Have you been looking for a way to get more protein in your diet without increasing your environmental footprint? This October, more than 40 St. Louis chefs are incorporating environmentally-friendly protein option into their menu: crickets.
If the idea makes your skin crawl, don’t worry – you won’t be finding entire exoskeletons in your dish. Instead, chefs will be using finely ground protein powder from the St. Louis-based company Mighty Cricket. It’s all a part of the Mighty Cricket Challenge across the city, which encourages chefs to use the powder in creative ways to help encourage St. Louisans to consider bugs as a food source.
Throughout October, guests at bars, cafes and restaurants can find all sorts of cricket menu items from participating cafés, bars and restaurants across the city. SqWires Restaurant and Annex will serve Mighty Cricket buckwheat pancakes during its weekend brunch, as well as a cricket-y creamy tomato basil bisque. At Bloom Café, you’ll find Might Cricket chocolate “chirp” cookies. Sameem’s Afghan Restaurant & Catering will put it in curry veggies, and Kitchen Kulture will also be selling a red mole made with the powder at the Tower Grove Farmers' Market.
“This challenge is pivotal in normalizing crickets as a viable, clean protein source,” Mighty Cricket CEO Sarah Schlafly said in a release.
According to Mighty Cricket, while producing a pound of beef uses 1,799 gallons of water and producing a pound of chicken uses 468 gallons of water, it only takes one gallon of water to produce a pound of crickets.
Besides being a sustainable protein source, crickets are also good sources of vitamin B12 and calcium. However, crickets might not be a great choice for everyone – if you have a shellfish allergy, there is a chance you could be sensitive to crickets, so approach these bugs cautiously.
Interested in trying the cricket powder? Visit one of the participating restaurants throughout the month of October. You can also use the hashtag #CricketChallenge for a chance to win restaurant gift cards; more details about that are available here.
Mighty Cricket, cricketcereal.com