What 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.
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"