21 May 2014
By Hal Hodson
A TWITCHING mass of European house crickets clings to a maze of meshed cardboard in a tent about the size of a minivan. They are inside their new home, an abandoned warehouse in Youngstown, Ohio, where they will prosper until being killed, ground into “flour” and baked into cookies and tortilla chips.
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.