Image of cricket chips from Six Foods. (http://www.sixfoods.com/#product)

Image of cricket chips called “chirps” from Six Foods. (http://www.sixfoods.com/#product)

Crickets are the first insect to now be farmed for human consumption in the United States. I’ll admit the thought of snacking on cricket flour-based chips is not exactly appetizing. But the process of farming insects over more traditional livestock seems to be less wasteful. Insect farming is a more efficient way of producing dietary protein as it takes much less feed and water to raise insects as compared to cattle. In addition, greenhouse gas emissions from crickets are much lower than with cattle.

Concern over insect farming for human consumption, besides the obvious “yuck” factor, stems from lack of knowledge surrounding potential parasite and pathogen infections in these insects especially since insect farming for human consumption is not currently regulated and insects are often fed food that would not be considered suitable for humans.

Would you try a cricket chip?

Source:

NewScientist

Comments

  1. #1 Art
    May 27, 2014

    Sure, I’ve eaten a few, why not. I was keeping leopard geckos and ate a couple of the crickets I fed them, out of curiosity I guess. Crunchy, didn’t taste like much. Slight hint of nuts maybe but most just bland crunch.

    I’ve read that here are chefs that buy them live, feed them spirolina and fry them up. They are reported to taste a bit of spriolina and whatever oil they are fried in.

    Of course, if you want to put people off crickets show video of a horsehair worm emerging from a cricket.

    Just a picture and explanation:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nematomorpha

    No risk for humans but it raises the ick factor sky high for a lot of people. People are sensitive to such presentations. A video of a slaughterhouse, not even one intended to put people off meat, had a friend unable to look a hamburger in the eye for most of a year.

  2. #2 Jim Thomerson
    May 27, 2014

    http://www.nola.com/living/baton-rouge/index.ssf/2013/09/baton_rouge_cricket_farmer_sti.html

    This is an interesting article about Flucker Cricket Farns, with some recipes at the end.

  3. #3 Compliance Trainings
    Canada
    May 28, 2014
  4. #4 jane
    May 28, 2014

    I’ve eaten grasshoppers fried in chili oil as a main dish – whole, not processed into “chips”, i.e., you have to pull the head and attached gizzard off each one – and they are quite tasty. Of course, packing peanuts fried in chili oil are also quite tasty.

  5. #5 Iain
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    May 30, 2014

    Eat bugs, you know it makes sense….. (think of the size of the farms, for one thing)…. The cricket chips look interesting, anyway, even if they don’t look particularly appetising….

  6. #6 grace marshall
    Ontario Canada
    August 11, 2014

    Since we’re not doing so well at curbing our ever-rising population, farming insects sounds like a solution to the problem of how to feed everyone. However, selling the idea will be a major hurdle. I’ll stick with my veggies and beans.

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