first time I had squash around the age of six. I still remember the gag reflex that convinced my mom to make me a peanut butter sandwich instead. But, looking back, I honestly don’t remember the texture being all that bad, nor the taste.
If I’m being perfectly honest, I truly believe the reason my taste buds seemed to react so badly to this new food was simply it was new. The look of the mashed squash also didn’t help its cause as a welcomed entre on my disposable picnic plate.
According to the University of Kentucky’s Timothy McClintock, who is studying how our many senses help to define a food’s flavor, when you look at a food, like a slice of pizza, the optic nerve at the back of your eye transmits a message about what you’re looking at to your brain’s visual cortex.
“This gives you your first clue about what to expect from its taste,” says McClintock in an interview with Science News for Students.
Sight, along with smell, plays a vital role in how we approach food and what we choose to ingest. And how we’ve been trained to see things, starting from early on in childhood, can have an even bigger influence.
We perceive things a certain way until we know differently. We use to think the world was flat for example. So we were afraid to travel too far. 20 years ago Americans were averse to eating sushi! And now look at us–we can’t get enough of the stuff. 50 years ago we were feeding lobster to prison inmates and even they turned it away. Perceptions can change. All it takes is good experiences and a pleasing pallet for someone to realize what they thought and what is true are quite different. This is where Harmony Cricket Farm comes in! Providing not only good, but darn good options in the foods people already love. Now it has the added bonus of nutritious cricket and gluten-free sustainable grains.
Harmony Cricket Farm’s cricket powder, which can be easily incorporated into the recipes of favorite snacks and meals, is one solution to the problem of misperception. It’s easier for people to wrap their heads around the idea of a cricket protein powder being added to their smoothies, soups or cookie batter than frying a full cricket and popping it into their mouth. But some are still apprehensive to even give the powder a try. The fear of consuming insects runs deep and our parents’ shocking words “Spit it out!” still ring in our ears.
Harmony Cricket Farm’s mission is not just to sell great cricket-based products that are good for you and good for the earth, but also to help negate your cricket consumption fears and help health-conscious folks look at crickets in a new way. These are not backyard critters. They are vital and accessible sources of protein we may very well be reliant on in the future.
If we really start looking at crickets as “land shrimp” and one of the best nutrient AND sustainable sources available, it would totally change the way athletes, pregnant women and the rest of us eat, the way we take care of our bodies and the planet, and the way we stay healthy.
So leave behind your pre-conditioned fears and take a buggy bite with me! Check out our article on how to cook with cricket powder and our recipes page (link below) for meal ideas. You can also visit our online store to purchase cricket protein powder and cricket-based snacks.
Le Cricket Queen
Health benefits and facts found through Science News for Students.