Creepy! Insects key ingredient in recipes
Cricket pancakes, anyone? ‘They taste like dirt’
Every good chef tastes their ingredients as they prepare a dish, even if those ingredients include insects.
And for Simon Roche, that meant sampling ground crickets he and his classmates were using as an ingredient in pancakes Monday morning at Eden High School.
“It’s not something I planned on ever doing,” the Grade 12 student said as he tasted a teaspoon of the protein-packed powdered insect. “It kind of has the texture of dirt. They taste like dirt.”
For Roche and the others, the goal of the lesson was to open the St. Catharines students to other types of food, said food and nutrition teacher Tina Chivers.
“I’m not sure if any of them had cooked with insects before,” Chivers said as students went about mixing their batter, complete with a teaspoon each of ground crickets. “I thought it would be interesting.”
During the class, Chivers said, students were considering issues of food security and a world population that’s expected to hit nine billion in the next 30 years.
“Millennials are always looking for new alternatives to eat,” Chivers said. “Something nutritious, something that’s kind to the environment.”
While many students thought the prospect of eating insects to be “icky,” when they were shown the nutritional value some became more open to giving it a try.
“A lot of the food we eat today is icky,” Chivers said, pointing out a window toward Lake Street and the many fast food options available nearby to students. “There are foods that cause disease and rob us of our health and vitality. We may be full, but we may be starving on a cellular level.”
“And unlike meats, with insects we are eating everything, including the skeleton and internal organs.
“They have B12, they have protein and essential amino acids,” Chivers said. “With meat we don’t normally do that.”
But had Chivers tried the crickets herself ?
“Actually, no,” she said before trying some.
“Actually, they taste like cocoa,” she said. “They would be good to mix with some almond milk for a chocolatey drink.”
‘‘ Millennials are always looking for new alternatives to eat, Something nutritious, something that’s kind to the environment.”
TINA CHIVERS TEACHER AT EDEN
Simon Roche, a Grade 12 student at Eden High School, checks on the consistency of his pancake batter.
Tina Chivers, right, a teacher at Eden High School in St. Catharines, samples ground crickets, courtesy of student Brittany Klassen.
Hanna Kelly tastes a pancake that was made from batter that included ground crickets.