How Do You Like Your Crickets Cooked, Well, Medium Rare or Rare?
February 21, 2019
The cricket breeding business has grown tremendously from its beginnings as supplier of live food for reptiles like snakes and geckos. Today, not a few startup companies have ventured in cricket farming, as this particular species is quickly gaining ground as a sustainable source of protein nutrient.
Years ago, eating insects like crickets was a practice heard of only in Asian countries, where many can be purchased as street food or as high-end delicacies. In Africa, termites, crickets and other bugs were good enough food alternatives during times of scarcity. In recent years, European countries like Netherland, Belgium, Finland, and Austria started embracing the practice of eating edible crickets.
Now that the trend is transpiring in the U.S., the demand for crickets as food for human consumption, is being met not only by newer companies but also by home-based breeders.
Scientifically Proven Benefits of Eating Crickets
Scientific researchers at the Colorado State University performed analyses of the effects of cricket food on human gut. The results of their studies were encouraging, as two (2) common health improvements were noted among volunteers.
One was an increase in a good bacteria known as bifidobacterium, an antibody that tends to decrease once a person gets older. An increase in bifidobacterium therefore, can strengthen the body’s natural immunity system. The other health benefit noted was the lowering of an inflammatory marker called TNF-alpha. The latter is linked to inflammation occurring in connection with chronic disorders such cardiovascular disease and Type 2 Diabetes.
Risks Posed by Breeding Crickets in Massive Numbers
Encouraged by its low-cost attribute and the fast rate by which crickets multiply, breeding crickets gained quite a following in regions where there is an abundance of crickets. However, some cricket farms and small-scale breeders operate unnoticed, and away from prying eyes of health and food and safety inspectors.
The likelihood of which is that, there is less concern for instituting sanitation measures that keep their cricket breeds safe from harmful microorganisms and pathogens. The danger posed is that once the microbes develop into various forms of diseases, crickets can transmit them to workers in breeding facilities, in markets, in cricket food factories, and to all others that come in contact with the infected crickets. A more critical development in relation to potential diseases carried by crickets, is that they will make the insects unfit for human consumption.