This Ohio cricket farm is first in US to raise 'chirps' for human consumption

YUCK2What has six legs and is a totally delicious superfood? Crickets, if you can stomach the latest nerd cuisine trend. To meet new demand for edible bugs, an abandoned warehouse in Youngstown, Ohio has been transformed into a cricket farm for startup SixFoods. The crickets will be raised to maturity, then slaughtered (imagine their high-pitched screams), then ground into nutritious high-protein "flour" and baked into cookies and chips for people other than me to eat.

It's a woman-founded, woman-owned startup, and they have a Kickstarter going. More at New Scientist.

These are the first insects in the US to be farmed for human consumption. Big Cricket Farms, the company running the warehouse, is working with insect food start-up Six Foods in Boston, who will make the cricket chips (pictured right) – which they call "chirps" – and cookies. They are among many adventurous eaters hoping to carve out a niche for a protein-rich, environmentally friendly food source that could transform the modern diet.

Laura D'Asaro and Rose Wang, who founded Six Foods, plan to get around the yuck factor with insect-based foods that don't look like the creepy-crawlies they come from. Their cricket flour is about 70 per cent protein by weight – the idea is to blend it into recipes for chips and cookies alongside the other typical ingredients. The foods come out looking and tasting like things people are already used to eating, only with a boost in nutritional value.

Previously on Boing Boing:
• "Designing the packaging for cricket protein bars"
• "How to make insects appetizing to Americans"

Notable Replies

  1. nox says:

    They don't have much flavor. I've had them deep fried, mostly seasoning and crunch.

    I'd actually prefer them in that form rather than cricket flour, though flour opens up a bunch of more advanced culinary uses.

  2. p96 says:

    Slaughtering and grinding are separate steps?

  3. nox says:

    First you have to hang them up by their feet and slit their throats to let the blood pump out.

  4. If you have to brag that you can't even taste or detect your new superfood...

  5. Cricket flour? Don't you mean the cricket version of ground beef?!

    On another note.

    It's a woman-founded, woman-owned startup, and they have a Kickstarter going.

    I feel disappointed that after all this time things are still at a stage where this is seen as rare enough for someone to feel inclined to mention on BB.

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