Crickets: The Lost Protein

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Crickets: The protein of the future.

crickets the lost protein

Entomophagy: the human consumpton of insects

Have you ever eaten an insect?

I’m sure your immediate answer may be “No! Never!” or “Not on purpose…” but everyone has eaten an insect before. You may be eating them more often than you think. Eating insects are not very popular in the United States or in Europe but it’s a common ingredient in many countries all around the world.

There are some products that we use that are derived from insects. Natural red dye 4, also known as carmine or cochineal extract, for example. This red dye is made from the female cochineal insect and is added to food suck as fake crab meat, soft drinks, candies, and in medicine. However, most of the insects that we end up eating are from our everyday food and the amount the FDA allows to be in our food.Amount of Insects in Food (1)

Why don’t Western countries eat insects?

Eating insects really is not that uncommon and we’ve been doing it whether or not we realize it. In the U.S. and Europe the thought of eating an insect can be very revolting but why is that? One belief is that once we started relying on farming for our food we began to see insects as the destroyers of food rather than being food. Over time we have lost our appetite for insects and our hatred and even fear of them has increased. Another possibility is just not having enough of the edible bugs around or too much energy was expended trying to hunt for bugs.

Why we should eat crickets

Yes, crickets. Those little flightless hoppers that we feed to our pet lizards and are a big contributor to sounds of a summer night.

1. Crickets are high nutrients

Crickets are nutrient-packed! 100 grams of crickets contain 12.9 grams of protein, 5.5 g. of fat, and 121 calories. They also contain calcium, phosphorous, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin. In comparison, 100 grams of beef has 23.5 grams of protein, 288.2 calories, and 21.2 grams. Beef may contain more protein but it is also much high in calories and fat.

The amount of protein in crickets can vary based on their diet one study found. Crickets had the highest amount of protein when fed a grain-based diet similar to what chickens eat. This means that right now, to get the highest amount of protein it doesn’t necessarily cost any less than raising chickens. However, crickets do have a bit of a higher protein conversion rate compared to chickens.

2. Crickets require fewer resources

One hundred pounds of feed is required to make just 10 pounds of beef whereas the same amount of feed can produce 45 pounds of crickets. Since crickets can be fed scraps and produce more on the same amount fed to beef, they can take off some strain on farmland used to produce feed. We could open up more field for producing foods for humans. They use less water as they get some of their water content from the foods they eat.

3. They produce fewer Greenhouse Gases

In 2011, cows were responsible for 39% of the greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. This surpassed synthetic fertilizer and deforestation. Crickets produce significantly fewer greenhouse gases which means that we could have a high protein source with less of an impact on our environment.

How to eat crickets

There are a lot of recipes around the world that utilize crickets and their insects. If you aren’t a fan of eating whole insects there’s always powdered ones!

cricket cookies c

Cricket powder is a great way to eat crickets without having to see the crickets. Some of us don’t like to eat things with a face…in this case, with many legs.

Cricket powder can be substituted in baked goods. You don’t want to substitute more than 1/3 of a cup per 1 cup of flour. It does well but because many backed goods need the gluten in the flour too much can cause the recipe to fail. Above I made snickerdoodle cookies with cricket flour. The cookies spread out a lot due to the lack of the gluten but they were still good, just thin. They tasted like snickerdoodles and the cricket powder wasn’t too noticeable. The color of the powder did dominate the color of the cookies even though there was more white flour. These cookies weren’t bad and a lot of people who tried them didn’t even know there were crickets in them! I think chocolate chip or chocolate chirp cookies might be really good.

Would you try crickets?

If you’re interested in diving into the world of entomophagy here’s some cricket powder or some whole crickets if you’re brave enough.


