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Fish and chirps? Crickets make leap in demand as a protein

Posted at 9:29 AM, Jan 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-13 09:29:31-05

WILLISTON, Vt. (AP) — Farmers are raising alternative livestock they say are more ecologically sound than meat but that are sure to bug some people out: crickets.

Interest in edible insects was fueled by a 2013 report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Since then, the number of producers of foods containing crickets — from protein bars to chips and pasta sauce — has jumped from zero to about 20 in the United States, while U.S. cricket farms have grown to about a half dozen.

Tomorrow’s Harvest in Williston, Vermont, is among the new cricket farms that don’t use much space to raise the protein-packed food. Steve Swanson raises the crickets in boxes in his basement and has just started selling cricket protein powder online.

America’s master chef of bug cooking and author of the Eat-a-Bug Cookbook, David G. Gordon, “The Bug Chef”, displays a couple of crickets which he likes to cook with niblets of corn during a display at BUGFEST 2013  at Ripley's Believe It or Not in Hollywood, California on May 24, 2013, where 'The Bug Chef' cooked up a sampling of crunchy critters while bringing awareness to the protein-rich benefits of bugs. AFP PHOTO/Federic J. BROWN        (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

America’s master chef of bug cooking and author of the Eat-a-Bug Cookbook, David G. Gordon, “The Bug Chef”, displays a couple of crickets which he likes to cook with niblets of corn during a display at BUGFEST 2013 at Ripley’s Believe It or Not in Hollywood, California on May 24, 2013, where ‘The Bug Chef’ cooked up a sampling of crunchy critters while bringing awareness to the protein-rich benefits of bugs. AFP PHOTO/Federic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)