After a couple of years working for National Bank in Montreal, Daniel Novak got inspired in 2015 when he discovered Entomo Farms, a Canadian farm that had recently started raising free-range crickets for human consumption. The farm began operations following a landmark report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) that encouraged communities around the world to consider insects as a sustainable high-protein food already being consumed by over 2 billion people.
For the same weight crickets contain twice the protein in beef and chicken, over five times the vitamin B12 in salmon and they’re also full of iron, calcium, potassium and a prebiotic fibre called chitin beneficial to the gut microbiome.
Cricket protein is complete with all nine essential amino acids, just like other animal proteins, while requiring only a small fraction of the water, feed and space. For the same amount of protein produced, crickets are also only responsible for one one-hundredth of the greenhouse gas emissions compared to beef. So what have the other 5 billion of us been waiting for?!
The local availability of human-grade crickets, a passion for health food and environment, and a long-term frustration with a lack of healthy and nutritionally complete snack options were the starting point for the kick-off of Crickstart in 2016. The company now makes certified organic, gluten and dairy-free bars, crackers and protein powders.
The global edible insect movement has become a partnership between farmers and brands like Crickstart getting consumers on board with familiar food concepts and delicious flavours. And that truly is working. Crickstart products are now sold in over 700 stores in North America, a sign that insect-based foods are becoming a meaningful part of the alternative protein movement.
The Crickstart team (from left to right): Adrian Loffredo, Director of Operations; Erin Little, Community Manager; Daniel Novak, CEO; Gabrielle
The whole Crickstart team continues to be amazed by how far the industry has come in such a short time, and how fast it continues to grow. They like to remind people that they themselves all thought eating insects was strange not long ago, but that they now only find it strange that they used to think that.
Most people don’t know that the average consumer eats over a pound of insects a year in processed foods alone, like peanut butter, noodles, and sauces. It’s only natural given that insects form an essential part of the very ecosystem that provides our food.
So, you’re already eating insects, and since they’re so nutritious and sustainable, why not eat more? You can find Crickstart products at crickstart.ca or in a store near you.