As we’ve described in the previous article Diet 2.0 represents our vision for the future of food. In this article we want to look at one ingredient that will help us get closer to that envisioned future - insect flour. It is something we are using in our products already but it’s also something that should become mainstream, not just a curiosity for innovators. What are the obstacles for that to happen? And how do we overcome them?
Insect flours, the new superfood
Insects have all it takes and more to be called superfoods. They are amazingly nutritious, they are full of quality protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals as we described in previous articles. On top of that, they are amazingly sustainable to farm and represent a much more ethical protein source compared to the usual beef or poultry.
From an innovation to mass production
Insect flours show a lot of promise as a food item. Insects have a higher feed-to-protein conversion ratio than chickens (1) and they are a viable candidate for vertical farming (2) which is obviously not very practical or ethical for chickens, let alone cows. Insect farms can also benefit from automation as Tiny Farms are showing.
Insect flour production is still in its infancy. Even the most popular cricket flour is still quite expensive because the demand is not high enough and farms are small. The thing that needs to change first is the perception of insects as a food. As soon as people accept them as the norm, investments will come, farms will scale up, and the price won’t be as prohibitive any more.
Insect flour will make junk food nutritious
Insect flours can be added to foods people already eat and love without disturbing the taste or texture. That way they can go mainstream with much less resistance. Just imagine pasta that now contains a lot of high quality protein, bread that’s a good source of B12, iron, and calcium, and morning cereal that doesn’t have to be fortified with hard-to-absorb vitamins to be nutritious.
Want to help us make insect flours common? Try our bars full of cricket flour!
1) Mark E. Lundy and Michael P. Parrella, 'Crickets Are Not a Free Lunch: Protein Capture from Scalable Organic Side-Streams via High-Density Populations of Acheta domesticus', Plos ONE 2015, http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0118785#abstract0
2) Boy de Nijs, 'Are insects the future crop for the vertical farmer?', HortiDaily 2016, http://www.hortidaily.com/article/27099/Are-insects-the-future-crop-for-the-vertical-farmer