Entomophagy, or eating insects, is a practice that dates back to prehistoric times.
Crickets are one of the most commonly consumed insects. Cricket protein products have grown in popularity due to consumer demand for more sustainable protein options.
Insects like crickets are rich in nutrients, especially protein, and can be more sustainable than other sources of protein like beef.
However, some people don’t eat crickets because they are concerned about food safety.
This article explains the benefits and potential risks of using crickets as a food source.
For millennia, people in many parts of the world have used barbecues as a source of food. In fact, biblical writings from the third to first centuries BC mention The consumption of crickets (1).
In Africa, Asia and Latin America, the consumption of insects is a traditional culture (2).
Humans use around 2,100 species of insects as food, with crickets being the most common food source for insects worldwide (1).
Insects are a cheap, sustainable and easy-to-produce source of nutrients and are particularly rich in protein.
Crickets are most common in countries with insufficient resources, where many people are food insecure and other animal protein sources such as cattle, poultry and fish are scarce.
Research shows that people in Western countries do not really enjoy eating insects because they tend to view insects as impure or potentially dangerous (2).
However, in Europe, the United States and Canada, more and more people have started to accept cricket as food companies have developed user-friendly cricket-based products like protein powders and protein bars (3).
Eating insects is a millennia-old practice. It is more common in certain parts of the world, such as Africa and Asia, but is more accepted in other countries as well.
There are a number of benefits to eating crickets.
Crickets can offer health benefits and be a more sustainable and environmentally friendly source of protein than other animal protein sources.
Crickets are high in protein
The main reason people use crickets as a source of food is because they are high in many nutrients, especially protein.
In fact, a 2020 review found that most edible crickets are higher in protein than more common animal protein sources like goat, chicken, and pork (1).
The review found that the body can digest a slightly lower proportion of the protein from crickets than from eggs, milk, or beef. However, it was also shown that the body digests cricket protein better than popular plant-based protein sources like rice and corn (1).
Crickets have a tough exoskeleton that contains chitin, a type of insoluble fiber that is difficult to digest. Because of this, the digestibility of cricket protein varies. When the exoskeleton is removed, the digestibility of proteins from crickets increases dramatically (4).
Studies show that cricket protein powder contains around 65.5% protein and adult crickets provide 13.2-20.3 grams of protein per 100-gram serving (5, 6).
Interestingly, some species of crickets are complete sources of protein, which means that they contain all nine essential amino acids in ideal proportions. Others are incomplete sources of protein due to their low levels of amino acids such as tryptophan and lysine (5).
As long as your diet includes multiple sources of protein, you don’t have to worry unduly about getting adequate amounts of amino acids, as these are found in many foods (7).
Regardless, crickets are high in protein. Therefore, cricket-based products like protein powders and protein bars would be beneficial if you want to increase your daily protein intake.
Crickets are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber
In addition to protein, crickets are rich in many other nutrients, including fat, calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium, copper, folic acid, biotin, pantothenic acid, and iron.
One study found that the iron content of crickets was 180% higher than that of beef. In addition, the crickets contained more calcium and the B vitamin riboflavin than meat products such as chicken, pork, and beef (6).
In addition, crickets are a rich source of fiber, a nutrient that other animal protein sources lack. Studies show that the fiber content of crickets in a 100 gram serving can be up to 13.4% (1).
In addition, crickets provide fat, mostly in the form of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Studies have linked these to health benefits, including improvements in heart disease risk factors (1, 8, 9, 10).
Environmentally friendly protein alternative
Raising insects like crickets for food can be more sustainable and environmentally friendly than raising animals like chickens, pigs and cattle.
For example, one study found that broiler chickens were associated with 89% higher greenhouse gas emissions per unit of edible protein produced than crickets (11).
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), livestock are responsible for 14.5% of all global greenhouse gas emissions (12).
Reducing red meat consumption and replacing it with more sustainable options like insect or vegetable protein is a smart way to help the environment (2).
Insect farming could also help reduce food waste if farmers feed their insects with food waste (2).
Including insects in the diet can help developed countries create more sustainable food systems and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
May benefit intestinal health
Some research suggests that chitin, the insoluble fiber found in crickets, may be beneficial for gut health. Chitin can act as a prebiotic and promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
A small 2018 study of 20 healthy people found that consuming 25 grams of whole cricket powder per day for 2 weeks resulted in increased growth of beneficial gut bacteria and a reduction in inflammatory markers (13).
