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As the world discovers the culinary secrets that countries like Africa, Asia and Latin America have long known Thailand’s edible insects farming industry is taking off like never before. As the world wakes up to insects that are very nutritious and can be very tasty growth in this market has become rapid. Thailand now has 20,000 insect farms that produce 7,500 tons of edible insects such as crickets and grasshoppers each year.
Comparatively, against other food stuffs, insects are pretty easy to produce and they are kind to the environment. It takes only two pounds of feed and one gallon of water to produce a pound of crickets which compared to the twenty five pounds of feed and two thousand nine hundred gallons of water you need beef, makes insects a great low impact alternative protein.
As well as the financial benefits there are health benefits too, crickets contain 12.9 grams of protein per 100 grams which is around half the protein contained in foodstuffs such as beef and chicken. Giant water beetles go one step further with 19.8 grams of protein per 100 grams and caterpillars have 28.2 grams of protein per 100 grams which is more than beef and chicken and as much as some fish.
Crickets have found their way to the US where cricket protein bars can be purchase as well as cricket flour that can be used for baking, and if the trend to use insects continues then Thailand could be sitting on an industry that could really take off!