Ethics, crickets…and insect protein?
Some of your keen eyes may have already spotted this interesting new product we have in stock – Crobar protein bars. Packed with fruit, natural ingredients and insect protein! Yes, from crickets. A few eyebrows were raised and grimaces appeared when we first got the samples, but the non-vegetarians in the team gamely tried them and reported they tasted really nice and fruity. We quickly got into a discussion about why cricket protein was involved, and the team asked me what my opinion was. I’ve been vegetarian for over 20 years since my early teens, so you may wonder why on earth I would write about a bar made with insects!
How is this ethical?
It’s interesting to me that so many people in the West pull faces at the thought of insect protein, but still eat other animals. Why do people do this? You may not realise, but throughout the world insect protein is quite common in places – and nutritious! Whilst I and others might disagree with eating any animals at all, the ethical argument FOR using sustainable protein is key here – raising cattle and farm animals for meat production causes a large amount of environmental pollution and contributes to climate change, and with continually rising human population we can’t provide energy-intensive food for everyone for much longer. The UN estimates there will be between 2-4 billion more human mouths to feed by 2050. The world’s population has doubled since the 1960s alone, but meat production has quadrupled and increased its impact. How much more of this can we support?
In the future, diets will have to change (the massive amount of food currently wasted is another issue, but that’s another blog post!) to be able to feed everyone. This is where insect protein fits in – as much as I would love people to be vegetarian or vegan (seriously, it’s easy and healthy!) most people don’t give it a chance. Raising protein sources that use much less water, fewer resources, and less farmland to raise, is critical to changing the impact this industry has on the planet – the arable land previously used for cattle and the huge amounts of feed needed for them could then grow crops to directly feed everyone too. Here’s a few stats:
- The huge amount of grain feed required for meat production is a contributor to deforestation, habitat loss and species extinction.
- Crickets emit 80 times less CO2 than cows, reducing the impact of global warming.
- Crickets need around 10 times less water to raise.
- Crickets are farmed using no antibiotics, hormones or pesticides.
- The crickets used in Crobar are fed an organic diet of vegetables and seeds, reducing environmental impact further.
- The crickets’ lifecycle is around 6 weeks, and they are then cooled and frozen which mimics their natural process of hibernation (diapause) in nature.
Why not reduce your food’s environmental impact, and add a little insect protein via Crobar instead of meat or milk based protein? The fruit-based bars are made with healthy raw ingredients and available in Coffee Vanilla and Raspberry Cacao.
We’d love to know your views on sustainability and ethical food – let us know what you think.