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Cooking with Crickets

Greetings, Hive! Today I’m here to talk about the future of our food. It is no secret that the human population’s appetite for meat and other animal products is unsustainable. From the excessive land and water usage, to greenhouse gas emissions, and antibiotic resistance, the case for eating meat (especially beef) is diminishing. Well what if I told you that there was a sustainable protein source that only uses a small fraction of the resources that it takes to produce beef, but still contains the equivalent amount of protein along with essential amino acids and other nutrients? To find this miracle source of protein, you only need to look down.

Crickets, and other insects like meal worms and grasshoppers are consumed the world over, in many different cultures and cuisines. The practice of eating insects is called entomophagy and over 2 billion people in the world eat insects as a regular part of their diets. One beef cow alone takes almost half a million gallons of water to produce- that’s more than 200 gallons of water per finished pound of beef. To produce the equivalent one pound of crickets, it takes merely one gallon of water. Producing crickets also uses less land, takes less time, and emits fewer greenhouse gases, all while providing the exact same amount of protein. If everyone were to take even one meal where they would normally eat beef, and replace it with an alternate source of protein, we could collectively make a huge impact on the world.

So where should you start? There are several ways to incorporate insects into your meals. Bitty flour is an exact flour substitute that contains no gluten and is made up of ground crickets, and other vegetables. Bitty flour is really amazing because it can be used in recipes exactly as you would baking flour, but adds a significant amount of protein to your dishes. You can find Bitty flour here:

www.bittyfoods.com

You can also incorporate cricket powder, which is simply dried and finely ground crickets, directly into your foods for added protein. At this end of this article you can find my award- winning granola recipe which includes cricket powder. You can find cricket powder on amazon, and I have personally tried both of these brands and they are both of good quality.

So what’s stopping you? Squeamish about bugs? We all know what happens in Green Eggs and Ham, after much stalling and refusing, the main character tries them and he loves them. You can add cricket powder to any dish. Savory foods like spaghetti sauce, stews, and soups can mask the flavor entirely. To sweet foods and breads, it adds a delicious earthy nuttiness to your dish. Studies have even shown that children who grow up eating atypical foods like insects learn to be more adventurous and healthy eaters as they grow older. You can lay the groundwork for healthy children and a healthier environment with these tiny insects. Still not convinced you’ll like them? Take a tip from Sam-I-am “Try them, try them, and you may! Try them and you may, I say.”

(Option #1 on Amazon)
(Option #2 on Amazon)

The recipe:

  • Green Bee Granola
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup chopped almonds
  • 1 cup peanuts
  • 3/4 cup shredded sweet coconut 2-3 tablespoons cricket powder 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup softened coconut oil
  • 3/4 tablespoons salt
  • 1 cup of dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit, and in a large bowl combine the dry ingredients, the oats, nuts, shredded coconut and brown sugar, and in a separate bowl combine the maple syrup, oil, and salt.

You are then going to combine both mixtures and pour onto two sheet pans. Cook for around one hour, stirring every 10- 15 minutes until the granola is warm, brown, and toasty.

Sources:

Barennes, H., Phimmasane, M., & Rajaonarivo, C. (2015). Insect Consumption to Address Undernutrition, a National Survey on the Prevalence of Insect Consumption among Adults and Vendors in Laos. Plos ONE, 10(8), 1-16. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0136458

Hartmann, C., Shi, J., Giusto, A., & Siegrist, M. (2015). The psychology of eating insects: A cross-cultural comparison between Germany and China. Food Quality And Preference, 44, 148-156.

Smiderle, D., Sloan, R., & Kains, D. (2016). Overcoming the “Ick” Factor: An Exploratory Study on Techniques to Overcome Consumer Barriers for a Nutrition Bar which Contains Cricket Flour. Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 6(2), 41-48.

USDA.gov

Why Green Bee?

As a makeup artist for seventeen years, I have worked with clients on the biggest and most important days of their lives: weddings, engagement photos, proms, graduations, senior pictures, maternity photos, the list goes on… I have enjoyed every special moment and memory made and I feel honored to have been a part of my past clients’ experiences.  Throughout the course of my career, I found very few options when it came to plant-based, all-natural skincare.  I found zero options for a local small business brand, so I set out to create one.

In 2014 I was accepted into Graduate School at Miami University and the following three years I spent immersed in the studies of Conservation, Evolution, Animal Behavior, and so many more fascinating topics at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens where my classes were held.  How many people get to say they went to school at the zoo?!  I loved every minute of it, but the story that I hung onto the most from my time spent there was that of the Monarch butterfly. (There will be a new post soon, describing this fascinating species in more detail).  When I learned of the sharp decline in all pollinating species in the past few years, I knew I wanted to do more to help the survival of these vital pollinators, not only for them, but for humans as well. So I took my experience with skin and makeup, and combined that with the desire to make a difference in an important and inspirational group of species that we depend on as humans, and Green Bee was born.

