Calling all Paleo enthusiasts and gluten-free adventurists: The next “it” protein is gaining ground right here in Oregon.
According to Wilson and Ellis’ research, livestock and seafood are increasingly difficult to raise for mass consumption, which means people may need to expand their palates to get the proper amount of protein into their diets. And so, while still attending the University of Oregon, they hatched a plan to make consuming bugs easier to digest.
The young entrepreneurs knew whole crickets aren’t commonly eaten in western cultures, but they thought that grinding them up for other purposes just might take off.
The business receives live crickets from a U.S. farm that raises the insects for human consumption. Once the crickets get to Eugene, they’re chilled into a natural hibernation before they’re “humanely killed by freezing,” and later roasted for grinding.
The newspaper reports that the business just launched in November. Following national coverage about edible cricket products, Wilson and Ellis are sure that they chose the right time to roll out Cricket Flours, especially in the Pacific Northwest.
“There are articles coming out almost daily about entomophagy,” Ellis said in an interview with the Register-Guard. “We think this is a massive market and big corporations will eventually take an interest.”
NPR reported last year that cricket farming businesses were picking up across the country as more and more people see the flour as a way to increase protein in everyday recipes. Plus, at 12.9 grams of protein per 100 grams, little crickets have about half the protein of chicken and beef.