When it comes to providing athletic power and much-needed protein, some companies are just testing the limits of what consumer will eat. Sure, eating better-for-you grasshoppers, crickets and insects provide an efficient way to get this super-trendy protein into their bodies. However, for most people, volunteering to eat bugs comes once in their lifetime when accepting a challenge from science teachers who thought they were too cool for high school.
The addition of bugs as ingredient might be too much for many bakers to, uh, swallow. That’s because ingrained habits on sanitation are hard to break after the industry spent billions of dollars over the years training operators to try to keep bugs out of the bakery.
As Joe Stout, contributing editor to Baking & Snack and one of the foremost experts on sanitation, noted in his October column, “Insects are tenacious and always find a way to breech the walls of a plant. When they do, they seek out ideal living conditions. Just like any living creature, insects want ample food, warmth and protection from enemies. The way to control them is to make conditions less desirable. This means eliminating accumulation of food debris for eating and nesting. Cleanliness is the insect’s No. 1 enemy in the long run.”
That’s the logical recommendation, especially under good manufacturing practices. Maybe just incorporating plant-based protein — or even animal-based whey — into to baked goods and snacks may not bug people as much and eliminate the “ick” factor that comes with eating crumbled-up creatures.