Entomophagy (Eating insects)
For Most People, Eating Bugs Is Only Natural
Study: To Cut Down On Environmental Impact, Eat Less Beef
Giving up beef will reduce carbon footprint more than cars, says expert
Eating Insects Isn’t as Eco-Friendly As People Say
The Truth About Red Food Dye Made from Bugs
How nutritional are crickets
Environmental opportunities for insect rearing for food and feed
Gassy Cows Are Warming The Planet, And They’re Here To Stay
How to Breed a Tasty Cricket

Disclaimer: All information on Not Your Typical Hippie is for educational purposes only. I am not a doctor, veterinarian, dietician, or health expert. If you wish to have advice on a medical problem, please consult a doctor. I cannot guarantee that any information provided will work for every person. Please consult a doctor before making any health changes. I am not liable for any choices you make based on the information provided on this website. (Learn more here)

WWOOFing in Wales Part II

My husband and I spent two weeks in the country side of Wales for free. If you haven’t already, check out WWOOFing in Wales Part I to learn about WWOOFing, how much it cost us to get to the UK and our first week on the farm.

wwoofing in wales 2

Day 8

We started the day off with putting down top soil and grass seed in one of the areas we had been clearing days before. Peter went into town to buy groceries. While he was gone we worked in the barn again cleaning it out with the power washer. It rained most of the day so being in the barn was nice other than the fact that we were spraying high pressured water at cow dung to get it off the walls. We ended up blowing the fuse again and couldn’t figure out how to fix it. We rinsed things down and went back to the caravan to watch the food network and call it a day.

snail

There were a lot of snails especially when it rained. They’re considered a pest and we were supposed to step on them but I just couldn’t. They were too adorable so I would pick them up and relocate them. Sshhhh.

Day 9

We finished up cleaning out the barn and the power washer just stopped working. Changing the fuses didn’t work so Peter spliced the cord of the power washer onto a new plug. We finally finished cleaning the barn after three days and continued pulling up roots where another tree had been removed. For lunch, we had lettuce soup again with tuna salad sandwiches. Afterward, we worked on digging a trench along the side of part of the drive way to place old railway sleepers to divert water into a drain. There were some metal stakes in the sleepers that we had to pry out. There was one that wouldn’t come out that Peter ended up having to cut out.

Later that night we walked down to the pub on our own and had our first English fish and chips! It was served with mushy peas which is pretty much just mashed up peas. It was actually pretty good. I had some cake and Aidan had some custard for dessert. One of my favorite things about going to this small pub was how friendly everyone was and it was just like being part of a big family there. One woman offered to buy us some drinks after finding out that our trip to Wales was sort of our honeymoon. A couple came in with a five-month-old basset hound that was absolutely adorable. He also wanted to chew on everything and ended up eating our receipt that Aidan accidentally dropped on the ground. They managed to get it out of their dog’s mouth and when they did everyone on the pub cheered. When I went to go pay for our bill the guy at the register was very patient and helped me figure out their currency so that I could pay the right amount. It was a very good night.

Day 10

This was our last Saturday at the farm. We spent the morning watching movies and the food network. We went for another walk and ended up down at the pub again. Peter later showed up, which we figured he would. My husband ordered some chicken and I got nachos. I have to say, the nachos I ordered was probably the funniest thing I ate on our entire trip. The nachos consisted of ranch flavored Dorito type chips with melted cheese, salsa, and liquid guacamole. It was very strange.

Day 11

IMG_2182EC

Our last Sunday there we went with Peter to the Royal Welsh Spring Show in Llanelwedd, Wales. It was an hour and a half drive both ways to get the show. The scenery was so beautiful. Rolling hills and even some castle ruins. The show was held on a huge fair ground within the rolling hills of eastern Wales.

It was very similar to the types of state and county fairs we have in the U.S. minus the rides. It was agriculture based so there were a lot of animals and farming equipment. They had a tractor contest with the oldest tractor there being almost 100 years old. There were so many animals. Sheep, pigs, goats, cows. There were many different breeds from what we show in the U.S. The vendor’s hall had farming equipment but also plants and art for sale.

The food hall had a good selection of food. Aidan had a bacon and egg roll when we got there and later had some sort of sausage. I had some weird Indians food and we later got ice cream. Most of the food options were meaty and fatty. Sounds like a dream right? There wasn’t much in the way of your standard fried fair food like we are used to in the U.S. We did get some Welsh tea cakes while we were there and they weren’t as good as the ones my family makes. We also bought some cider. Black Dragon Welsh Cider was one of my favorite ciders while we were there.

