According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations there are an estimated 1 462 species of recorded edible insects in the world.
Included in this list are:
Globally, the most common insects consumed are beetles
If you Google ‘Cricket Farming’, you will see many images of hundreds of crickets in hundreds of large plastic bins. In order to feed the crickets, each bin would have to be retrieved, opened, tended to, then replaced. The cricket farmers would continue in this vein until all the crickets in all the bins had been cared for. Darren, as Vice President of Farming Operations, knew there must be a better, kinder, more efficient way to care for the crickets, and developed what he calls the Cricket Condos.
Crickets are naturally a swarming species, and like being in a dark, warm place. The condos allow the crickets to live in a way as close as possible to how they would live in the natural world. They are free to hop from feed station to feed station, and can burrow deep into the condos if they so choose until it is harvesting time, which comes near the end of their natural life cycle.
As deep-rooted environmentalists, it was very important to all members of the Entomo Farms team that the crickets be treated as humanely as possible for their short time here on Earth. Crickets only live about 6 weeks. The chirping sound you hear from crickets on a warm summer’s night, come only from mature crickets who have come to the end of their lives. Harvesting the crickets only occurs at the end of their life cycle.
The important things to remember about farming crickets and Entomo Farms, is that our crickets are free range, and they are harvested only at the end of their life cycle. Read the blog here.
When you enter the cricket farm, you will see that there are millions of crickets at different stages of maturation.
Once the crickets reach the end of their adulthood (somewhere around 6-8 weeks), they are harvested, and prepared.
The insects are driven down the street to a kitchen, where they are cleaned with potable water. They are then euthanized, then are roasted in ovens at 225 degrees Fahrenheit. At this point, some are packaged, and sold as whole roasted insects, and others are ground into a fine powder by industrial sized food processors. To learn more, read the blog here.
The average adult needs approximately 46-56 g of protein every day. For someone who eats 3 meals a day, and two snacks, this amount of protein could be divided by 5, which is approximately 11 g of protein per eating session. Each tablespoon of cricket powder is 10 g in weight, and has about 7 g of protein and 42 calories. So for example, in a typical day if someone wanted to consume only insect protein, she could have 2 Tablespoons of cricket powder added into her breakfast pancakes (14 g of protein, just over 80 calories.). For mid morning snack, she could have a smoothie with 1 1/2 tablespoons of cricket powder (10 g of protein). For lunch she could have a bowl of chili with 2 or 3 tablespoons of cricket powder, or salad wraps with 4-6 tablespoons of roasted crickets (14-21 g of protein). Her afternoon snack could be salsa blended with 2 tablespoons of cricket powder, served with tortilla chips, and dinner could be fritters made with a blend of veggies, spices and cricket powder. Simple and easy!
There are many nutritional and environmental benefits of eating insects.
High in Omegas
Rich in protein
Chock full of iron
Low in fat and calories
Long shelf life
Exponentially less taxing on agricultural resources
Exponentially less taxing on fresh water resources
Exponentially less greenhouse gases produced than livestock production
Producing insects takes less food and space than livestock production
A Geoentomarian is a person who chooses a better, more sustainable and certainly delicious protein alternative, so that we can help to leave the planet in a better place by doing everything we can to reduce our ecological footprint!
By being Geoentomarians , we will:
Decrease in overall greenhouse gases.
Decrease destruction of land for chicken farming
Decrease destruction of land for pig farming
Decrease destruction of land for cattle farming
Diminish land mass destruction as the most stringent limitation in feeding sustainability for the world
Conserve fresh water
Feed populations in developing countries
Decrease E U (Energy Units) consumption related to the production of consumable protein
It’s great that you want to start eating insects! We recommend starting off nice and easy. Make your favourite salad, and throw a few crispy, tasty bugs on top- kind of like croutons, but way better for you and our planet. You can look at what we have available at our store. (Some people like to take the legs off the crickets- they will come off very easily.)
For the next step, we recommend our Protein2050, which is insect powder. The powder is gluten free, low in calories, low and fat, and full of protein, iron and calcium. We have some incredible recipes that our entomo chef, Caryn, posted only once her kids gave them two thumbs up!
We are asked this question quite a bit and the answer is both yes and no. Certain insects are edible according to God as it is written in Leviticus, however this does not by virtue make them what we refer to today as “kosher.”
