Meat Free Monday is back y'all, and it is back with a bang...or maybe a hop? 
No Collective, the title is not a trick. Today's post is about crickets---the insect--and the slow increase of value that has been put on these Gryllidae as a viable source of protein. Entomophagy--i.e. the practice of eating insects--is widely consumed as part of a traditional diet by at least 2 billion people world wide, as there are many pros to their consumption. Some of the arguments for an insect-filled diet have to do with the fact that insects are healthy, nutritious, alternatives to meat as many insects are rich in protein, good fats, and vitamins, such as calcium, iron, zinc and B12. Environmentally insects emit considerably fewer greenhouse gases than most livestock. More interestingly, because insects are cold-blooded, they are very efficient at converting feed into protein. Crickets, e.g. need 12 times less feed that cattle, four times less than sheep and half as much as a pig. Insects can also be fed on organic waste streams.

Now of all the insects...

Cricket Flour is a great source of protein, full of healthy fats and super-rich in calcium, zinc and iron, and is safer to eat than livestock as insects have a much lower risk of passing diseases onto us. 
Who is responsible for these cricket flour bars?
SENS Foods has created protein and energy bars to push the way we think about the future food, and to consider sustainable and less environmentally taxing alternatives for protein. The idea behind their concept is the challenge the way we think about the negative impacts our current consumption needs have on the planet and our bodies. They have also challenged the way we think of food securing as we see a growing population that is increasingly competing for food resources. [Imagine cricket flour in the development context, adding proteins to diets in vulnerable regions that have limited to no access to such a food source]. Animals in this process are treated humanely, as crickets are made to hibernate before they are dried and milled into the flour. SENS currently produces protein and energy bars and have four flavours all with varying health benefits. 
According to SENS, their Energy bars are low-glycemc, with organic fruits, packed with nutrients such as iron, calcium, omega 3 fatty acids, and the highest quality proteins, whereas their Protein bars are considered the most innovative, and only all-natural, organic, low-carbohydrate protein bar, containing 20g of the highest quality protein (how do we measure the quality of protein by the way?). Flavours for the protein bars are Dark Chocolate & Sesame and Peanut Butter & Cinnamon; whereas the Energy Bars are Dark Chocolate & Orange and Pineapple & Coconut. 

Watch Video to learn more about SENS Foods and SENS Bars:

Last Sunday I hosted one of my monthly Tea Salons--a forum where I have friends over for tea and we catch up on world events, politics, the arts, etc.--where I had my guests try the sample size SENS bars with me. Of course there was some trepidation, I did offer this to pregnant women (the subject for this Tea Salon open endedly titled Motherhood) who could have easily used their current state as an excuse to refrain from testing, but everyone got into the taste test. Our favourites by far were the energy bars, which had a sweetness to them from the fruits that the energy bars incorporate.

Currently, SENS Foods is crowdfunding to get their products off the ground on Kickstarter. Their goal is to get €10,000 of which their current 182 backers have helped them reach to €7,632 as of this moment. Join in and help them reach their goal for the future of food. As SENS Foods is currently preparing these bars in small handmade batches, they hope that the Kickstarter campaign will allow them to start producing these bars in much larger quantities with the help of a third party.
Why not support the cause and tell us which one is your favourite? And don't be shy, a little cricket never hurt anyone.

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