I’ve always loved horses so I was excited to see that they had a horse show going on! So many beautiful horses! It was a bit different from the horse shows in the U.S. but not by too much. However, there were no rodeos are anything like that. The Spring show was really cool and it was awesome getting a more in depth look at the farming community in Wales.

dinner with the hosts

When we got back, Marilyn had a chicken roast and veggies ready. We sat down and ate in their living room and had some wine. We talked about the day as well as some American traditions and things that we do differently.

Day 12

farm pano

Our last day at the farm. We did some weeding and got to experience the joyous stinging sensation of stinging nettle for the first time. We also did some mowing and had leek and chicken soup for lunch. The rest of the day consisted of cleaning up the caravan and packing.

Day 13

Our very last day. We said goodbye to Marilyn and the dogs and headed to the train station with Peter. We were sad to leave but we were on our way to Cardiff, Wales and then later to London, England.

We had such an amazing WWOOFing experience. We absolutely loved it. We didn’t do very much in the way of actual farming but we definitely learned that there’s a lot of upkeep and other things you need to do on a farm other than just planting crops. I feel like we got to experience the culture and what it’s like living in Wales better through WWOOFing than just visiting Cardiff. I highly suggest WWOOFing if you get the chance. It’s an experience you’ll never forget.

What Is A Keto Diet?

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A keto diet is not based on a moral obligation, such as veganism, or on an idea of what our ancestors ate but based on how our body burns sugar and fat for energy.

keto diet

Keto is short for Ketosis, a natural process that all our bodies are capable of. Our bodies like to burn glucose (simple sugars) for energy but the keto diet forces your body into a state of ketosis which makes your body burn fat for energy rather than glucose.

The Keto Diet

The goal of the keto diet is to get your body to burn fat and your fat storages rather than glucose. Foods like fruit, milk, bread, and pasta are broken down into simple sugars and this is what your body will use as energy. These are things you don’t want to eat if you’re wanting to burn fat.

To achieve fat burning you must eat a low carb, low sugar, and high fat diet according to the keto diet.

keto macros

How much of each macronutrient you eat is different for each person and depends on what you are trying to achieve. The chart above is based on a person’s daily calorie intake and as you can see, it’s very high in fat.

My keto macros

To get an idea of what the diet might look like, I went ahead and used this Keto Calculator to calculate my keto macros. I weigh about 135lbs with 26% body fat and chose lightly active with the goal to lose weight. So, my personal macros aren’t too off from the basic keto macro chart but it will be different for everyone. When you break it down it comes out to 20g of Carbs (80Kcal), 79.92g of Protein (319.68Kcal), and 168.68g of Fat (1518.12Kcal) for a total of 1917.83 calories.

Can You Lose Weight on the Keto Diet?

The keto diet is popular for weight loss and yes, you actually can lose weight on this diet. One study found that it does indeed help loose a significant amount of weight. It also helped reduce the level of triglycerides, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and blood glucose while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol. Another study found that the keto diet can help control hunger and aid in weight loss.

However, the keto diet is not meant to be a long term dietary solution. It takes about 2-3 weeks minimum for the diet to work and should not exceed 6-12 months. The transition from a keto diet to another diet should be gradual.

Other Health Benefits

The keto diet could possibly be beneficial for those with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, acne, cancer, polycystic ovary disease (PCOS), and Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Since carbohydrates are converted to glucose, which increases blood sugar levels, the low carb, high fat keto diet could be very beneficial to those with type 2 diabetes. However, diabetics on the keto diet should keep an eye on their ketone levels.

Surprisingly, the keto diet has been used and shown success in helping children who have epilepsy. There’s a possibility that it could aid with neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Ketoacidosis

Ketoacidosis doesn’t usually occur in those eating a balanced diet and who are eating regularly but it’s something everyone going on the keto diet should be aware of.

Your liver produces ketones during ketosis from fatty acids which is your goal on the keto diet to burn off your fat. However, if you have abnormally high levels of ketones it can actually poison your body, this is called ketoacidosis.

