The next time you’re hungry for something nutritious or need a light snack when you’re on the go, look no further than your own back yard. And while there are few more steps to it than that, insects are becoming a delicacy in many countries and fair game all over the world.
Next Millennium Farms is one of the first farms in North America (Canada) to raise crickets and mealworms for human consumption. Founded in 2014 and co-owned by Jarrod Goldin, a chiropractor by trade, and his brothers Ryan and Darren, who had both raised crickets for pet food stores.
For the brothers, they are raising “the most nutrient-dense food on the planet.” It is becoming widely known that insects are high in protein and low in fat. Harvesting insects also has a minimal environmental impact. Crickets require 12 times less feed than cattle to produce the same amount of protein. They give off fewer greenhouse gases and less ammonia waste than livestock. Next Millennium sells up to 2,425 pounds of wholesale cricket flour to companies who process protein bars and other consumer food products.
But for all their benefits, one thing remains: in order to harvest this valuable protein, living creatures have to be raised and killed in captivity. At New millennium, nearly 15 million crickets are raised in a series of large white bins. The insects’ waste falls below their living quarters, and each bin is replenished with fresh water from an irrigation system. The amount of light, temperature, and humidity settings are all controlled. The crickets are farmed and processed in a way that the family believes is the most humane.
Since opening their business, Next Millennium has expanded from 10,000 to 30,000 square feet. They have plans to scale up even further. Goldin says that every week they receive up to 20 phone calls from food and wellness companies all interested in collaborating or using cricket flour in their products.
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