Environmental Concerns and Food – is there a connection?
Absolutely! We can pat ourselves on the back as gone are the days of the gas guzzling SUV’s, but we (Phoenicians) have a long way to go in our embracing the environmental cause; however, we have latched onto the “green” food trends of locally sourced, organic, and minimal processing. Like iconic food cities (Seattle & NYC), we too love our urban farms, farmers markets, grass fed meats, vegan options, and farm to table. Yet, I wonder if Phoenicians are looking to improve their environmental footprint or if we are eating healthier after experiencing that real food, made simply actually tastes better. (Hey! Amici’s tag line… Real Food, Made Simple!) Could cricket flour serve as a barometer to this question?
Yes, you read that correctly; crickets are more than frog food.
Much more than a Fear Factor re-run, there are a handful of companies in the US and many world wide using ground up crickets as a grain alternative and protein substitute, one of them being Aspire Food Group who received a $1 million grant through the Clinton Global Initiative with their claim that insects could answer the issue of growing enough nutrition to feed 9 billion people amidst a shrinking planet. Oh how we love the out of the box thinking of recent college graduates who identified that perhaps Western cuisine could shift towards the diet of 2 billion people worldwide that eat crickets regularly. Remember, it wasn’t so long ago that sushi was unfathomable.
It just so happens that these little hoppers are also chalk full of nutritional goodness – 75% as much protein as beef, 96% of the recommended daily dose of iron as well as a hearty dose of calcium and fiber per ounce. Today, Aspire grows, harvests, and processes these crunchy ‘lil buggers out of Austin, Texas.
What is Amici’s take on all of this? Stay Tuned… you don’t want to miss our first hand experimentation!