In the study, Bifidobacterium animalis, a beneficial strain of gut bacteria, increased 5.7-fold (13).
At the same time, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), which is associated with inflammatory bowel disease, was reduced in people who consumed cricket powder compared to people who ate a control diet (13).
These results suggest that eating crickets may benefit gut health. However, research is limited right now, and scientists need to conduct more studies to fully understand how eating crickets can affect gut health.
Crickets are a good source of protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, and fiber and can help promote bowel health. Plus, they could be a more environmentally friendly source of protein than other animal proteins like chicken.
Although grilling offers a number of potential health benefits, many consumers in western countries remain skeptical of grilling-based food products for safety reasons.
As mentioned above, insects have been safely used as food for thousands of years and are widely consumed in many parts of the world.
In addition, limited research suggests that cricket products like cricket protein powder are safe to consume and have no adverse health effects in healthy people (13).
However, eating insects can come with a few other safety concerns.
For example, studies suggest that people who are allergic to shellfish or house dust mites can also have allergic reactions when they eat insects (14).
However, there is currently a lack of research in this area and scientists need to conduct more studies to fully understand the potential for allergic reactions associated with eating insects.
Some researchers warn that insects like crickets can act as vectors of pathogens that could infect humans and animals.
In a 2019 study, researchers analyzed insect samples from 300 household insect farms and pet shops in Central Europe, including 75 cricket farms (15).
The study found parasites in more than 81% of insect farms. In 30% of these cases, the researchers found parasites that could potentially cause disease in humans (15).
That doesn’t necessarily mean that eating insects is dangerous. It merely indicates that eating insects, like eating cattle, has the potential to make you sick. Hence, insect farms should adhere to strict safety guidelines when producing crickets for food (15).
Overall, scientists need to do more research to better understand the potential risks of eating insects like crickets.
Although people around the world safely consume insects, there is a lack of research into the potential risks of consuming insects. Scientists need to conduct more high quality studies to determine the safety of eating crickets on a regular basis.
Crickets are very nutritious and affordable, which is why they are eaten in many parts of the world.
Crickets are a good source of protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, and fiber and can be beneficial for intestinal health. Plus, they’re a greener protein option than other animal proteins like chicken or beef.
However, eating insects can be associated with potential health risks such as allergic reactions and pathogens. For this reason, you should only buy cricket products from trusted sources.
If you want to try cricket products, pull up a cricket-based protein powder or protein bars from brands like hi! or EXO.
Bringing People Together with Easy to make Russian Comfort Food
Russia has a long history of droughts and famine. Although there has been no famine since 1947, there have been many food shortages in the former Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union was on the verge of collapse, many common foods were rationed.
There were only rotten vegetables on the shelves, butcher counters offered pathetic remains of bones and fat instead of sausages, chops and roasts. Only last year, Russia stopped exporting its wheat because there were again fears of bottlenecks.
So it might seem like an odd choice when it comes to talking about cuisine, home cooking, and culinary arts. But the advent of the multicooker has made it easier than ever to try new recipes at home, and Russian food has a lot to recommend.
Why Russian Food?
Because it’s comforting, this question is the easiest answer. Russian weather can be harsh at times, and some areas are bitterly cold. If you’re from a country that enjoys a whole spectrum of seasons, you’ll understand that when winter comes, sometimes all you want is a proper comfort meal.
Russian cuisine can deliver dishes that are full of carbohydrates, fill the bellies, and generally satiate and protect from the cold. If you were from England you would probably describe Russian food as a meal that sticks to your ribs.
However, if the English think they eat a lot of potatoes, then comparing them to the Russians, think again. Mashed potatoes are perhaps the ultimate comfort food and are served all over Russia. Okay, maybe not in a pizzeria or McDonald’s. In fact, McD’s made a mashed potato burger, but chose to market it in China rather than Russia.
But the truth is, Russian food can be very satisfying, and while it may not be nutritionally friendly, it can be heartwarming and is often about family and friends. Much Russian food is homemade and shared with families. An interest in Russian culture and history could help bring people together in all walks of life, especially if enjoyed with some pelmeni.
Why are people now more interested in foreign kitchens?
