Posts

roasted crickets
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.

Cricket Production

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
Photo: Flickr

10 Great Fair Trade Stores
According to the World Bank, 10 percent of the world’s population lives in extreme poverty. This means they make less than $1.90 per day. Fairtrade is an innovative business model that aims to combat global poverty. Workers who produce fair trade products are paid a fair and livable wage by their employers. Each product they produce tells a story about corresponding culture and craftsman. Fairtrade ensures safe working conditions for men, women, and children as well as products that are environmentally sustainable.

By shopping fair trade, you can provide support to impoverished communities, worldwide. Here is a list of 10 great places to do so.

10 Great Fair Trade Stores

  1. Ten Thousand Villages: Founded in 1946, this store has expanded into a chain across the US. The store’s name took inspiration from a Gandhi quote: “Because in every village are people who want to live a meaningful life with dignity and who bring beautiful culture worth sharing.” Ten Thousand Villages works to embody this quote by selling handcrafted materials and products from an assortment of villages worldwide. The products sold range from jewelry all the way to gourmet chocolate. On average, each craftsman has sold their products through Ten Thousand Villages for 25 years.
  2. Greenheart Shop: This store is the only fair trade store in Chicago Illinois. They sell items from all categories, such as clothes, jewelry, dishes and rugs, all of which are eco-friendly, and as they put it, “carry a social mission.” Their craftsmen are sourced worldwide, contributing from as far away as Tunisia in North Africa.
  3. Fair Trade Winds: This family-run business has five locations across the U.S.–Bar Harbor, Maine, Boulder, Colorado, Fairfax, Virginia, Hudson, New York and Seattle, Washington. It was founded by a couple who bought and sold fair trade items such as coffee, tea, and chocolate at their church through a nonprofit called Lutheran World Relief. As time went on, this couple began selling the fair trade products at other churches, fairs, and events until they eventually invested in a retail space, thus establishing Fair Trade Winds.
  4. Fair Trade Jewelry Company: Located in Toronto Ontario, this store is the first Jeweller in North America to use fairtrade certified gold. To make their jewelry, they use a blend of fair trade gold as well as recycled gold to ensure that their jewelry is both socially and environmentally conscious. They work with miners to teach them how to use mining techniques that are safe and efficient.
  5. The Mustard Seed: Located in Lake Forest, Illinois, this store donates all their profits to organizations that support and empower at-risk women and children. Founded in 2009, The Mustard Seed employs an entirely volunteer workforce, which allows them to donate 100 percent of its profits to charities. Over the last 9 years, The Mustard Seed has donated roughly $200,000 to women and children.
  6. WHEAT: Founded in 1990, WHEAT, which stands for World Hunger Education, Advocacy and Training, is a fair trade store that supports craftsmen from over 30 countries. They sell many items including coffee, jewelry, ceramics and candlesticks. Their goal is to allocate their profits to help feed, house, clothe and educate the less fortunate. They are located in Phoenix Arizona.
  7. The Himalayan Bazaar: Located in Ann Arbor Michigan, this store sells handcrafted gifts and gear from Nepal. Their goal is to educate the community on culture, travel and adventure. In addition to their storefront, they also provide tours of the Himalayas in Nepal twice a year.
  8. Trade Roots: Established in Arlington Virginia, this store is a coffee shop, wine bar and gift shop all in one. Their craftsmen use recycled materials such as aluminum cans, textiles, and telephone wires to create original jewelry, clothes, baskets, etc. They embody a commitment to sustainable products.
  9. JustGoods: This store sells handcrafted goods such as jewelry, coffee, and clothing from 25 different countries. Their supply-chain represents almost all seven continents. They are run by volunteers, many of whom were once Peace Corp members. Their building is powered by LED lights and wind turbines to ensure environmental sustainability. They are located in Rockford Illinois.
  10. Simply Fair: Located in Springfield Illinois, this fair trade boutique sells handcrafted items from 40 nations. They offer daily samples of coffee and chocolate to their customers.

The above list only encompasses a small percent of the total fair trade stores in North America. A website called “Change The World by how you Shop” can help you find other great fair trade stores near you. All you have to do is provide your zip code. By shopping fair trade, people worldwide are given the opportunity to escape poverty and pursue a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.

– Emily Turner
Photo: Flickr

bilderberg-group
The Bilderberg Group is an annual conference designed to foster dialogue between Europe and North America. The group was started in 1954 when the first conference was held at the Bilderberg Hotel in Holland. The conference brings together 120-150 political leaders and experts from a variety of fields each year to discuss megatrends and major issues facing the world.

The Bilderberg conference provides an opportunity for informal, off-the-record conversation that is seldom possible in other venues. No official positions are required in the meetings. The conference provides attendees an agenda free, vote free setting where ideas are encouraged and participants have the opportunity to express their own opinions. No notes are taken, and no policy statements are issued before or after the conference.

Bilderberg is governed by a Steering Committee that elects a chairman who in turn is responsible for making suggestions and preparing the conference program with the Steering Committee.

Bilderberg grew out of the Cold War as a mechanism for European and North American communication, and today it remains a venue to discuss relevant and common problems facing the world. The group discusses matters surrounding trade, jobs, monetary policy, and international security. Dialogue between Europe and the United States is as important today as it was in the 1950’s.

The Bilderberg Group has received significant criticism over the years, however. Members of the media have labeled the conference as a “powerful global cabal” as each event is protected with heavy security and press is not allowed inside. Some conspiracy theorists have claimed the group runs the world. One prominent theory claims the group was responsible for the creation of the Euro, and that the group meets to select the winners and losers in the U.S presidential Elections, or at least the vice presidential pick.

Rumors like these persist in part because Bilderberg attendees are encouraged not to discuss the proceedings. However, to date there is no concrete evidence to suggest that the conference serves as anything more than an informal discussion of important problems and issues facing the world today.

-Caitlin Zusy
Sources Washington Post
Photo Unusual News