This year marks the fourth year of the University of Maryland’s “Do Good Challenge,” a student-created competition that encourages students to create as much “good” on campus as possible in an eight-week period.
This time around, freshman elementary education major Emily Raab kick-started her project Betty Cricket, for the “Do Good Challenge,” and worked with a team of Honors Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program (EIP) members to promote social good on campus.
“Our goal is to remove the stigma surrounding eating insects, because insects are actually an incredibly sustainable source of protein,” Raab said.
Producing a pound of beef takes 2,000 times more water than producing a pound of crickets does. And while this statistic may seem to compare apples to oranges, beef and crickets are both highly concentrated in protein.
According to Betty Cricket’s website description, foods that are simultaneously affordable and nutritious are not easy to find. In fact, a lot of what we eat today is raised neither ethically nor sustainably. Insects, however, are “very nutritious, easy to raise and require few resources.”
The project’s members have also partnered with Cricket Flours, a company that produces and distributes cricket-incorporated foods.
The website’s description notes that the organization hopes that in doing so, “will cause insects to become more common as a food source, which [they] believe will bring us a step closer to dealing with the massive issues of food supply and shortage facing the world today.”
Before the Challenge’s final reports were due April 4th, the group set up a table on McKeldin Mall with various cricket-based foods they had made and/or purchased.
“We told people about our project and encouraged them to try our free samples,” Raab said. “People who ate an entire dried cricket were entered into a raffle to win a Chipotle gift card.”
Raab recommends that any chocolate lover try a cricket brownie.
“There’s seriously no difference,” she said.