Last year came the Covid pandemic, which is currently still ongoing. This resulted in bans, self-isolation and quarantines, not to mention far more serious consequences. The effects of Covid are still being felt in Europe and around the world. It could take years to return to a real sense of normalcy.
Due to the restrictions put in place, people were unable to visit restaurants and their travel plans were restricted. For many, that meant taking the problem into their own hands and finding a solution. The answer for some was to take up cooking as a hobby and try different recipes.
Cooking at home during the lockdown meant finding a new hobby, making better use of the time, and exploring knowledge of other cultures through the medium of food. The success of one or two kitchen appliances also contributed.
What is a multicooker and can they really help someone cook?
A multicooker is a device with different cooking modes and options. You can possibly sous vide, sauté, bake, and cook rice. You may also have slow cook options that are great for tough cuts of meat. Plus, they can cook quickly to speed up recipes that traditionally take a long time.
Basically, a modern multi-cooker like the Instant Pot or Ninja Foodi is similar to the older type of pressure cooker, but with many more functions. You have helped many amateur chefs try different recipes as the chef does most of the work and the food is ready very quickly.
Combined with Russian home cooking, they can be a great option as the meals can be prepared and prepared with very little effort.
So what is Russian food made of? Is it just a lot of cabbage and potatoes?
Why do Russians eat so many potatoes?
Okay, potatoes are popular, but some of them have practical reasons. When it comes to serving sustainable foods and ingredients, potatoes are among the best.
Every country has its own main carbohydrates when it comes to staple foods. This can be pasta (or noodles), rice, or potatoes. Of course, bread also plays a role, but for the purposes of this article we will consider the first three as they form the basis of many meals around the world.
Between potatoes, rice and pasta, the former is by far the most environmentally friendly option. In addition, in the harsh winters in parts of Russia there is often a lack of fresh vegetables and potatoes are always available.
The favorite dishes of Russians often include dishes with potatoes, but they are exchanged for wheat for the national dish.
What is the national dish of Russia?
Pelmeni is a type of dumpling that is usually stuffed with meat. It can be served in soup, deep-fried, buttered and is very popular. It is sometimes treated a little as a ready-made meal, but it can also make a hearty broth or soup with sour cream.
It would be possible to make pelmeni in the Instant Pot, and there are many recipes for similar dumplings on the internet. But maybe this particular part of Russian culture should be saved for traditional cooking methods.
Multicookers are often associated with healthy cooking, and it can be a shame to take away the pleasure of heavily buttered pelmeni or deep-fried dumplings by trying to turn them into a calorie-friendly option.
Other dishes that have been enjoyed over the centuries include borscht, blintzes, plov, kotleti, and of course, beef stroganoff. There is also solyanka soup, which is both sweet and sour and is considered the best hangover remedy available.
Borscht is very adaptable to the seasons, as it can be eaten cold in warm weather or hot in winter nights.
Easy to prepare Russian dishes
Provided you have access to a multicooker or instant pot, you may be able to prepare some authentic Russian dishes without too much trouble.
Beef Stroganoff has been around since 1800 when it first appeared, and was attributed to Count Stroganoff during this period. Whatever the truth, stroganoff is a meal from Russia that has spread to many other countries.
The problem with this dish is that many countries like the UK and US have adopted it, swapping quality ingredients for practical ones like canned mushroom soup. Fortunately, recipes from Corrie Cooks and other websites have now fixed this, and you can find much better versions.
Making the best beef stroganoff could mean a lot slower cooking, but a pressure cooker means you can get the same results in 20 minutes. To make the best stroganoff, use good ingredients. However, there are two schools of thought here.
Many cooks will advocate using beef tenderloin or rib eye steak for beef stroganoff, but others prefer a long slow cook with a cheaper but tastier piece of meat. When using the Instant Pot for quick results, opt for a good quality cut of beef.
Russian food may not be as popular as Thai, Chinese, or Italian. However, dishes from this country are prepared with love and bring people together.
Is there anything more satisfying than making a delicious stroganoff in just twenty minutes and serving it to a table full of family on a cold winter night?
Cassy Joy Garcia offers a way to cook once, get 2 meals
This cover picture published by Simon & Schuster shows “Cook Once Dinner Fix: Quick and Exciting Ways to Transform Tonight’s Dinner into Tomorrow’s Feast” by Cassy Joy Garcia. (Simon & Schuster via AP)
Some families just love leftovers. What’s easier than reheating and digging up yesterday’s food? But this isn’t Cassy Joy Garcia’s family: they’re not leftover fans.
