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Eating insects might sound disgusting from the western view. Given the enormous overlapping challenge between finding sufficient food to feed the world’s population and the threat caused by expansion of livestock farmland, westerners might have to swallow the fear and give the insects a second thought, a more positive one.
The idea has been brought to reality when a large cricket farm was built in an abandoned warehouse in Youngstown, Ohio. The insects are to be made into flour to make chips for a via a fundraising website Kickstarter, Six Foods Ltd. was established to manufacture a brand of chips called Chirps
The ingredients of Chirps include peanut, rice, and cricket flour. The snack is categorized as gluten-free and contains only half the fat of most snacks in the market. Chirps are offered in 3 flavours: Sea Salt, BBQ, and Aged Cheddar. The company also plans to make chocolate chips with peanut-flavoured cricket flour. Meanwhile, Tikkun Olam Ltd. who operates the cricket farm is planning to expand from Youngstown to megacities like New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
Snack made from cricket flour is one of the attempts to create a positive image for insect-based protein. Previously there was a campaign in Australia promoting grasshopper dishes renamed to Sky Prawn. Six Foods and Tikkun Olam are examples of the allies of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to promote insect nutrition as an alternative to fight the world food crisis with minimal effect to the environment.
In the future, cricket farms and mouth-watering insect dishes might continue to grow as people become more aware that insect farming uses less space and 25 times less water than livestock farming. (A pound of beef requires 2,000 gallons of water and 25 bags of animal feed while a pound of crickets requires 1 gallon of water and 2 bags of animal feed.) However, safety concern is still an issue that needs to be addressed such as how organic the insect feed is. The regulations relating to investment and supportive policies will also play a vital role for the public acceptance of insect foods.
Meet the visionaries who are inspired by the challenges in the world today and trying to find the way to better living tomorrow at CU 2014 (Creativities Unfold, Bangkok), 30-31 August at TCDC.
Source: www.psfk.com, www.cisr.ucr.edu
Photo by Pujohn Das/ Space10
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