Entomo Farms: for a sustainable nutrition
The sun rises over the still meadows that surround Entomo Farms in the quiet farming town of Norwood, Ontario. If you listen closely, you will hear the faint chirping of crickets. The sound is soothing, reminding us of the slumber that just was. At first it seems like the chirping is coming from the fields of dense grass, but it is actually coming from behind the walls of Entomo Farms’ three barns.
At the heart of Entomo Farms are three South African born brothers, whose love for the environment and for the health of people and of our planet propelled them to grab the bugs by the antennae and make a go for it.
The three brothers (and their little sister) were born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, until political strife caused their parents to uproot their family and move to North America, in hopes of a safer, less stressful life.
Darren and Ryan Goldin, the two younger brothers, had been farming insects for the reptile industry for many years. After hearing about the 2013 UN paper, 'Edible Insects: Future Prospects of Food and Feed Security', the eldest brother, Jarrod, called his brothers, and discussed the possibility of becoming the first human grade insect farm in North America.
Entomo Farms, is the largest insect farm in North America, with over 60,000 feet of farming space. As a pioneer in the entomophagy industry, Entomo Farms is paving the way for future insect farms and insect-protein based companies, through changing policies, fine-tuning innovative farming methods, and producing delicious crickets, mealworms and insect powders that can be easily added into any dish.
When Entomo Farms opened their doors in January 2014, they had a vision:
- To provide the finest insect proteins that help feed the world sustainably as the population rises to 9 billion by 2050
- To lead the insect protein revolution with integrity, trustworthiness and accountability
- To help the industry motivate people across the globe to consume insect protein by changing perceptions with education and research
Now, nearly 4 years later, they are accomplishing what they set out to do, building a global community and educating the public through media, events, and online.
From the nutrition lens, consuming insects is unbelievably healthy for humans. With more protein than beef, more iron than spinach, more calcium than milk, all 9 essential amino acids, high levels of prebiotic fibre and perfect ratio of Omega 3:6, edible insects are an amazing addition to any diet- from paleo, to gluten-free, keto to low-carb and everything in between. Amazingly, even though insects are not ‘vegetarian’ nor ‘vegan’, many die-hard vegetarians and vegans are very open to including insects in their diets because of their high levels of Vitamin B-12, their sustainability profile, and the ethical conditions under which they are raised.
The crickets raised at Entomo Farms are ‘free-range’ as opposed to a vertical bin method. This has allowed the crickets to literally walk around as they please, eating, drinking and burrowing whenever they want. They are also only harvested at the very end of their lifecycle (at approximately 6 weeks), and are done so in the most ethical method possible- a flash freeze to put them into a state of hibernation, before they are small-batch roasted. There are no additives, nor preservatives, and Entomo Farms offers conventional insects as well as certified organic (by Eco-Cert) all of which are gluten free.
From an ecological footprint point of view, the farming of edible insects like crickets uses far fewer resources such as land, feed and water than any other protein source, including soy.
Entomo Farms currently produces over 10 million crickets per week, and supplies over 50 companies worldwide with insect protein for a variety of different foods such as protein bars, protein shake mixes, pasta, burgers, and pasta sauces. While many people around the world already consume insects on a daily basis voluntarily, Entomo Farms is paving the way to normalizing entomophagy (the eating of insects) in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
Entomo Farms is a global leader in the industry, continuing to help shape policies and grow the global community through social media campaigns, outreach, conferences, and research. On a daily basis, the company receives dozens of inquiries and requests from individuals, organizations and schools all over the world to support them on their quest to bring edible insects onto their dinner plates, to their events or into their classrooms. Entomo Farms supports as many of these endeavours as possible- providing infographics, educational materials, samples and live Skype or Google Hangout calls to help spread the word of this growing phenomenon known as entomophagy.
We are truly watching the rise of the Incredible, Edible Insect.
Find more information here about the process of farming crickets.