Always present in the diet of human beings, the insects are consumed by about 2 billion people. FAO’s Edible Insects Program recognizes that they provide protein and high quality nutrients compared to meat and fish and, in addition, they contain high levels of unsaturated fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins and rich in fiber and micronutrients. And all of it, packed in biodegradable creatures. As if this were not enough, they pose a reduced risk of transmission of zoonotic diseases.
Furthermore, because they are cold-blooded animals, they do not use food energy to maintain body temperature: on average, insects consume only 2 kg of feed to produce 1 kg of insect meat. At the other extreme, a cow requires 8 kg of feed to obtain 1 kg of beef. And they produce a small amount of emissions such as methane, ammonia, greenhouse gases and manure, which pollute the planet. The FAO points out that pigs produce between 10 and 100 times more greenhouse gases per kilo than, for example, mealworms (beetle larvae). For all this, they are seen as a solution for the future for food, a whole protein alternative with clear nutritional, health and environmental benefits.
Throughout more than 1,900 species of edible insects are consumed in the world. Most of these known species are collected directly from the wild. The most consumed are beetles (coleoptera) (31%), caterpillars (lepidoptera) (18%) and bees, wasps and ants (hymenoptera) (14%). They are followed by grasshoppers, locusts and crickets (orthoptera) (13%), cicadas, fulgoromorphs and leafhoppers, mealybugs and bedbugs (hemiptera) (10%), termites (isoptera) (3%), dragonflies (odonates) (3%), flies (diptera) (2%) and other orders (5%). Despite the fact that its consumption collides in many countries with a purely cultural wall, the truth is that the breeding of insects and the use of derived products is a promising food industry that is beginning to develop little by little in Europe.
Of course, instead of the fried and whole insects that are sold in the markets of many Asian cities, the ground product is chosen. Something they know well in «Trillions», a pioneer company in Spain in sports supplements, such as protein bars, created from cricket flour.
Started up by two friends and young entrepreneurs, Gabriel Vicedo and Albert Mas, they have always had it clear: «We want to offer an alternative to the proteins that exist today, in an innovative, disruptive and sustainable way for the planet », they explain.
To the question of why the cricket ?, they point out that this insect has a greater acceptance than, for example, if we talk about cockroach protein; a better nutritional advantage over other insects and is more sustainable. The option of transform it into flour It is “an easier way to introduce entomophagy and has the same nutritional advantage as the whole insect, and its presentation in bars, balls or powder as a supplement allows its consumption like any conventional food”, explains Mas, who states that “they are much more sustainable than another type of protein, such as meat, requires fewer resources: water, food, space and they produce much less greenhouse gases “and he says that” insect protein will change the future of food. “