Bon Appetit! Crickets, Anyone?

Insects, such as crickets, could be the way to address growing global food demands. Here are some companies attempting to create a taste for bug-based foods in the United States.

Crickets. It’s what’s for dinner, or at least it could be.

According to The Huffington Post, insect-based food products may soon be seen on the shelves of American grocery stores. Cricket cookies and crackers, as well as energy bars made with cricket flour, are already available in the United States, the Huffpo report said.

A 2013 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations said insects provide a viable option for meeting global food demands. The report said:

Insects as food and feed emerge as an especially relevant issue in the 21st century due to the rising cost of animal protein, food and feed insecurity, environmental pressures, population growth and increasing demand for protein among the middle classes. Thus, alternative solutions to conventional livestock and feed sources urgently need to be found. The consumption of insects, or entomophagy, therefore contributes positively to the environment and to health and livelihoods.

Several companies in the United States hope to capitalize on the projected insect-eating trend. According to KABC, Coala Valley Farms in California, a cricket-raising facility, is banking on Americans shifting to insects to meet their protein needs.

Maximillian Cunha, one of Coala Valley’s founders, said crickets are healthy for both humans and the environment, especially in drought-stricken California.

“You know a pound of beef from a cow takes 1,700 gallons of water. Here it’s only 1 gallon,” Cunha said.

Coala Valley plans to grind crickets down to powder and sell it to consumers, restaurants and food manufacturing companies.

Charleston’s Jiminy Co. (you know, like Jiminy Cricket?), has also started a cricket flour business, The Post and Courier reports.

“Advocates estimate 2 billion people already eat caterpillars, beetles, grasshoppers and other insects on a regular and intentional basis, but years of marketing hasn’t fully eroded the ‘ick’ factor endemic to the world’s wealthiest countries, including the U.S.,” the Post and Courier said.

I’m typically game to try a new cuisine (Rocky Mountain oysters, anyone?), but crickets? I don’t know. My mouth is watering just thinking about it — and not in a good way. However, insects do seem like a solution to food insecurity.

What do you think of the emerging edible insect industry? Are you likely to serve up some crickets? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page. And share this article with your Facebook friends.

Stacy Johnson

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