Ketoacidosis is more common in those with type 1 diabetes but it can occur in those with type 2 diabetes. There are home kits where you can test your ketones levels if you are diabetic or if you’re worried about your levels.

Early signs of Ketoacidosis include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Confusion and difficulty concentrating
  • Dry or flushed skin
  • Excessive thirst and dry mouth
  • Fruity breath
  • Frequent urination
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Shortness of breath or rapid breathing

If you are diabetic and experience any of these symptoms while on the keto diet, stop the diet and see a doctor immediately as ketoacidosis is considered an emergency to diabetics.

What Can You Eat on the Keto Diet?

The keto diet is made up mostly of meats, fats, and non-starchy vegetables.

  • Meat
    • beef, lamb, goat, venison, wild-caught fish & seafood, pastured pork and poultry, liver, heart, kidneys and other organ meats
  • Fats
    • Saturated fats (lard, poultry fat, ghee, butter, coconut oil)
    • Monounsaturated fats (avocado, macadamia and olive oil)
    • Omega 3s (fatty fish and seafood)
  • Vegetables
    • leafy greens (spinach, lettuce, chard, chives)
    • celery stalk, asparagus, cucumber, summer squash
  • Other
    • Water
    • Coffee
    • Eggs
    • Gelatin
    • Pork rinds
    • Mayonnaise
    • Bone broth
    • Whey protein

This is not a complete list but it’s the main food eaten on a keto diet. So, what should you absolutely not eat?

  • Grains
    • Wheat, rye, oats, corn, barley, millet, rice, buckwheat, sprouted grains, quinoa, white potatoes
    • Pasta, bread, pizza, cookies, crackers
  • Processed foods
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Refined fats
    • Sunflower, safflower, canola, soybean, grapeseed, corn oil, margarine
  • Milk (for the most part)
  • Sugary alcoholic drinks
  • Tropical fruit
    • pineapple, mango, banana, papaya
  • Fruit juice and dried fruit
  • Low-fat food
  • Legumes

Keto & Veganism/Vegetarianism

Can you be vegan or vegetarian and go on a keto diet? You can, it’s just a lot harder without animal based proteins and fats. Vegetarians would probably do better than vegans with this kind of diet. If you are vegan and want to try the keto diet, check out these vegan/keto friendly recipes.

Not everyone responds the diets the same. Talk to your doctor first before switching over to a keto diet. Make sure to watch your ketone levels especially if you are diabetic.


Ketogenic Diet Beginners Guide
Ketosis: What is ketosis?
Complete Keto Diet Food List: What to Eat and Avoid

Disclaimer: All information on Not Your Typical Hippie is for educational purposes only. I am not a doctor, veterinarian, dietician, or health expert. If you wish to have advice on a medical problem, please consult a doctor. I cannot guarantee that any information provided will work for every person. Please consult a doctor before making any health changes. I am not liable for any choices you make based on the information provided on this website. (Learn more here)

Ferret Buckeye Bash 2017 – Columbus, OH

Do you love ferrets? The Ferret Buckeye Bash held in Columbus, Ohio is a great way to fulfill all your ferret needs as well as competeing your ferrets!

ferret buckeye bash

Ferret Buckeye Bash 2017

Where: Northland Performing Arts Center 4411 Tamarack Blvd, Columbus, Ohio 43229
When: August 19, 10:00am – 6:00pm
Entrance Cost: Adult $5, Children $1, Family $12
Dog-Friendly: No
Family Friendly: Yes

The Ferret Buckeye Bash partnered up with the Heart of Ohio Ferret Association. All proceeds benefited HOFA and their ferrets.Continue reading →

History, Identification, & Uses of Peppermint

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Peppermint is one of the most popular mint flavors today. It not only does it have a great flavor and scent but it also has medicinal uses.

Peppermint

Peppermint is actually a naturally occurring hybrid of watermint and spearmint! It has been used since the time of the ancient Egyptians but wasn’t cultivated in Europe until the 17th century.