After extensive research the answer is best supported by a passage from the book: “The Diet of John the Baptist,” by Mohr Siebeck. In the chapter titled: “From Leviticus to Moses Maimonides: Locust Eating in Jewish Literature and the Ancient Near East,” pg 41, the author writes:
With regard to the eating of locusts/grasshoppers, Leviticus 11 allows the Israelites to consume four different kinds of ‘leaping’ insects: 
All winged insects that walk upon all fours are detestable to you. 
But among the winged insects that walk on all fours you may eat those that have jointed legs above their feet, with which to leap on the ground. 
Of them you may eat: the locust according to its kind, the bald locust according to its kind, the cricket according to its kind, and the grasshopper according to its kind. But all other winged insects that have four feet are detestable to you. (Lev 11:20-23)
There are Jewish communities as well as Muslims who eat crickets and grasshoppers because they recognize the passage from Leviticus as a claim for being kosher and halal.
The word ‘entomophagy’ literally means: “The practice of eating insects“.
FAQ’s, Tips and Tricks: Cooking with Insects and Protein2050 Cricket Powder (cricket flour) from Entomo Farms
How much protein is in Protein2050 cricket powder (cricket flour) and insects?
Entomo Farms cricket powder and roasted insects have 60-70% protein content.
1 tablespoon of Protein 2050 insect powder = 10g weight = 7g insect protein per tablespoon
3 tablespoons of insect powder= ¼ cup = 30g weight = 21g insect protein
What other nutrients do I benefit from using Protein2050 cricket powder (cricket flour)?
Each and every whole cricket contains the following:
• More Calcium than MILK
• More Iron than Spinach
• 70% protein
• 20x the amount of B12 as beef when crickets are in powdered form
• ALL 9 ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS that our bodies need!
• The PERFECT ratio of Omega 3:6, which is 1:3 not 1:20 as is the case with beef!
• The CHITIN (pronounced k-eye-tin) a fiber in the exoskeleton of crickets contributes to PREBIOTICS in our gut biome which feed our PROBIOTICS!! Prebiotics and probiotics are both necessary for a healthy gut.
This hard to find prebiotic component is one of the most recent discoveries regarding edible insects and the top “hot topic” for medical research today regarding our gut and how gut-health is CRUCIAL to staying healthy and feeling great!
If you have a chance to search DAVID SUZUKI and GUT BIOME, please watch his recent NATURE of THINGS documentary on CBC covering this most fascinating topic! We also have a blog on our website all about gut biome health. You will be amazed and realize just how eating foods with insects, like crickets, can play a major role in revamping our human health issues.
How do I use cricket powder (cricket flour)? Do I just swap it for regular flour?
Entomo Farms cricket powder is not intended for a 1:1 replacement swap with regular grain flours in recipes. Protein2050 cricket powder (cricket flour) is light and dry but slightly oily like nut flours.
When baking or trying a new recipe start with substituting 10% of your main dry ingredient ie regular flour with Entomo Farms cricket powder. If you are making a recipe that calls for 2 cups of regular flour remove ¼ of flour and add in ¼ cup (30g) of cricket powder.
Cricket powder can also be used in soups, salad dressings, desserts, smoothies and any other favorite foods you may have.
*Adding insects and insect powders to your dishes provides you with great nutritional benefits. We recommend starting with a smaller amount, and adding in more as your palate adjusts to the flavour. Use the amount listed in the ingredients of the Entomo Farms recipes as the midpoint of a range.
Why would I put insect powder into cookies? Isn’t a cookie just supposed to be a cookie?
In the kitchen at the Entomo Farms headquarters, our view on encouraging people to consume insects is a “something for everybody approach”. Many people seek protein 5-6 times per day. Insect powder gives us many options to obtain an extra gram or 5g of protein in dishes or snacks that would have had far less nutritional value or purpose without the addition of the insects.
The nutritional quality of foods that North Americans consume has been deteriorating for a very long time. To add the sustainable and bountiful amount of nutrition found in insects to anything we can is a good thing. A brownie or cookie with a small to medium amount of cricket powder (flour) gives people who are mainstream with their food choices the option to try something familiar and proudly say to their friends or family the they not only tried and survived eating ” bugs”, but enjoyed the experience and went for seconds.
