Insect farming is an increasingly popular phenomenon throughout the globe. The main reasons are both environmental (less burden on the planet) and nutritional (gaining valuable and profitable nutrients via insect protein extraction). If you’ve never heard about farming crickets for profit before, read on to find out just how beneficial crickets could be for you, and to get some information about the best method for insect protein processing! If handling insects has been taboo for you so far, you might just change your mind after reading our article!
Cricket farming has older roots than you’d think
Cricket farming is basically a method where you raise crickets for their meat, just as you would with poultry or cattle. If you have a setting where you can keep them warm enough, then you can even farm them outdoors.
While farming insects for food is regarded as a new and controversial topic, it actually comes from a much older trend where eating crickets and other insects wasn’t considered out of place. People around the world have actually been eating insects for quite some time, and only counts as “news” in regions where consuming bugs is regarded with disgust. Not to mention that these regions are actually the minority! Apart from the United States, Canada, and Europe, insects are eaten in almost every part of the world. Even in Mexico, the neighbor of the States, there are almost 200 different kinds of insects that the locals enjoy in their daily meal.
All this just means that even without the increasingly popular trend of insect farming in Europe and the U.S, you’re looking at quite a lot of potential customers if you decide to jump into cricket farming and insect protein extraction.
What is the point of farming crickets as a source of protein?
Here are the main benefits of raising crickets:
1. They are an excellent source of nutrients for humans
Whether or not you have personal consumption in your mind, you might be surprised at just how much of a healthier alternative cricket protein is. You don’t have to take our word for it: here are the actual nutritional values of crickets as analyzed by Maxxam Analytics!
Nutritional value of 100g of crickets:
- Energy 1973kJ (472kCal)
- Protein 58,76g
- Fat 24g
- Saturated Fat 8,48g
- Trans Fat 0,218g
- Cholesterol 228mg
- Carbohydrates 8,4g
- Fiber, total dietary 6g
- Sugars 0,5g
- Calcium 0,11g
- Iron 0,002g
- Potassium 1,1g
- Sodium 0,31g
- Omega-three 2,81g
- Omega-six 6,28g
- Saturate Fatty Acids 8,48g
- Cis-Monounsaturated 5,14g
- Cis-Polyunsaturated 9,09g
- B-twelve 24µg
Amount of essential amino acids in 100g of crickets:
- Histidine 1,44g
- Isoleucine 2,59g
- Leucine 4,61g
- Lysine 3,61g
- Methionine 1,09g
- Cysteine 0,51g
- Threonine 2,37g
- Tryptophan 0,56g
- Valine 3,7g
As you can see, crickets are an immensely rich source of protein, as well as fibers, vitamins, minerals, and ALL of the essential amino acids! They also contain more Omega-3 than salmon, more calcium than milk, and more iron than spinach. Crickets are also more easily digested than other traditional sources of protein, like whey or beef.
And last but not least: the crickets’ exoskeleton (or chitin) is a prebiotic that promotes gut health. To get the most out of all these benefits, you need to grind the crickets as a whole: this is the step toward a quality product. We actually have the perfect tool at Celitron for cricket powder extraction, but more on that later.
2. They are also an excellent source of nutrients for other animals
If you’re looking for quality feed for animals like poultry, or pets like cats and dogs, then crickets can be just as beneficial to them as they can be for humans. A good protein source can play a vital role in the growth of chickens, and is also a relatively cheap method to keep them well-fed and healthy. If you’re raising reptiles as pets, then you’re also in luck, since they particularly love crickets.
3. They also work as bait
Whether you just started fishing, or are already an experienced fisherman, crickets are considered to be among the best kinds of bait. In the long run, it could even make fishing more profitable for you, since raising your own bait will allow you to cut your previous bait buying expenses. You’ll also save yourself some time: instead of remembering to go to the store, you’ll just have to take the bait with you from home.
4. Cricket farming is much more sustainable
Nutritional values aside, raising crickets is also a very eco-conscious method to get meat. Cricket and other types of insect protein around the world are processed without herbicides, pesticides, or hormones. Not to mention that cricket farming can be done by using a lot less food, water, and land than with traditional livestock. Additionally, a lot of insect larvae enjoy being huddled close together, as opposed to chickens and cattle, who just suffer in cramped spaces. You’re not just helping yourself and your potential customers: you’re also helping the planet.
Here are some additional numbers by Maxxam Analytics. Compared to beef, crickets…
- consume 12 times less feed
- grow 13 times faster
- emit 100 times less greenhouse gases
- require 2000 times less land
- drink 2000 times less water
5. Cricket protein farming can be quite profitable
Whether you are an entrepreneur or a homesteader, if you’re looking for a way to get a little extra money to your bank account, then you might want to consider selling crickets. Like we wrote in the beginning of this article, there are many different available markets you could sell to.
The best method for cricket and other insect protein extraction
Insect protein processing is important because a lot of people will be looking for sources of protein that are both rich and sustainable. Cricket flour and protein powder are products that are gaining rapidly in popularity, for all the reasons we listed above.
The easiest way you can get started with insect protein extraction is to use Celitron’s ISS AGRI Facility: the newest agriprotein technology available on the market. With a completely automated process, you’ll be able to recover protein and fat from crickets and a lot of other insects!