Introducing the future – Leader Zircca products are a new nutritious and sustainable source of protein made of crickets. Did you know that the crickets are the closest thing to a perfect protein source on the planet? Compared to cows, chickens and pigs, crickets require massively less water, feed and land resources for the same amount of protein. Compared to cows, cricket’s produce 100 times less greenhouse gas for the same amount of protein.
The use of insects as a food has many environmental, health and social benefits. From the western perspective, edible insects may sound weird, even though the insect-based ingredients are a rising trend, they have not been a traditional part of western cuisine. However, when the knowledge of superior characteristics of crickets has risen as well as the ecological reality of our food resources, many Westerns have turned their heads towards edible insects.
The environmental food print could be cut in half by choosing more sustainable foods – like crickets. With a growing world population, our planet needs more sustainable diets as well as alternative protein sources for humans and livestock to reduce land and energy usage. The United Nations predict a steady population increase, leading to 9 billion people by 2050, resulting in an even greater pressure on the environment and agricultural methods – with current resources available, we cannot feed the future generations on our planet.
Leader Foods has been involved in insect-related research and development for years, but it was only at the beginning of November 2017 when Finland changed its interpretation of EU`s novel food legislation. This change made commercial breeding and sales of insect-based nutrition products possible in Finland. When the law changed, we were already ready to act.
LESS WATER, FEED, LAND AND EMISSIONS
UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization has been promoting the benefits of the edible insects for years. According to them, the worldwide livestock industry accounts for over 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. By comparison, cricket production is 20 times more efficient as a protein source than cattle, and it produces 80 times less methane.
Compared to cows, chickens and pigs, crickets require massively less water for the same amount of protein. This is because insects become fully hydrated just from the food that they eat. Also, insects have a high feed conversion efficiency rate. As insects are cold-blooded, they require less energy to stay warm. This helps explain why they are more efficient at converting feed into protein. Consider that crickets need four times less feed than sheep, 12 times less than cattle and half as much as broiler chickens and pigs to produce the same amount of protein. Crickets require also less land than other animal proteins. Where cows require 200 m2 of land for one protein kg, crickets only require 15 m2.
NUTRITIONAL FACT ABOUT THE CRICKETS
FAO report claim that insects are just as – if not more – nutritious than commonly consumed meats, such as beef. For example, crickets are rich in protein, healthy fats, iron, and calcium, and low in carbohydrates. 100 grams of cricket powder contain around 457 calories, 68g of protein, 5.7g of fat, and 5.5g of carbohydrates. While 100g of beef contains protein around 29g, and it is higher in fat, and calories. The low-fat content of insects has led some researchers – such as those involved in the FAO – to suggest that edible insects could be also an effective way to combat obesity and its related diseases. Crickets are also a great source of good unsaturated fats – they have a perfect Omega 3:6 balance.
One of the greatest health benefits of the cricket is the high content of clean, and complete, animal protein that includes all the 9 essential amino acids. In addition, crickets are also a great resource for many hard to obtain vitamins and minerals. The body can absorb these vitamins and minerals at a rate that is higher than beef or wheat. Crickets are high in vitamin B12, in fact, crickets offer almost ten times the amount of B12 when compared to salmon.
When it comes to minerals, crickets pack almost five times as much magnesium as beef and three times as much iron and supply more calcium than milk.
SUSTAINABLE DIETS WITH THE CRICKETS
Sustainable diets consider how the food system influences health and environmental outcomes; it promotes a healthy diet for the planet and the individual. Food stuff in a sustainable diet offers people all the necessary nutrients and food components that they require for healthy growth, development, and day-to-day functioning.
We, at Leader Foods, have joined into the frontier of sustainable diet promoting health, wellness, and sustainability – and great taste – as we believe that sustainable diets should also be tasty. So tasty, that people could shift into it from their regular diets without hesitation.
We wish to offer more sustainable and tasty diet options, so people can make their own choices about their nutrition and planet – without sacrificing the great taste! With the cricket it is easy to personalize diets towards sustainability and make food choices “better for me and my body as well as for the planet”. With a clear conscious and respect towards our planet, we raise our thumbs to the crickets!