By Katy Cable-The Weekly Runt / A 4 min. Read
When I was eight years old. my dad, in an effort to get me to give up Ding-Dongs and Oreos, told me about how “junk food” was made. He insisted that all kinds of bugs often got mixed into these crummy processed snacks. Turns out, those very insects may have been the healthiest thing about my indulgence.
If you’d have told me just a year ago, there may come a day when insects are a major staple in our diets, I would’ve thought you were CRAZY! Now, I’m excited to share my experience and hopefully open your minds to joining the swarm of “insect eating” people and pets!
While visiting a popular beach town in Central Coast CA, I remember a street vendor selling crickets and grasshoppers dipped in dark chocolate. He also had tequila lollipops with a worm inside. It all seemed repulsive and I couldn’t believe people actually paid money to eat them. For me, this was just like a challenge that would get me booted off the island on a reality TV show.
At the Las Vegas Pug Party, I had my eyes opened and my mind changed when I met Laura Colagrande, co-founder of Chippin Snacks. She kindly offered my little Pug Olive one of her apple, cricket, and flaxseed snacks. Olive has never met a treat she didn’t like, and devoured the biscuit faster than you can say “Jiminy!”
Colagrande told me her story and I was intrigued. While studying design at U of Penn, she agreed to help her roommate, Haley Russell, a grad student at The Wharton School of Business, with a research project. The two examined using crickets as a viable alternative to meat for pet treats/meals and things have been hopping ever since.
🦗 WHY CRICKETS? 🦗
For starters, crickets pack a whole lotta punch! They’re an excellent source of omegas, vitamins and minerals. Additionally, they’re very low in fat compared to other proteins. Best of all, there’s no threat of e Coli, Staph or other pathogens.
That cricket chirp is their mating call. They live to reproduce. The process begins with crickets being cared for in numerous small farms which are all housed in warehouses. After the crickets have reproduced the temperature of their environment is slowly lowered until they reach a hibernation state. They are then frozen and ground into a powder. The cricket is never traumatized or feels any pain unlike nearly all other live animals used for food.
REDUCING YOUR CARBON PAWPrint🐾🐾🐾🐾
Did you know 80% of water in the USA is used for food production? The natural resources used for the production of meat is staggering. I got “bug-eyes” when I llearned the statistics.
🐂 It takes roughly 2,000 gallons of water to produce 1lb of beef.
🐓 It requires around 560 gallons of water to produce 1lb of poultry.
🦗Now consider, it takes only 1 gallon of water to produce 1lb of edible cricket protein.
According to the Seattle Times, Americans eat more meat than ever before, nearly 223lb per person, per year! In 2018 America surpassed the all-time record eating over 100 billion pounds. The World Atlas names Australia and the USA as the world’s largest consumers of meat. With Americans owning 90 million dogs, pets in the USA consume more meat than 90% of the world’s countries.* That’s a lot of meat!
And that’s not all...
The global demand for meat is leading to environmental destruction. Livestock agriculture requires almost half of the earth’s total land. It’s wasteful AND TOXIC! For example, 55% of water used in the US is for factory farming. Runoff contaminates waterways with nitrogen and phosphates. The greenhouse gasses produced by livestock agriculture make up at least half of all man-made emissions. Methane, an emission, has a global warming potential that is 86 times more than carbon dioxide. The evidence is clear that animal consumption is the leading cause of reduced biodiversity, water pollution, and deforestation which are all causes of global warming.
WHAT YOU CAN DO...
Start with trying some cricket snacks. If you come to one of my events, I typically have samples. You can also find them at many pet stores, or order right here and use “WEEKLY RUNT” for a 10% discount. If you’re really adventurous you can purchase cricket powder and start experimenting. Try making your own meals and snacks. (Watch for my favs in an upcoming blog & show!😜)
A FINE GATEWAY BUG
You may find crickets are your “gateway bug” into a whole new way of eating for YOU AND YOUR PET! Mark my words, insect protein is going to explode like ants at a picnic! A complete, viable protein that’s easy to farm, inexpensive and packs a lot of punch for a lot less water! Very soon all of us will be saying, “There’s a bug in my food!” And, “Please pass the crickets!”
BUGS, PUGS & KISSES, 😘🐾❤️
CHIP IN & SAVE WATER
🐾Katy Cable is a former actress appearing in “Back To The Future” and starring in the TV series: “Safe At Home” & “ Fired Up!” In addition to her dog health & lifestyle blog/vlog: The Weekly Runt, (https://www.weeklyrunt.com/) she’s a contributing writer to numerous publications including Thrive Global, & The Huffington Post. Cable lives at the beach with her husband, Rick and her rescue Pug, Olive.🐾