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Environmental and economic forces are encouraging the consumption of high protein insects

Insect eating or entomophagy is common in 80% of the world’s countries which more than 1000 species of edible bugs according to a United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report. In the last 3-4 years more than 25 start-ups that sell insects as food have been launched in the US and Canada. Entomologist Aaron Dossey, PHD, founder of All Things Bugs, the biggest supplier of cricket powder believes bugs could be a super food of the future. Dossey says that business is booming, having sold 10,000 pounds of cricket powder in 2014 to such start-ups and this year is on track to sell 25,000 pounds.

With high nutritional value and low environmental impact the UN FAO is encouraging the exploration of insects as an important source of protein to some save-the-planet entrepreneurs to try to convince western countries to get past the ick factor. Crickets contain approximately 21 grams of protein per 100 grams of crickets. Christine Spliid, a Danish entrepreneur based in London, told Newsweek Europe her company sells protein bars made of ground-up crickets. “I think people are going to see it just as an ingredient, not as a weird crawly kind of creature.”

Crickets are most likely the critter to be first accepted. They aren’t gross to the eye and can be ground down to a powder which helps many people add insects to their food without actually noticing it and that helps overcome their fears unlike chewing on a crunchy cricket. Besides being a more environmental and sustainable source of food it may also help alleviate malnutrition in poor and third world society’s.