So Garcia had to get creative on her latest cookbook, which offers busy home cooks a way to reduce stress in the kitchen by turning one meal into two different ones.
She does it by planning two meals that usually share one protein. She cooks meat, fish or poultry for one meal and sets aside something for tomorrow’s dinner that will have its own flavors.
“When we started putting this puzzle together to see what it might look like, I realized we were drawn to something that I already do and use,” she says. “I just never really thought of it as a formula.”
“Cook Once Dinner Fix: Quick and Exciting Ways to Transform Tonight’s Dinner into Tomorrow’s Feast” shows how to switch from a beef and vegetable stew one night to shredded beef tostadas the next. Or dry grated grill brisket on Tuesday and cheesesteak filled peppers on Wednesday.
“I like the idea of being able to bridge the efforts of tonight into a future meal,” she says. “If you get stuck, you have the feeling that you are constantly catching up.”
Each set of twin recipes includes cooking tips and multiple ways to replace a gluten-free, nut-free, grain-free, low-carb, or dairy-free diet. It also includes a dozen pairs of vegetarian meals.
“Her idea of having a head start on making something really big today that will be totally delicious and then turning those leftovers into something else – that’s the real way she cooks,” said her editor, Justin Schwartz , Vice President and Editor-in-Chief at Simon Element, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. “It’s a concept that was true to her heart.”
Garcia’s creativity was in full swing to make sure Meal # 2 didn’t taste like Meal # 1 Chipotle Beef Tacos, the balsamic vinegar worked well with the chillies.
“The biggest challenge was that these taste profiles should be very different, but that commonalities should be found between them,” she says.
In one pair of recipes, Garcia fried a whole chicken in a lemon and garlic mixture for a rustic country dish and then used the breasts to make an Asian-inspired sesame chicken for the second dish.
“You don’t necessarily look at these two dishes and think they can work together. But garlic and lemon are common in Asian dishes. And so I got involved in these threads, ”she says.
Her editor says Garcia didn’t take any short cuts or fell into the lazy trap of just making two similar southern dishes for first and second meals.
“Cassy has such a keen sense for food and flavors. She really brought that to the table, ”said Schwartz.
Garcia is the creative force behind the popular food blog Fed + Fit, which she started in 2011. As a holistic nutritionist, her previous book, Cook Once Eat All Week, was weekend cooking for midweek use. She lives in San Antonio, Texas with her husband and two children.
She is a tinkerer in the kitchen and constantly refines. “I sometimes like to think that my recipe development method is almost literal, throw spaghetti on the wall and see what remains,” she says with a laugh and adds modestly that she identifies with the incomprehensible character of the Swedish chef Muppet.
“Cook Once Dinner Fix” is intended to help families escape the temptation to order and to relieve tension by planning two meals on weekdays around 5 pm: What is for dinner?
“As much as I love to cook, having dinner on the table can feel incredibly awkward and stressful,” says Garcia. “Meal two, it’s ready. It is planned. You know what it will be. “
The global pandemic disrupted the book – it shut down when the poultry recipes were photographed – but Garcia used the time to reconsider her work.
“It has allowed me to look back on the manuscript and see how we can make it even easier for people?”
Top Foods for Protein Sources on a Plant-Based Diet
Plant-Based Protein: Top Foods for Protein Sources in a Plant-Based Diet
There are many reasons for switching to a plant-based diet. One of the main reasons is growing concerns about climate change. Over the past few years, we’ve realized that animal foods may not be as healthy as they appear.
This has increased the fear of chronic illness and is one of the main reasons behind the developing imagination. As more of us consider making the switch and finding a beginner plant-based eating plan, this movement of focusing on foods from plant sources is a trend that is not going to fade.
Traditionally, people eat plant-based foods for a variety of reasons. These include religious beliefs, animal welfare, and health concerns. More recently, however, people have been looking for more specific plant-based diet benefits and developing their own plant-based diet recipes and plant-based weight loss programs. But what about vegetable protein?