National Geographic recently conducted an informal survey posing the question “If you could dedicate your life to saving one species, which would you choose?” Out of 14,000 respondents, an overwhelming majority chose “bees.”  It is heartening to be in such good company when trying to make a difference for bees, butterflies and other pollinators.

Green Bee is proud to donate 10% of every product sold to help educate others about the importance of pollinators, establish pollinator gardens, and give to other organizations who work to protect both public and private lands for pollinators.

Source:

National Geographic https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2019/05/which-animal-species-would-you-save/

Product Spotlight: Green Bee Facial Mask

There will be several posts on individual products to introduce them, explain how to use them, and what makes them special. The first one in the spotlight is the Green Bee Facial Mask

What does Pineapple extract do?

Pineapple juice and stems contain a powerful natural enzyme called Bromelain.  Bromelain has been proven to be useful in reducing swelling and inflammation in the nose and sinuses after injury or surgery.  It helps to improve digestion when eaten, and has been used to help speed healing in skin wounds due to its collagen regenerating properties.

How does this benefit the skin topically?

Bromelain helps to soften keratin proteins.  It acts like a natural Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) removing dead skin cells as a chemical exfoliant. **This is important when using the full line of Green Bee skincare as it helps to remove the emulsifying wax from the the facial moisturizer.**  Bromelain also helps to reduce redness and rebuilds collagen.

When to use the Green Bee pineapple facial mask?

Everyone should use the mask to 3-5 times weekly for the brightest, smoothest skin.  Increase use after any cosmetic procedure such as: Botox (or any other injection), microneedling treatment, any surgery or injury on the skin like acne.

**Please note- the surgery or acne site should be fully healed (stitch, scar, and “new pink skin” gone) before the application of the facial mask as it is for external use only.**

With regular use, the Green Bee facial mask will help to exfoliate, tighten, and brighten up dull skin.  Apply a thin layer to clean skin, wait five to ten minutes for the magic, and remove with a warm, damp cloth, or simply step into the shower.  Follow with skincare and…. Poof! Gorgeous.

Pollinators By Number

What do pollinators do for humans?

Over 75% of all flowering plants depend on animals to pollinate them.  That’s over half of our food source, and much more when you consider that we grow food to feed livestock which then become our food as well.  In 2010, honeybees alone contributed to 19 billion dollars in pollinated crops.  But honeybees aren’t the only pollinators in town.  There are over 3500 different species of native bees in North America, as well as birds, bats, butterflies, moths, beetles, and other insects that all contribute to maintaining our flowering plants and trees.  Habitat loss (deforestation) and the overuse of pesticides on crops, yards, and other green spaces are two major contributors to the decline of our pollinators. 

So what can you do if you’re not a farmer or a real estate developer?  There are many ways to help conserve our pollinating species and one of the easiest and most effective is to cease use of pesticides.  Pesticide use (yes, even those falsely marketed as “organic”) is harmful to all pollinating species.  In addition to killing butterflies and bees, residential pesticide use has been linked to “white nose disease” currently decimating bat populations, as well as documented negative effects to human health. Humans can come in contact with pesticides in many different ways, the most common being dermal and respiratory exposure.  Most poisonings happen from inhaling the chemicals or coming in contact with them through the skin. Diseases like asthma, cancer, diabetes, Parkinson’s, Leukemia, and other harmful cognitive effects have been observed in humans through contact with pesticides.  A recommendation from the CDC for avoiding ticks and mosquito borne illnesses is to simply apply a bug repellant (there are many effective, all natural, DEET-free options out there) directly to your skin before spending time outdoors. 

Another way to help our pollinating species is to change your buying habits from conventional produce to local, organic farms.  Organic produce may not different from conventionally farmed produce by the time the fruit or vegetable hits your plate, but by choosing a product that has not been sprayed with pesticides, we can send a message to food producers that creates change beneficial to us all.  Remember, not all organic foods are created equal.  Learn where your food comes from so you can make the best decision possible for your health and the environment!

Sources:

US Fish & Wildlife Service:
https://www.fws.gov/pollinators/

Natural Resources Conservation Service- U.S. Department of Agriculture:
https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/plantsanimals/pollinate/

Ki-Hyun, Ehsanul, Shamin “Science of the Total Environment”:
https://loupfilles.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/pesticides-and-associated-health-effects-2017.pdf