8.2 C
Byron Shire
July 15, 2024

Jiminy Crickets

Latest News

While Hamas exists, Palestine will never be free

In response to David Heilpern’s article regarding antisemitism and Israel, (Echo, July 3) it is probably generally agreed that...

Other News

Remembering those who served, July 11 

The Byron Bay war memorial has witnessed its fair share of commemorations over the years – from ANZAC Day ceremonies to Vietnam Veterans Day services and many in between.

Tweed Council wants feedback on Crabbes Creek Community Hall upgrade

The Crabbes Creek Community Hall is heading towards. major upgrade and Tweed Shire Council is seeking community feedback on a draft concept plan for the work to make it a safer and more inclusive space for gatherings, events and activities.

Elections

As a 65 year-old man, it should be illegal for me to vote. Start at 18 finish at 65,...

Should Mullum’s water supply remain locally-sourced?

The Echo asked mayoral candidates Cr Sarah Ndiaye and Mayor Michael Lyon what their position is with Mullum’s future water supply, and ‘Why the community should trust the integrity of this process, given the optics around consultant conflict of interest, and staff not answering questions from committee members with engineering expertise?’

NAIDOC WEEK: Bundjalung art on show

Coinciding with NAIDOC week celebrations, Longstanding will be at the Lone Goat Gallery, located at the Byron Library until August 17.

Northern Rivers blacked out as Essential Energy ‘sheds load’

24,500 customers in Ballina, Lismore and surrounding areas experienced an unplanned power outage after Essential Energy was directed to ‘shed load to protect transmission security’.

Vivienne-contemplates-crickets
Vivienne contemplates a cricket-powered cupcake.

By Vivienne Pearson

The delicious looking cupcake in front of me would have been eaten ages ago, had I not known its full ingredient list. Instead, I hesitate while a battle of logic versus instinct wages in my brain. It’s neither the buckwheat flour nor the maple syrup that have caused me to pause; it’s the crickets that make me hesitate.

Yes, crickets.

There are no legs or antennae sticking out of the cake. The crickets are powdered. Farmed for three months, lured into hibernation by lowered temperatures, frozen (at which point they die), then washed, baked and ground. But, however finely ground they are, there is no getting round the fact that there are crickets in my cake. Insects. Crunchy in their natural state. I don’t eat insects, unless you count the odd fly during a bushwalk.

I have contemplated crickets as a food source before – but it doesn’t really help me in my cake-eating mission – as they were a food source for my pet frogs.

I am not a frog and, as I might have mentioned, I don’t eat insects. But, truth is that there is only around three grams of powdered cricket in the cake staring up at me. I reason that such a small amount is not going to be noticeable and I am right. I enjoy my delicious cake.

This initial hurdle over, I move onto the actual powder. It’s worth being clear that no-one is expected to eat the cricket powder neat. The idea is to include it in smoothies and baked dishes, or sprinkled over granola or a salad.

In the name of thorough research, I will not stop until I’ve tried the powder in its pure form.

‘People say it tastes like almond, or popcorn,’ says Pedro. I try it and disagree with him. I find the smell earthy and the taste like a stale spice-mix. These are not sensations I would seek out, but are far less disagreeable than I had feared.

The big question is, why? Why, apart from giving yourself psychological challenge (or being on Survivor), would you choose to eat insects? The answers are surprisingly plentiful.

Eating insects, a normal part of life in some parts of Asia and Africa, is potentially part of the solution to many of the world’s problems. Crickets can be farmed in incredibly low-impact ways compared to other animals. [I can attest to the fact that they eat hardly anything (a fresh piece of carrot daily sustained them nicely until they were fed to my frogs).

You eat every part of them (like nose-to-tail eating but let’s get technical and call it antennae-to-ovipositor eating). They are a rich source of protein – 15g of powdered cricket yields 10g of protein (about the same as an egg) – and are high in Vitamin B12.

A vegetarian who restricted their diet to avoid the environmental impact of farming meat might consider adding crickets to their diet. Maybe, as well as pescatarians and lacto-ovo-vegetarians, we’ll one day have insectarians?

Pedro has used himself as a tester. ‘I eat a diet that is pretty much plant-based plus crickets,’ he says. ‘Because I train a lot – jiu-jitsu, strength training and surfing – I eat more than 50g of crickets a day. A year on, I feel great.’

 Three-quarters of the Grilo team: Camila Meyer, Pedro Silva and Martina Meyer
Three-quarters of the Grilo team: Camila Meyer, Pedro Silva and Martina Meyer

Pedro is one quarter of Grilo (which means cricket in Portuguese), all of whom hail from Brazil and live in Suffolk Park. They have created two products additional to the ‘neat’ cricket powder – Go Greensect (crickets plus spirulina, chlorella, turmeric and other) and Cacao Hopper (crickets plus cacao – ideal for bliss-balls, according to Pedro). They also make energy bars and have a growing number of cricket-based recipes on their website for you to try at home.

I have now eaten crickets. Would you?

[* More than 900 species, I later learn. The one I have just eaten is Gyllodes sigilatus.]

gryllodes-sigillatus

Grilo is at www.griloprotein.com.au and local stockists include Baz & Shaz, Fundies, Herbal Wisdom, Bangalow Gym and Cross Fit Byron Bay.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

A self-hating Jew

A self-hating Jew means ‘antisemite’. David Heilpern’s 3 July article was underpinned with lies, and hateful sentiments toward one group of Australians: the Jewish...

Losing town water access

I grew up and live in Mullumbimby, and I know locals have a strong opinion about the Byron Shire Council. I had always given...

Lavertys Gap history

The Lavertys Gap hydro power station was installed in 1919. In 1939, during the Great Depression, people had no money, and Council decided to...

Electricity lines clipped and lines come down in Lismore

Police have confirmed that a truck clipped powerlines today on Dawson Street, Lismore.