If the rise of Entomo Farms is any indication, the world is about to undergo a food revolution. The Bellevue, Washington-based company produces roasted crickets and cricket flour for human consumption. The crickets are sustainably raised and highly nutritious, containing 13 grams of protein per serving (1/3 cup). The insects also provide high amounts of calcium and iron, along with vitamin B12. Many industry experts believe that the nutritious nature of these insects can help to significantly reduce malnourishment worldwide.
Most of the production of these crickets occurs at Entomo Farms’ private farm in Norwood, Ontario (the biggest cricket farming facility in North America). The crickets are farmed efficiently and sustainably. They are allowed to roam freely in dark, warm “cricket condos,” which simulate their natural habitat. The crickets are harvested only at the end of their life cycle, which lasts about six weeks. This ensures that the crickets are produced humanely, which is an integral aspect of Entomo Farms’ approach to cricket farming.
Roasted Crickets and Cricket Powder
Once they are farmed, the crickets are prepared in a special facility. They are rinsed thoroughly to remove bacteria and then broken up into two groups: some are roasted in the oven, intended to be eaten whole, and others are placed into a food processing machine, in which they are ground into a fine powder. This powder will be sold as “cricket flour” and is intended to be used as a nutritious supplement to regular flour. The flour can also be used in smoothies and protein shakes.
Investments and Impact
Entomo’s production network is quite vast: they ship their crickets around the world, to locations like South Africa and Australia. In addition, they are currently working on getting more of their products into large supermarkets. All of this points to massive growth in the near future – in fact, the entire insect production industry is expected to undergo a 24 percent CAGR (compound annual growth rate) increase from 2019 to 2030.
As a result, Entomo recently received a large investment from Canadian food company Maple Leaf Farms. When asked about the transaction, Maple Leaf CEO Michael McCain said in a statement that his company “sees a long-term role in this form of protein delivery, both for animal and human consumption”. This investment bodes well for both companies, as production will be able to be scaled, and profits will likely increase. Once this occurs, Entomo Farms’ products will be able to make their way into the homes of the world’s poor, providing individuals and families alike with key nutrients.
Changing the World
Cricket production holds immense potential in changing how developing world eats. The protein and vitamins in the roasted crickets and cricket powder provide a nutritious boost to meals that many individuals in poverty sorely need. In addition, the environmentally friendly nature of cricket production is quite promising. Everything said, there is no doubt that Entomo Farms is changing the world for the better.
– Kiran Matthias