I Ate Crickets and Saved The Planet


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | January 31, 2018      

Whew, we’ve been on a tear in the PR and media world. Beginning with a few days at A-Lodge near Boulder, Colorado and finishing up with the big new expanded OR-SIA trade show in Denver, we are worked but delighted at how much of the backcountry sports industry we’ve experienced.

Food is always a big deal for us backcountry folk. Come to think of it, eating is clearly a thing no matter what your walk — food blogs are big and it’s a good subject here at WildSnow. So here we go, a selection of consumables from our junkets.

Ski and boot testing during the press trip portion of our journey, reminded me of many events I've attended in Europe, what with thin snow and utilizing resort for both up and down.

Ski and boot testing during the press trip portion of our journey, reminded us of many events we’ve attended in Europe, what with thin snow and utilizing resort for both up and down. Of note, the Eldora ski area used to not allow uphilling and was not known as particularly accommodating to modern ski culture — THAT HAS CHANGED under new ownership, both the spirit of the place as well as the physical plant have a good, authentic feeling and management assured us this is “only the beginning — just watch!”. Recommended.

We were exposed to numerous “products” during the A-Lodge portion of our trip. The experience began when I encountered a Frenchman at the beer cooler. While we chatted, the subject turned to the canned red wine, an anomaly that impinged our collective consciousness like a mysterious rustling of nighttime bushes during a campout. Just what was this, stuffed between the beer cans and labeled with the odd monkiker “Infinite Monkey Theorem?” My new friend from the land of Bordeaux was not impressed, but we gave the canister grape a try anyway. The idea turned out to be valid, but was better experienced transferred to a cup or glass as the aluminum bouquet did not inspire one to great heights of swirl, sniff, sip, and savor. Conclusion: useful for traveling, but I probably won’t stock at home.

Adventure Lodge (A-Lodge) is just outside of Boulder Colorado.

Adventure Lodge (A-Lodge) is just outside of Boulder Colorado. Reminded me of a European mountain hotel. It’s an older facility that’s been extensively renovated, worth checking out — they even have a “lager” bunk room for budget travelers.

Next up, as pampered elite journalists we of course were exposed to Boulder’s high end culinary. This was effected by Diane Starnick of Culinary Hearts Catering. Far be it for me to take blog space by shilling for a caterer. But in Diane’s case she deserves the kudos as not only is she able to create buffet lines that work for just about any dietary restriction, but she has a solid connection to the mountaineering community through association with NOLS and more. Diane’s business card is here, look her up if you need a catering job in Colorado, or fly her wherever if you happen to have a private jet fueled up. Boulder McDonalds employees take note. (That’s a Boulder joke.)

Thing about all of the above, we did notice our herd of shills tended to have noticeably powerful appetites. Some of this could have been caused by the fresh mountain air, or perhaps the ski day at Eldora. But in an unusual twist on the press junket we also enjoyed a fascinating spiel (as well as facility tour) from the Colorado cannabis industry, presented by “high” end weed product maker 1906.

Chocolate.

During our visit to to 1906, vast quantities of quality chocolate set the tone. The well equipped facility is basically a candy factory with a twist. Interesting how quickly entrepreneurs have responded to the Colorado legalization. They say there might be big money in this, but the competition is fierce as well as the products being heavily taxed and thus expensive enough to keep a black market going along with interesting social issues such as class divisions on who uses legal product and who does not. The media is of course fascinated with all this. We pay attention but figure it’ll all work out in the end.

Before you scoff, let me say these guys are clearly different in that they offer products with calibrated blends of herbal chemicals along with the usual marijuana derivatives THC and CBD. The idea is performance enhancement along with mild enlightenment. “It’s not about getting f*** up” is 1906’s informal motto.

Such as it were, our goodie bags included 1906 athletic enhancer “Go Chocolate,” a blend of cocoa, coffee, theanine, theobromine and yohimbe — along with reasonable and equal amounts THC and CBD. Though mellowed by the cannabis, that was still too harsh a stimulant blend for me, but in the correct dosage got rave reviews from others on the trip. We were bummed that we did not walk away with samples for the 1906 “enhanced intimacy” product, but then, this was a press trip and they needed to keep the kids out of the hot tub and filing their blog posts.

So, after experiencing the essences of Boulder, Colorado it was on to Denver. At least after we found our car keys. At the trade show, I set myself the task of hitting foodie highlights for the alpinist, with the refiner of products with minimal or zero sugar, and care for other issues such as gluten free diets. A few of my finds below.

Why is it that booth guys and gals always know the exact pose for the photo?

Why is it that booth guys and gals always know the exact pose for the photo? They probably practice at home. In the case of Jim and his Cusa instant tea, the smile is appropriate. Excellent product for trimmed down backcountry provisioning, or just something quick and easy at home.

Hands down best sport bar I found is the Four Points.

Hands down best sport bar I found is the Four Points. While you do get a hint of that all too familiar “sawdust” taste that’s common to healthy sport bars missing evil sugar and having the correct balance of protein and fat, Four Points was surprisingly easy on the pallet. Looking for something low-glycemic and gluten free? Find it here. Ingredients vary so you can pick something somewhat personal, for example some bars have peanuts, some do not. My favorite is the Big Mountain Banana Bread, which might be a bit high on the glycemic due to brown rice syrup, but I can tell by the taste it’s not too loaded up.

