For the past couple of months Jungle Bar has been working with Rachel Lacey, a Sustainable Food Systems major at the University of Michigan on a few fun projects. Rachel shares our passion for normalizing insects as a viable food source in the western world and has been researching the subject in her studies. Rachel is a great representative of the edible insects' movement and we're happy that she wants to work with us and helping us spread the message of entomophagy and Jungle Bar in her community. The good stuff about insects
Below is an article written by Rachel on why we should all be eating more insects for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Or at least for one of those.
Insects are part of the traditional diets of an estimated 2 billion people, with over 1,900 different species reported as food globally. In countries such as Thailand, Madagascar, and Mexico, they were once viewed as food only suitable for royalty and elites. Currently, most entomophagy, or consumption of insects as food, occurs in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, but it is found worldwide, including within the indigenous communities of Australia and the United States.
Yet for the most part, Western countries view entomophagy with disgust. In us humans, the disgust emotion tends to invoke a sense of contamination, and because of this, we tend to view bugs as inherently unclean. Yet not only do crickets not carry any diseases transmittable to humans, but when preparing crickets, high-heat processing methods such as boiling, roasting, and frying ensure the safety of the food.
Agriculture, and meat production in particular, can have significant impacts on human health and the health of ecosystems both near and far. Because meat production, and especially beef production, has such a large carbon footprint, and because meat consumption is rising in developing areas of the world, the meat industry as a whole plays a large role in climate change.
Meat production uses a huge amount of space, feed, water, and energy, and crickets are far less demanding of these resources. This is mostly due to crickets’ rapid, high-fecundity life cycles, and their high energy conversion rates due to the fact that they are cold-blooded. Not only are crickets a more sustainable source of protein than meat, but they are also a great source of iron, vitamin B12, omega-3, calcium, magnesium, selenium, and zinc.
Making flour out of crickets is only one of many ways to eat these tasty insects. Yet something as familiar, simple, and delicious as a granola bar is a great way to mix these bugs into your everyday life.
Though perhaps for the more adventurous of us out there, Jungle Bars are healthy, sustainable, and by the highly scientific data of a handful of documented taste tests, have been compared to tasting just as good as all those cricket-less energy bars—or even better!