We chatted with Martina Meyer from Grilo Protein
Tell us about Grilo Protein
Grilo is an Australian company founded by four close friends in Byron Bay. Our key offerings are cricket-based products to provide consumers with an alternative clean, high protein source. All of our offerings are bound by a vision to offer access for all humans to achieve optimal health and nutrition, that has a minimal effect on the earth.
We’re eager for individuals to step up and take on a deeper understanding of how the effect of their nutritional intake on the earth can be minimised, by seeking alternative ways to boost protein and key vitamins. Grilo is driven by seeking ways to support environmental fragility, while offering healthy and delicious ways to supplement protein with a future conscious attitude.
Where does the name Grilo originate?
Grilo means “cricket” in Portuguese. According to the dictionary, a cricket is a brown or black insect that makes short, loud noises by rubbing its wings together. For us, it means much more than that. We believe crickets are the food of the future.
What kind of products do you sell?
Energy bars made with cricket powder (3 flavours): banana caramel; choc mint; and cacao fudge. We also sell Chocolate Protein Powder; Super greens; Plain cricket powder and Roasted crickets.
All of our products are 100% organic. 😉 Find more info about our products here.
How do you use the cricket powder (cricket flour) and roasted crickets?
Cricket flour is a versatile protein add-on for either sweet or savoury recipes. Add 1 tablespoon (10g) to smoothies, juices, pancakes, cookies, breads, cakes, falafels, patties and more.
You can consume the roasted crickets as a snack or garnish your favourite meals. Sprinkle Grilo Roasted Crickets on toast, salads, soups, tacos, cereal, dessert, or simply have them as a crunchy snack. Grilo roasted crickets have no added flavourings, so the taste is the real deal: a nutty and earthy wholesome flavour! We love to add some olive oil, salt, pepper and smoked paprika and have them as a dinner starter. They will go perfectly well with sweet or savoury recipes. Check out our recipes here.
What makes crickets one of the most sustainable sources of protein?
Crickets have been called the most sustainable source of protein on earth. They require far fewer resources (water, land, feed and energy) than other popular sources of protein, such as chicken, beef or pork, and produce 80 times less methane than cows. Given that 18% of greenhouse gas emissions is a result of livestock production, cricket’s growing popularity should result in a significant lowering of emissions.
For example, 1 kg of chicken requires 3500 litres of water and 1 kg of beef requires 22,000 litres of water while insects need far less. To produce 1kg of crickets is necessary not even 1 litre of water. Read more about why eat crickets here!
Insects can be farmed vertically so there is no need for a large piece of land for them to be raised such as cattle, pork and chicken.
Are crickets good for us?
Crickets are extremely nutrient-dense, containing 69% protein, vitamin B12, Omega 3, iron, potassium and calcium. Their digestibility is higher than that of plant proteins, making it easier for the body to extract and absorb all those nutrients. Recent research found out that crickets are full of antioxidants and very beneficial for gut health as they contain prebiotic fibre.
Crickets have 3 times more protein than beef and a very similar nutritional profile, 2.2 times more iron than spinach, 10 times more vitamin B12 than salmon and more antioxidants than orange juice.
How did you become interested in edible bugs?
After watching many documentaries and reading a lot about sustainability, the environment and the future of our Planet, we started to get worried about the consequences of our footprint for the future generations. We did a lot of research and found out that bugs were the closest thing to a perfect protein source this planet has ever seen.
By the time, there was no insect-based protein powder in Australia so we bought some from America to try. We added it to our daily meals straight away and I can tell my energy levels were much higher than before. We got in love with edible bugs!
Where can we buy your products?
We have our products available in more than 80 shops among Byron Bay, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Sydney.
Recently selected IGAs around Australia started to stock our products range IGA is the first chain of Australian supermarkets to stock edible crickets. The addition of Grilo products to IGA shelves comes on the back of increasing demand from customers for more sustainable sources of protein.
Do you have any predictions for the edible bug food industry?
Eating crickets has previously been uncommon in the West, largely due to the ‘ick’ factor associated with eating bugs. However, consumers are now recognizing that not only are crickets mild in flavour, but their nutrient density, sustainability and versatility make them a more sustainable and delicious protein alternative.
I believe the edible bugs industry is getting bigger and bigger every day. New products are appearing every day (check out our favourite products made with insect protein here!). And that’s awesome!
I do believe the perception of eating insects has been changing in a positive way over the past years. When we first started our business 4 years ago people thought we were crazy. There is a lot of information, articles and documentaries about insects as food out there and people are getting to learn more about it and its health benefits.
What do you love most about you do?
We love being able to provide delicious ways to supplement health with a future conscious attitude.
We’re driven by seeking ways to support environmental fragility. And what we do is about adding some deeper purpose and reason to why we consume the things we do. A world where we create less impact on the earth, but reap more health benefits.
Who or what inspires you?
Businesses with purposes.
Do you have any plans for the future?
Our plans are to export our products to other countries and develop a new range of products made with crickets. Stay tuned! 😉
About Grilo Protein
We all moved to Byron Bay looking for a healthy and balanced lifestyle, in a place where we could fulfil our passions about healthy foods, sports and nature.
Our love for exercising triggered the search for a clean, high protein source to boost everyday meals and smoothies after surfing, running and training. Disappointed with the social and environmental impact caused by most of the protein sources available on the market, we thought it was time to look for alternatives.
After a long journey, we found out about edible bugs. And that 80% of the world’s nations are already eating them. So we joined forces, used our cuisine, marketing and creative talents to put together a range of unique products powered by crickets.
Grilo Protein is a Byron Bay based company born and bred out of a desire to bring better health, sustainable and future-conscious food. And our team is on a mission to convince you and the entire world to start eating bugs!