Good evening and welcome aboard. Your in-flight options today are paneer, chicken or…crickets?
If you’re not a fan of traditional airline food, then there’s a new development in the works that will give you some more options. Whether it’s an improvement or not is up to you to decide. A Japanese airline has recently introduced a range of insect-based inflight meal options in order to provide their fliers with a more sustainable food option. The Japanese budget airline, Zipair, a subsidiary of national carrier Japan Airlines, will serve meals that contain crushed cricket powder, either sprinkled on top or incorporated into the dish.
Highly nutritious and packed with protein, crickets are regularly consumed in many parts of Asia and are a popular street food and snack, but the airline has made the shift for very different reasons. Crickets as a food source have a much lower carbon footprint than conventional meats and by including them as a regular part of the menu, they will be able to offer a more sustainable option and bring down their cumulative footprint as well.
The two options that they’re testing at the moment are a chilli burger with tomato and a pasta dish, both of which contain crushed cricket powder in a ratio of 2 crickets to a plate. The meal option will have to be pre-booked and paid for on their international flights from Japan, but the airline reports that it’s received over 60 purchase orders since it was released in July.
The recipe itself took over 3 months to perfect. Zipair partnered with a food technology company, Gryllus in order to serve up these unique options. The crickets being used are spotted crickets which are high in protein containing around 57.49 – 70.10gms per serving. And Grylllus is focused on bringing insects into the mainstream eating culture. Alongside this, they are developing ways to reduce food waste and develop a global food cycle that will revolve around crickets as the food of the future.
Crickets are proving to be a popular choice for those trying to adjust their lifestyles for eco-conscious reasons because they require very little land, water and feed to be bred as well as the high nutritional value. This makes them a far superior livestock choice than any conventional farmyard animals of today.
This isn’t the first step Zipair has taken towards being more environmentally friendly and it doesn’t look to be the last. Though it might take a while for people to adjust to the idea of insects as a food staple, it’s an effective and positive step towards a more sustainable future.