It's here: Loblaw adds cricket powder to its product line
Wednesday, March 7, 2018, 6:02 PM - It's being lauded as an environmentally-conscious protein, a nutritious, cost-effective food source that could help solve food shortages and reduce the effects of climate change.
And now, Canada's largest grocer has made it widely available.
On Tuesday, Loblaw announced the arrival of President's Choice cricket powder, marking the first time the chain is selling insect protein on a large scale.
"As a leader in the industry, we wanted to be among the first to bring cricket powder to Canadians in an easy and approachable manner," company spokesperson Catherine Thomas told CTV News in an email.
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The crickets come from Entomo Farms, based in Norwood, Ontario.
Co-founder Jarrod Goldin told CTV the cricket powder is versatile and can be added to just about anything.
PC has launched a series of new recipes featuring the powder, including chana masala, chocolate coconut bars and strawberry-banana smoothies.
Goldin says a small concentration of the powder won't change a meal's flavour, but when added in larger amounts "it has a very lovely, earthy, nutty, mushroomy kind of flavour."
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Eating insects not uncommon
While uncommon in the western world, approximately 2 billion people, largely in Asia, Africa and Latin America, supplement their diets with insects. Many consider it a low-fat delicacy, praised for high protein and iron content.
Beetles, caterpillars, wasps, grasshoppers and crickets are the most commonly consumed, but 1,900 of the 1 million known insect species are eaten by humans.
Meeru Dhalwala, co-owner and chef at Vij's Rangoli Restaurant in Vancouver, B.C. has been serving up insects for some time.
"The key is to prepare insect dishes that are so delicious that the taste outweighs the psychological fear of eating [them]," Dhalwala told The Weather Network in 2013.
"I am a big supporter and cheerleader for introducing insects into our North American diets," she said.
"Environmentally, they are much more sustainable to raise than cattle, pigs or chickens in terms of polluting our air, soil and rivers. Insect farming uses much less energy [and doesn't] require the use of antibiotics or other medicines because they naturally survive in large crowds."