Once thought impossible, the fact is now that you can get enough protein from a plant-based diet. However, if you are new to all of this, you may want to know the best sources. Read on to discover top foods for protein sources in a plant-based diet …
High protein plant foods to consider
Whether you’ve just switched to a green diet or have been a vegetarian all your life, you need to know how to get key nutrients from plants and vegetables like protein.
Protein is readily available for non-vegetarians, but vegetarians may need to do a little research. Let’s take a look at some of the most protein-rich plant foods so you don’t miss out on protein.
fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are probably the most delicious way to add protein to your diet. It is believed that all fruits and vegetables contain some amount of protein. But some fruits and vegetables like spinach, broccoli, potatoes, sweet potatoes, artichokes, asparagus, guava, blackberries, and bananas contain good amounts of protein.
A good selection of fruits and vegetables is sometimes almost all you need for a nice plant-based diet. However, it’s also worth noting that it can be difficult to get the full amount of protein needed from just eating fruits and vegetables. This is where dietary supplements and protein powders for vegans come into play.
The above points are especially important for vegans who are fully committed to this diet.
Edamame, tempeh and tofu
Edamame, tempeh, and tofu are all derivatives of soybeans and are great sources of protein. These plant-based foods can be used to prepare a variety of tasty dishes, including soups, burgers, parfaits, noodles, and chillies.
I am milk
Soy milk is the gym goer’s choice. It’s a form of processed milk made from soybeans. The fact that soy milk is fortified with extra vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients makes it a really great choice for health conscious people.
Oats and oatmeal
Oats are the cornerstone of any healthy breakfast and the most common way to meet your protein needs. They don’t contain full protein, but rather a higher quality protein that makes them a great food option.
Popularly known as wheat meat, seitan is a rich source of protein. It is made from gluten, the main protein in wheat. In addition to protein, seitan also contains selenium, iron, phosphorus, and calcium, making it a great choice for almost every vegetarian and vegan.
Brown rice, quinoa, brown rice noodles and farro ensure that you get the nutrients you need while still enjoying delicious food. We especially like to add ingredients like cashew cream to add flavor and thickness.
A plant in the Fabaceae family, legumes extend to beans, soybeans, peas, chickpeas, peanuts, lentils, lupins, mesquite, carob, tamarind, alfalfa and clover. Also known as legumes, these filling but tasty dishes go great with curries, pasta and salads.
Obtaining important nutrients
As with any diet, the benefits depend on the quality of the ingredients used and the amount consumed. It’s also important to consider nutrients that aren’t as typically found in a plant-based diet or, if you eat out a lot, a plant-based restaurant menu. The most important nutrients include:
– Vitamin B12 is typically found in foods of animal origin and must be supplemented
– Vitamin D, which is typically found in oily fish, can now be obtained from both mushrooms and dietary supplements. And of course the sun
Make sure to speak to your doctor when considering nutritional supplements to aid your diet and nutrition decisions.
A plant-based diet is known to increase your energy levels. It can be even more beneficial because you can exercise more. And be less sick. Also, spending more time in the gym means you can eat more. Of course, you don’t want to undo the gains you made from the extra exercise, so your choice of “treat” here is key.
One of our favorite snacks are the energy-boosting Hemp Energy Bites, which contain just six ingredients. In our opinion, digestible and yet enjoyable, this is an all-round hit.
We also have a huge fondness for keto avocado brownies, and since it’s possible to be keto and plant-based by replacing animal protein with plant-based protein, these are easy to make and tick all the chocolate monster boxes. You can read more about this type of plan here: including deciphering the difference between clean keto and dirty keto.
There are many diet options to choose from, some keep and some don’t. Some might be for you and some might not. It is important to understand why you are embarking on a new plan. Is it a fad? For your health? A lifestyle change? Don’t want to eat animals? Or to help the environment?
Maybe it’s some of these reasons, maybe all of them, maybe none at all. Whatever you choose, do your research and adopt it.
Remember, protein is one of the human body’s greatest nutritional needs. After reading this article, maybe you are ready to give it a try and think about how to go on a two week plant-based diet? If so, remember that a healthy plant-based eating plan must include good sources of protein. From oatmeal for breakfast, avocado for lunch, hemp energy balls, nuts and seeds for snacking, and seitan, or delicious brown rice noodle dishes for dinner, this new way of life doesn’t have to be boring.
Bringing People Together with Easy to make Russian Comfort Food
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