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    Crowdfunding aims to put crickets on your plate

    The rosemary and linseed crackers, made with cricket flour © Yuma

    A Belgian start-up has launched a crowd-funding to help finance the production of snack crackers made with crickets.

    Not, luckily, whole crickets, but cricket flour, in three preparations: fleur de sel and pumpkin seeds, rosemary and linseeds, and tomato and sesame seeds.

    Foods based on insects have been trying to find an entry to the Belgian market for some time, and it’s possible to find such products in bio shops. But despite the fact that at least one-third of the planet already eats insects in one form or another, the breakthrough in the west has been difficult.

    Gabrielle Wittock, founder of Yuma, offers the ecological argument.

    If we take the example of the cricket, it has an insignificant ecological impact compared to meat, and takes up much fewer natural resources,” she said. “And to obtain the same quantity of protein from meat takes 2,000 times more water.”

    The product also contains 69% of protein, compared to 26% for beef, 23% for chicken and 22% for salmon. And, Yuma proclaims proudly, crickets have more potassium than bananas, more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach and more Omega 3 than salmon.

    The crickets also emit 60 times less greenhouses gases, and require 25 times less feed.

    The alternative to people reacting with disgust is to turn the crickets into flour, which she admits is a tactic intended slowly to change people’s minds about consuming insects.

    The idea is to go along progressively, with products that are healthy yet delicious, and where the cricket has been transformed into flour, so as not to scare off consumers.”

    The crowd-funding at the Ulule site set out to raise €8,000, and with 33 days left to run, is already over-subscribed to the tune of €9,436.

    Crowd-funding packages range from a €10 donation in return for heart-felt thanks to the Patron’s package for €1,000 or more, which brings rewards that include a gastronomic meal for two in a Parisian restaurant, a monthly delivery of the crackers range, a package with ingredients for an aperitif and meal for four, a tote bag, stickers and your name on the website.

    Alan Hope
    The Brussels Times