TORONTO — Imagine grabbing a mealworm powder smoothie for breakfast, snacking on chocolate chip and cricket cookies at work and coming home to a big bowl of pasta drenched in a cricket bolognese sauce.
A number of entrepreneurs are banking on this environmentally friendly, nutritionally dense protein hopping into the average Joe’s diet and are cooking up products to help make these critters a pantry staple.
“It’s moving away from the novelty. It’s moving away from the fear factor,” says Eli Cadesky, co-founder and CEO of C-fu Foods in Toronto.
The company sells textured insect proteins that can replace traditional meat, soy, eggs or dairy when cooking. His second company, One Hop Kitchen, uses the product to make two bolognese sauces — one with crickets and the other with mealworm.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations encourages entomophagy — or the eating of insects — because of its environmental and health benefits.
Most insects likely produce less greenhouse gases, require less water and feed, and need less land than traditional livestock, according to the FAO. They also tend to be high in fatty acids, fibre and micronutrients, and don’t tend to transmit diseases to humans.
A bottle of One Hop Kitchen’s pasta sauce costs US$9.99.
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By Aleksandra Sagan, The Canadian Press