Crickets are a delectable, affordable, and environmentally friendly protein source already eaten in some parts of the world. Now the trick is producing them for the masses.
His wife once threatened to kick him out, his landlord might evict him, and he could go broke. But Jakub Dzamba, a Ph.D. student in architecture at McGill University and founder of a company called Third Millennium Farming, is nevertheless on a mission to popularize a farming system for a food that sometimes makes even his advisors flinch: crickets.
Insects are among the world’s most environmentally friendly sources of protein, and though not common in Western nations, are already an everyday cuisine in many parts of the world. In the U.S., there’s growing curiosity about crickets as a sustainable food source (see our recent coverage of these cricket flour-based protein bars and these pre-packaged insect meals). Yet if insects are ever to hit the big time, there needs to be a way to mass produce the “micro-livestock.”
Cricket farms exist today, often to produce reptile or fish food. But they can be messy industrial operations, says Dzamba. Instead, he wants to make it easy (and not at all creepy) to farm crickets locally in an office building or neighborhood by creating “cricket reactors“–enclosed cricket breeding contraptions fed by recycled organic wastes like lawn clippings and kitchen scraps.
His apartment contains one of a few working prototypes. (His wife almost kicked him out when a few escaped, motivating him further to perfect a system of levers, valves, and sliding doors that make it “escape proof.”)
One larger version, which costs about $50 to $100, would be intended for a facility or enthusiast to use. Another, which he is developing now, would be a “personal” countertop cricket farm that could cost as little as $3 and produce about 10 pounds of crickets every eight weeks, or enough protein for one adult to subsist on.
In the reactor, the crickets are killed after laying their eggs, so the farm is self-sustaining. The temperature is lowered until the crickets fall asleep; then they are frozen. “You still have to kill an animal, but it’s more humane,” he says.
The Latest on: Sustainable Insect Factory Farm
- First insect-based fish feed factory opens in Ghana on May 3, 2019 at 2:20 am
A French-owned biotechnology company, Cycle Farms, has inaugurated its first ... The objective of producing insect-based feed for fish and poultry production has been seen as the most sustainable ... […]
- Can Silicon Valley entrepreneurs make crickets the next chicken? on May 2, 2019 at 11:37 am
Managers who experimented with factory layout saw big improvements ... organizations including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2018. A. Halloran et al. (Eds.) Edible ... […]
- Cycle Farms opens the first insect-based fish feed factory in Ghana on April 25, 2019 at 5:08 am
Cycle Farms, a French-owned biotechnology company ... The objective of producing insect-based feed for fish and poultry production has been seen as the most sustainable means for the future (FAO). ... […]
- Tanzania: Poultry Production Cost Cut As Insects Are Used As Feed on April 11, 2019 at 2:21 am
Globally the use of insects as a viable animal feed has been ... the firm was registered in Tanzania and raised money for scaling into a factory. The goal was to recycle the nutrients in organic waste ... […]
- Of Insects and Men on February 26, 2019 at 1:18 am
But what is intensive farming? It’s the violent metamorphosis of peasant farming to a factory armed ... tools to return to sustainable farming that will take advantage of the “built-in defenses” in ... […]
- Ag-tech company plans to install 'the world’s biggest insect farm' on February 22, 2019 at 6:10 pm
pet food and organic plant fertilizers, announced it raised a USD 125 million in a financing round The start-up annonced it will use that money to build "the world’s biggest insect farm" in Amiens ... […]
- Food With Insects: Idea To Reality on January 14, 2019 at 1:00 pm
Generally if we are eating something and see the insects ... our own insect farm, and processing plant. First we will work with mealworm (Tenebrio molitor, the “TM” in the name of start-up) We believe ... […]
- Using Insect Protein to Produce More Sustainable Fish Feed on April 2, 2017 at 5:00 pm
Also, the company doesn’t use waste as inputs, instead feeding its mealworms organic ... farm to follow different parameters at the lab level, and that gives some inputs for the factory,” Hubert says ... […]
- This countertop hive lets you grow your own mealworms — and then eat them on November 16, 2015 at 1:34 pm
Developed by Livin Farms in Hong Kong, the mealworm hive ostensibly offers a sustainable alternative ... The Livin Farms Insect Hive is part of a larger food industry effort to cut factory farms' ... […]
- Harford farms embrace sustainable agriculture without the 'organic' label on June 27, 2014 at 12:52 pm
Gone are the days when factory-produced food went unquestioned ... taking steps to protect the environment while running a healthy, thriving farm. The steps are part of the sustainable agriculture ... […]
via Google News and Bing News