It's time to face facts: humankind has stuffed up the world pretty badly. But faced with such a grim outlook, the number of people acting to create a greener future is on the up. In just the last couple of years, the impact of single-use plastics on the environment, particularly marine wildlife, has prompted a major shift in our everyday behaviours, with keep-cups, biodegradable packaging and reusable shopping bags entering the mainstream in abundance.
However, at a time when the ecological decline of the world is an increasingly urgent concern, many of us are looking for even more powerful ways to live more sustainably.
Supermarket chain IGA is making a case for what could eventually become one of the most significant food revolutions in decades: the mass-production of insect-based cuisine. At a selection of NSW and QLD outlets, IGA will be the first major supermarket brand in Australia to stock edible crickets, in the form of Australian-based company Grilo Organic’s protein bars, cricket powder and smoothie protein blends.
In Australia, it’s estimated that 55 million tons of CO2 is released into the atmosphere every year as a result of cattle farming alone – that’s the equivalent of 10 per cent of Australia’s total annual emissions of greenhouse gas. By contrast, insect protein is not only less impactful on climate, it also requires significantly less water and space to produce.
In addition to its ecological credentials, crickets are a nutrient-dense food packed with vitamin B-12, Omega 3, iron, potassium and calcium, as well as a higher volume of protein, pound for pound, compared to chicken or beef. And if you’re potentially put off by the ‘ick’ factor of biting into a bug, there are Grilo products stocked by IGA that only feature powdered crickets, so even the most squeamish of eaters won’t be confronted by a plateful of whole-bodied creepy-crawlies.
For now, the only IGA in New South Wales where you can find Grilo products is in Mullumbimby, although more branches may be added to the pilot scheme in due course. Until then, you can also pick them up at Eco Farms in Parramatta, Village Chiropractic in Manly, and Wholefoods in Mona Vale and Avalon.