The idea that the protein athletes need can only come from meat or farm animal-sourced products is bunk. Even professional athletes and trainers know this, and many swear by vegan protein powders as critical ingredients in their workout regimens. An emerging brand called Human Improvement — or Hi! for short — formulated its recipes based on those principles, but its protein isn’t technically vegan because of one key ingredient: crickets.
It seems as though scientists and pundits have been heralding the vocal little insects as “the food of the future” for years now, based on the fact that crickets pack far more protein by weight than beef, chicken and eggs and high levels of B vitamins, iron and calcium while requiring less food and space to farm. Back in 2013, the UN put out an in-depth report on insect consumption for future food security.
Crickets also contain all of the amino acids you need in a day and chitin, a biopolymer found in their exoskeletons that has prebiotic properties that are good for your gut (chitin is also present in crustaceans and mushrooms you may already be eating).
Organic cricket protein powder isn’t the only ingredient in Hi! protein, though; its list includes organic pumpkin protein powder, organic brown rice protein powder and organic pea protein powder, all of which are tried and tested in plant-based fitness nutrition products that are already out there. With that pedigree, we can only hope the response to this product is more than… crickets.