If you tolerate eggs, Rxbar is a good bet as well. Appeared to be easily found.

If you tolerate eggs, Rxbar is a good bet as well. Appeared to be easily found, everywhere from Whole Foods to Fred Meyer.

Is meat your thing Ostrim is an old reliable. Natural version is clean, just beef, ostrich, and a few other fairly benign ingredients.

Is meat your thing? Ostrim is reliable. Natural version is clean, just beef, ostrich, and a few other fairly benign ingredients. As with any food, try it at home first before you need it at 16,000 feet on Denali.

Last stop, the cricket farm.

Last stop, the cricket farm. Said to be a much more planet friendly way of converting plants to protein (instead of cattle), Aketta indoor cricket farm’s booth was curiously uncrowded by humans, though thousands of cricket carcasses were available to the tasting. I had some cricket granola, and ate a spoonful of the crunchy insects as well. Reminded me of the grasshoppers my 10-year-old buddies and I tried roasting one day when we got tired of practicing Boy Scout knots. Not bad, actually, though I did not cruise out with any cricket swag. Will crickets save the planet? I’ll be watching, and perhaps munching down.

Honorable mentions: As we are now known here in Colorado as the land of hemp as much as our powder (or this winter’s lack thereof), I stopped off at the Colorado Hemp Honey booth. A guy they’d clearly recruited from a nearby dispensary gave me a scientific lowdown on what they’re doing with honey. That be adding some cannabis CBD chemical and a few other biologics. They were handing it out in straws. I downed one to compensate for the bad press-room coffee I’d been drinking. Seemed to work.

Moving back to the subject of java, a nearby guy had a booth for his Keto Creamer, a mixture of clarified butter and MCT oil. This stuff looked quite interesting, said to help your body go into a fat burning metabolism. In my opinion the concept is valid; why not drink something health-formulated with your java, instead of just loading up with dairy cream, or worse, mass quantities of sucrose?

Okay, enough backcountry food ideas to last me till next year. Meanwhile, I have indeed figured out the hidden agenda behind moving the OR show from Utah to Colorado. It’s not about politics, car keys are not important, and a vast conspiracy of snowboarders is behind it all.



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Comments

10 Responses to “I Ate Crickets and Saved The Planet”

  1. See January 31st, 2018 6:50 pm

    If you admit you’re a shill, are you still a shill? I don’t think so. (Smile… and I really am smiling.)

  2. Lou Dawson 2 January 31st, 2018 6:55 pm

    Just shilling my way along through life (smile). Lou

  3. benwls January 31st, 2018 7:21 pm

    Eldora only charge $25 for an uphill day pass and $169 for an uphill season pass. Bargain.

  4. See January 31st, 2018 7:23 pm

    I wouldn’t know, but I’m guessing you can’t shill your way over Denali.

  5. Truax January 31st, 2018 8:32 pm

    Just a bit of colloquial help. “Chatting each other up” is akin to hitting on one another. No pretense here, just trying to give some perspective…

  6. Lou Dawson 2 February 1st, 2018 7:51 am

    Truax, thanks for the help in improving our international English! I’ll try to keep that in mind and edit the above. That said, this sort of buggered up prose will always occur, what with Australian English, UK English, Canadian English, U.S. English, and more and more. So I’m not a fan of being too concerned about it… Lou

  7. Lou Dawson 2 February 1st, 2018 8:01 am

    Benwls, IMHO the $169 yearly uphilling pass is indeed a bargain for using Eldora’s terrain and farmed snow, but the $25 day pass seems a bit dear. I’d revise that opinion if they had some specific amenities for uphillers, such as a comfortably sized mountain top restaurant with a food and drink discount (they do have a snack shack with a bar, but it’s small and clearly limited on how it could serve large crowds of uphillers). Sadly the former owners never had the wherewithal to build a real mountaintop restaurant day-lodge, which is one of the biggest mistakes ever made in the Colorado ski industry, in my opinion. They are in Boulder County, Colorado which is now a nightmare place to do any sort of development. In fact it’s surprising Eldora is now allowed to exist at all. I’m told they are considering a day lodge on top of the mountain, but it might be years before it actually happens, if ever.

    To be fair, the USFS did approve a master plan that includes a day lodge up high on the mountain, but that’s subject to the commissars of Boulder County and they are not friendly to growth.

    http://www.dailycamera.com/boulder-county-news/ci_27727000/eldora-mountain-resorts-expansion-gets-green-light-from

    Lou

  8. See February 1st, 2018 8:41 am

    “(T)he commissars of Boulder County… are not friendly to growth.” Wanna trade? https://www.sierrawatch.org/keep-squaw-true/

  9. Lou Dawson 2 February 1st, 2018 10:38 am

    See, yeah, it’s all a balancing act…

  10. Jim Milstein February 1st, 2018 3:27 pm

    Try eating scorpions, Lou, and save the solar system.





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