TORONTO, Nov. 4, 2017 /CNW/ - Beside the giant pumpkins, chickens, cows, and all things agricultural, are crickets. Farm-raised crickets are the latest agricultural product featured at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. Previously produced for pet food, crickets are now being promoted as a sustainable human food source for a growing world population.
"People are unbelievably open to the idea of eating crickets," says Daniel Novak of Crickstart Food Co. "We make bars, crackers and powdered smoothie mix from roasted crickets. Crickets are very high in protein." He adds they also have more vitamin B12 than salmon and twice the iron of spinach along with other high value nutrition.
Novak sources his crickets from Entomo Farms near Peterborough, ON. According to Stacie Goldin, the farm produces over 100-million crickets in three converted chicken barns. In the six week production cycle, her family supplies over 50 companies worldwide with whole roasted and powdered crickets.
"This is our third year at The Royal and interest has grown every year," Goldin says. Along with Crickstart, Entomo Farms is raising awareness and educating tastebuds about the crunchy treat they hope will eventually become a staple in kitchens everywhere.
Entomo Farms is on the cutting edge of cricket production having developed a more sustainable way to grow crickets. However, as interest has grown, "scaling up for production has been a challenge," says Goldin.
Novak left a job in the finance sector to start Crickstart after casually posting a photo of his morning smoothie made with cricket powder. The post generated so much interest that he launched the company and now his products are in health food stores and some large grocery stores across Canada.
"There are 40 crickets per bar but we also use hemp and seed butters in our bars," Novak explains. "Every ingredient matters; it has to be delicious."
About The Royal:
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the world's largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian show. This year, the 95th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair runs November 3-12, 2017 at Exhibition Place, Toronto. For competition schedules, live webcasting, results and to purchase tickets, please visit www.royalfair.org.
The Royal is supported in part by the Province of Ontario and City of Toronto.
SOURCE Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
For further information: Karen Poncelet, Marketing Communications and Community Relations Mgr, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, 39 Manitoba Drive, Exhibition Place, Toronto, ON M6K 3C3, Direct: 416-263-3411 Fax: 416-263-3488