This next story may make you squirm. We’re talking about bugs. Not underfoot, but on your plate — for dinner.
The edible insect industry is slowly gaining momentum based on promises of protein packed snacks.
Insects have been a diet staple in many developing countries for years. But in North America, we can’t seem to get over the “ick factor”. However, as more and more people look for environmentally sustainable food sources, interest in the edible bug industry is growing. We checked out one of Canada’s few edible insect farms for a taste of a bug’s life.
Picture this — times 30 million — and you’ll have an idea of what it’s like to be inside “Next Millennium Farms” cricket barn.
It’s one of few facilities in North America that’s licensed to farm insects for human consumption.
Darren Goldin, Next Millennium Farms: “They are probably one of the most nutritious forms of protein for humans.”
They started breeding and raising various insects as a more environmentally friendly food source. Bugs require much less feed, water and space to produce the same amount of protein as meat.
Shannon Crocker, registered dietician: “They’ve actually got a good, high quality protein, they’ve got a good amino acid profile similar to what we might find in meat, they provide some healthy fats.”
Darren Goldin: “Calcium, iron, vitamin B12 — crickets are loaded with all of those.”
Mature insects are sorted, cleaned and roasted. Then seasoned, or ground into insect flours. But even when they’re unrecognizable, it can be hard to get over the fact that — they’re bugs.
Darren Goldin: “Once you’ve tasted them and you’ve realized how delicious they are, it makes it much easier to overcome the yuck factor.”
I can see its eyes. Ready? Oh god. Mmmm. That’s easy. It’s easy. It’s easy.
And I’m not the only one who seems to think so.
Tell me what it tastes like. All of them? Eat as many as you want. “Ok. Crunchy chip, it’s not bad. I actually would buy those.”
“It’s different, but maybe in a good way.”
“Tastes like potato chips.”
Edible insects are still far from mainstream. But there’s nothing wrong with being bitten by the ‘edible insect’ bug.