A future in which cricket chips could be found on the shelves of an American grocery store next to their potato- and corn-based peers might not be that far off — or at least that’s the hope of a number of start-ups selling food products that incorporate edible insects as key ingredients.
So far, there are energy bars made with cricket flour, chocolate-dipped and candy-coated worms, cricket cookies and cricket crackers, which were backed in a successful $33,000 Kickstarter campaign this month. Caterpillar sushi and mealworm tofu are also in the works.
Many of the insect-based food products already on the market were developed in response to a massive 2013 report published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations that pushed for edible insects to be more widely considered as a global food source thanks to their many benefits.
Entomophagy, the practice of eating insects, isn’t particularly unusual when considered on a global scale. Nearly 2 billion people around the world, particularly in parts of Central Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America, already eat insects regularly and have been doing so for years, the FAO report also noted. The most popular varieties eaten worldwide are beetles, caterpillars, bees, wasps and ants.
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