By: Mariya Guzova
The edible insect market has come into the spotlight over the last few years, as more and more reports suggest that resources are running out in trying to satisfy protein demand. Edible insects are one of the proposed solutions to meet future global food demands, amongst other under-utilized food sources. A combination of overpopulation and climate change threaten the production of crops and meat, and so new resources have to be taken into serious consideration to ensure the security of the global food market.
Cultures around the world have long incorporated insects into their diets, with about 2,000 different types of insects being eaten by approximately 2 billion people worldwide. Spicy grasshopper tacos can be found in Mexico, and sweet dragonflies boiled in coconut milk are considered an Indonesian delicacy. You might also be surprised to know that cricket protein is used in energy bars and snacks in the U.S.
Cultures around the world have long incorporated insects into their diets, with about 2,000 different types of insects being eaten by approximately 2 billion people worldwide.
It is estimated that replacing livestock protein sources with edible bug products could help 30 per cent of Earth’s land, currently used for livestock farming, be reclaimed, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions also by 30 per cent. Additionally, insects, particularly crickets, are vitamin and protein packed food sources.
It’s no wonder more and more organizations are trying to find ways to bring insects into the mainstream market. One such company is Eco Insect Farming, a Thai start-up company which has recently developed a flour made from crickets, that can be used to create baked goods with a serious protein punch.
It is estimated that replacing livestock protein sources with edible bug products could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent.
The company is committed to creating sustainable, eco-friendly, and ethically traded edible insect products. Their crickets are vegetable fed, they use no chemicals, and they work only with local farmers. Their work has already yielded the creation of the world’s first cookies made with cricket flour.
Thailand has been farming crickets for centuries and farmers have developed unique and successful breeding techniques. EIF Thailand’s next goal is to build a farm that will produce about four tons of crickets per month. Industrial scale farms like this are on the rise as the market demand is growing fast, and the race to keep up is already on. So if you find a bug in your food in the future, it may be there on purpose.
All images: Istock.com