In our own kitchens at home we strive to send our children to school with food that will help them learn, be healthy and be sustainable for their wonderful lives ahead. Animal-shaped crackers, “fruit” gummies and soft cookies loaded with sugars and fats are not helping our kids stay focused, keen or lean. Most school snacks are packed with sugar and very little nutritional value and provide no real long term energy contribution. Imagine if we gradually started getting small amounts of insect protein, vitamins and nutrients throughout the course of our daily intake in a variety of fun, flavorful and sometimes sneaky way!
Is Insect Powder Gluten Free?
Insects themselves are gluten-free however the grain they are raised on is not. For anybody who is not battling Celiac disease the minimal amount of gluten in the stomach content of the crickets raised and processed at Entomo Farms is negligible. The amount of gluten in Entomo Farms organic regular crickets is 80 parts per million. For those individuals with Celiac that are highly sensitive to gluten, a ratio of 20 parts per million is required to be deemed gluten-free and safe to eat.
In order to provide this much needed option, Entomo Farms offers a gluten free Protein2050 cricket powder (cricket flour) with a ratio of 11 parts per million. Entomo Farms has designed its own special feed in order to accommodate the most extreme cases of gluten intolerance.
How Well do People Digest Insects? Are We Really Meant to Eat Them?
Humans have been eating insects for thousands of years. Two billion people in our world today have a daily diet that consists of insects, and have no intention of switching from these tasty and nutrient-packed insect options. North Americans currently consume less, or rather very few, insects compared to other regions, like Asia, China and South America. However, our body’s response when we begin to eat insects is irrefutable. There are specific digestive enzymes that are dedicated to digesting the chitin or exoskeletons of insects. In general, North Americans lack these enzymes. However, research shows that when humans begin to consume insects, our body AUTOMATICALLY begins recreating these necessary enzymes for ease of digestion! Our bodies sense something that has been previously used for energy and then adapts to receive and utilize these ‘old edible friends” – insects.
Are Insects Like Sushi?
No. To our knowledge insects are not to be eaten raw and we are sticking to that. Sushi was new and bizarre to most of us decades ago but that is the only similarity regarding cooking and eating of insects.
Insects, like most other proteins need to be handled correctly before being consumed. The options of both freezing and heating (cooking) are necessary to ensure a healthy bug-free bug-fest. Entomo Farms Protein2050 insect powder and frozen insects are farmed in a facility that is in full compliance with all growing, inspection, labeling and other standards of practice. Entomo Farms produces exclusively for human consumption and this is a VERY important aspect of what matters most to us when we chose to start cooking with insects.
What NOT to Eat….
You have now joined our Geoentomarian mission. You see the vision….AND a very bright colored delicious-looking bug in your backyard. The answer is no. You may not be adventurous and eat random colorful bugs. The louder the colors or stripes the more that particular insect is telling you to back off. This is Mother Nature’s way of letting us know these insects are off limits, so best to stick to familiar entomo- waters.
In simple terms, if you have a pre-disposed allergy to insect bites or stings you should proceed with caution and take baby steps. Those people with a SHELLFISH allergy must also eat with caution as there are distant relations between some insects and shellfish. As always, a little knowledge and some common sense should keep you out of trouble.
Favorite Recipe Tips…..
Our hope is that this section changes and grows and fills with new ideas from all of YOUR culinary creations. Let’s get started….
Protein Shake suggestions:
Protein2050 insect powder allows you to design delicious smoothies based on YOUR individual needs.
1 tablespoon of Protein2050 insect powder = 10g weight = 7g insect protein per tablespoon
For those who prefer a higher amount of protein during your day, simply double up on your Protein2050! Remember, any change in protein choice matters. Start with a little and pat yourself on the back for taking a step towards the future of food and the security of our resources…. AND for giving your body a healthy, energizing start to your day or meal replacement.
Soups are so forgiving, so comforting, and so easy. I often take a favorite pureed soup recipe and simply add insect powder to the soup. I use a vegetable broth and whisk in the amount of insect protein I would like to add to my soup. Take the number of servings and do the math as stated above in the ‘how do I use insect powder section’
*note the average bowl of homemade chicken soup has approx 4-5g of protein.
Dry Roasted Crickets
Preheat oven to 225°F
Lightly oil a baking tray and spread crickets out evenly in a single layer.
Bake for 35-45 minutes until crisp and crunchy.
To easily remove the legs, place roasted crickets in a paper bag and give it a shake.