Insect farming

Environmentalists, nutritionists, and food policy makers are seriously taking up the matter of the high likelihood of food scarcity in the not-so-far future.

It will affect the whole world and no country will be spared. Moreover, the food shortages would affect healthy eating.

Therefore, the experts are working on some alternative healthy food options and edible insects to this list. The insect farming business is on the rise.

Edible insects and business

Insect farming
Insect farming (Source: Euronews)

Food production in the world is falling and mouths to be fed are rising. Hunger and malnutrition already are rampant in third-world nations.

As time goes by, this would afflict even the rich nations. An alternative eco-friendly way to feed the growing population nutritious food is important.

Various events on this took place in the recent past. Experts are seriously contemplating making people aware of the situation of the world and planet as regards food and climate change.

They want people to switch to healthier diets that will not affect the environment. Eating edible insects such as locusts, grasshoppers, mealworms, ants, termites, etc.

have been part of a tradition in some backward communities of the world. These are in Ghana, Brazil, Africa, and Japan. Now the western world is increasingly adopting it too for health and environmental reasons.

Rearing these insects is being looked at as a business that would fetch income and profits. Several companies have already entered into this business though currently this business and trade is yet fragmented and in its infantile stage.

Companies in insect farming business and products

Some of the companies that commenced with insect farming and insect food production include Agriprotein Technologies, Kreca, EnviroFlight, HaoCheng Mealworms, Chapul, Exo Protein, Gathr Foods, Crowbar Protein, Crik Nutrition, Nutribug, Crackers, Thailand Unique, Six Foods, and Absolutely.

Thailand and Laos are the biggest producers and Thailand is the biggest exporter of these products. Israel has also entered the fray.

The Philippines and France have started these ventures. France will probably have the largest insect farm in the world.

Insect farming
Gummies made from locusts (Source: Euronews)

An Israeli food technology firm Hargol has made a recipe and prepared brown, jellied sweets from an edible, jumping insect – locusts. The creator of this product, Dror Tamir states:

“Grasshoppers taste like pecans, mushrooms, coffee and chocolate,”

“But with our range of food we can add in different flavours… the gummies come in orange and strawberry flavour.”

The company is also manufacturing chocolate-flavored protein powders. These locusts are native to Israel and are fed organic grass. Therefore, there is no risk of pesticides and other chemicals in these insects. Dror explained:

Locusta migratoria is one of the two types of locusts considered to be kosher and halal,”

Nutritional value of insects

Locusts have 72 percent whole protein and are rich in omega-3, iron, zinc, calcium, and other vitamins. Saturated fats and cholesterol are both absent. Hence they are healthy.

Read more about Entomophagy or eating insects: Benefits and safety!

Insect farming
Food dish made of locusts (Source: DW)

Locust farming carries with it very little water and a carbon footprint. Therefore, this business is good for the planet. UN adds that there are 1900 species of edible insects. We need to start eating them if we want to live sustainably and save our planet.