We’re all for healthy eating, but we can’t help but think that fitness fanatic Kremena Despinova might have gone a little too far!
The 28-year-old from Bulgaria has been experimenting with cooking with insects for the past 18 months.
She explains, ‘I was looking for the best protein source out there that is free from any artificial ingredients such as hormones, antibiotics and pesticides, but at the same time is a complete protein that contains all essential amino acids.’
‘Last autumn I was browsing recipes on the internet and I found this US based company which makes protein bars with cricket flour.’
‘Shortly after that I placed my first order for dried insects which was comprised of crickets, grasshoppers, and buffalo worms. I instantly fell in love with it.’
So far, Kremena’s favourite bug recipes include cricket flour pancakes with buffalo worms, tacos with crickets and guacamole, silkworm and avocado salad and chocolate mousse with grasshoppers.
She says, ‘I like grasshoppers, when you remove the wings and the legs they taste like shrimp. I also like all type of worm, like the meal worm, buffalo worm, silk worms because you don’t really feel any body parts.’
But it’s not just the high-protein content that encouraged Kremena to take up this controversial diet – she also wants to help the environment.
She explains, ‘apart from being very nutritious, eating insects is also very good for the planet. For example, for a kilogram of crickets you will need 2000 times less water, 12 times less feed and about 13 times less plants in comparison to a kilo of beef.’
Currently, Kremena orders her insects online from Europe and Thailand, but she hopes to one day source them a little closer to home.
She says, ‘I bred crickets for a period of 6 months but then I had to travel to the states and there was no one to look after them so I had to stop. Now I am planning to start over this project.’
So what would Kremena say to anyone who wasn’t convinced by her creepy crawly diet?
‘Did you know that, like or not, you already eat insects? It is estimated that a person eats about half a kilo of insects per year through processed food. The most qualities are found in chocolate, beer, coffee, peanut butter – many of our favourite foods. So why don’t you do it consciously next time?’
What do you think? Would you ever be brave enough to scoff on insects? Watch the video above to get up close and personal with some of Kremena’s recipes.