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Wheat bread with cricket flour

by Floro Mercene

The bread, made from flour ground from dried crickets as well as wheat flour and seeds, contains more protein than normal wheat bread. Each loaf contains about 70 crickets and costs $4.72, compared with about $3.53 for regular wheat loaf. Fazer, a bakery and food service company in Helsinki, Finland, launched recently the world’s first insect-based bread to their consumers. “It offers consumers a good protein source and also gives them an easy way to familiarize themselves with insect-based food,” said Fazer Bakery.

Eating insects, or entomophagy, is common in much of the world. The United Nations estimated last year that at least 2 billion people eat insects and more than 1,900 species have been used for food. In Western countries, edible bugs are gaining traction in niche markets, particularly among those seeking a gluten-free diet or wanting to protect the environment. Farming insects uses less land, water and feed than animal husbandry. Finland joined five other European countries – Britain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and Denmark – in allowing insects to be raised and marketed for food use.

The Food and Agriculture Organization at the United Nations launched in 2013 a program to encourage the breeding and consumption of insects, saying the cheap and ecological food could help feed the global population of 9 billion humans expected by 2030.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN), insects that are edible “contain high quality protein, vitamins and amino acids for humans.” The FAO states that they possess a “high food conversion rate,” citing the example of crickets, which require “six times less feed than cattle.”

On top of this, insects emit less greenhouse gases and can be cultivated on organic waste.

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