The genus Mentha is named after the Greek nymph, Minthe. Minthe fell in love with Hades, the god of the underworld, and they started an affair. Hades’ wife, Persephone, found out about the affair and decided to take revenge against Minthe. There are a few endings to this story. Out of anger and jealousy, Persephone murdered Minthe and Hades brought her back in the form of a mint plant. Another ending says that Persephone tried stomping on Minthe with all her might and instead of killing her, she actually turned her into a mint plant. Either way, in the end, the nymph Minthe was turned into a mint plant.Continue reading →

WWOOFing in Wales Part I

In 2016 my husband and I spent a month in England. The first two weeks of our time there was practically free. How? Through WWOOFing.

WWOOFing in Wales

World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms connects volunteers with farmers all over the world. You first pick your country, pay for a membership, and then you will receive a directory of farmers in that country to choose from. Once a farmer agrees to let you volunteer on their farm they also agree to provide you a place to stay and food to eat, at no cost to you. All you have to do is get yourself there.

We decided that we wanted to go to Wales after I graduated college so we got a membership to WWOOF UK and picked a few farms we were interested in volunteering at. Not too soon after contacting our first choice farm we were scheduled to help them for two weeks in the beginning of May.

It took us quite a few months to plan our trip and get all the logistics figured out. Next thing we knew I was graduating and then we were flying to London, England a few days later.Continue reading →

10 Items Every Herbalist Needs

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As an herbalist, you’ll need more than just herbs and oils to make herbal remedies.

10 Items Every Herbalist Needs

There’s a lot of equipment that is needed to make infused oils, salves, tinctures, and more. Some of these things are quite simple and even have more than one use. How many of these do you use?

1. Scales

scale-1209837_1920

It’s very important to have a scale when making and administering herbal remedies. Most homemade recipes are done in small batches so smaller scales that measure down to the smallest ounce are the best to use.Continue reading →

Hippie Fest – Hocking Hills 2017

Last year I went to Hippie Fest and liked it so much I returned this year! Grab your tie-dyed shirt and your bell bottoms and let’s take a look at this year’s Hippie Fest.

hippie fest 2017

Hippie Fest – Hocking Hills 2017

Where: 28508 Murphy Rd, Logan, OH 43138
When: July 22 & 23, August 5 & 6 11am-6pm
Entrance Cost: $5 Preorder ($6.27 after online fees), $10 at the gate
Dog-Friendly: Yes
Family Friendly: Yes

Hippie Fest was in Charlotte, NC in April this year and will be in Michigan October 7th and Myrtle Beach, SC October 28th.Continue reading →

Does Green Tea Have Health Benefits?

Green tea is well known for aiding in weight loss but the question is, does it work and are there any other health benefits?

benefits of green tea

History

Green tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant, an evergreen shrub with glossy green leaves. There are two main strains used for making green teas. Camellia sinensis sinensis, native to China, is used to make green, white, and sometimes black and oolong teas and prefers growing in mountainous regions. Camellia sinensis assamica, native to India, is used to make black and pu’erh tea and prefers to grow in humid and warm areas.

This history of green tea starts in 8th century China when they learned how to keep green tea leaves from oxidizing by steaming the leaves. Over the next couple of hundred of years, steaming, frying, drying and roasting the leaves led to different ways to prepare the Camellia sinensis leaves for teas that had a less bitter taste. Depending on how the leaves are prepared, and how much they are or are not allowed to oxidize, will produce different types of teas such as green, black or oolong tea.Continue reading →

Kentucky Bacon, Bourbon and Brew Festival 2017

Bacon and bourbon lovers unite! This is the festival for you if you like fair food stuffed with bacon and love to drink bourbon.

Kentucky Bacon, Bourbon and Brew Festival 2017

Kentucky Bacon, Bourbon and Brew Festival 2017

Where: Newport Kentucky Riverfront Newport, Kentucky 41071
When: July 14-16, Friday 5pm-11pm, Saturday 12pm-11pm, Sunday 12pm-9pm
Entrance Cost: FREE
Dog-Friendly: No
Family Friendly: Yes
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Even though the sign said no animals we did see people there with their nonservice dogs.

Parking

There was parking available down along the river front. Some of it was meter parking which was free on the Sunday we went. There’s a lot of parking throughout Newport within walking distance of the festival. Most if it is pay to park.Continue reading →