Is it possible to eat crickets?

A picture taken from above, of 6 people sitting at a table with food on it, putting their glasses to the center of the table for a toast.

Crickets are one of the most popular of all edible insects. Despite extensive farming of insects, only four to five species of edible crickets are economically farmed. Sellers now claim that farmed crickets taste better than wild ones because they are more appealing to consumers.


Here are some interesting facts about crickets

Did you know that only 55% of a chicken and 40% of a cow can be eaten? On the other hand, up to 80% of a cricket can be eaten and digested. To make them edible, you will need to take their legs off. They can be very sharp and scratch your throat.


For every 1 kg of bodyweight gained, crickets need only 2 kilograms worth of feed. This means that they require 12 times less feed per 1 kilogram of bodyweight gain than cattle and four times less feed for sheep. They also need half the feed required by pigs and chicken to produce the same amount of protein.


There are approximately 900 species of crickets that scientists know about. An estimated 60 species are eaten in 49 countries. These locusts can be found in large numbers, making them easy to harvest.


The nutritious properties of crickets make them very healthy! The 58% reported quantity of polyunsaturated fat acids (PUFA), is 58% of the total fatty acids. The edible crickets are rich in macro- and micromineral elements like calcium, potassium and magnesium as well as sodium, iron and zinc. They also contain vitamins B, C, D and E, as well as vitamin K.


Global distribution of the House Cricket ( Acheta domesticus), is largely due to human activity. The ability to mass produce crickets for food has attracted mass attention due to its potential for developing products (e.g. This flour can be used to make cricket flour, which is also eaten by other animals, such as pets.


Are you able to eat crickets?

Crickets, like any other food, can be contaminated or improperly stored. People should be aware of potential food safety hazards, including biological agents (bacterial, viral, and fungal), as well as chemical contaminants (pesticides, toxic metals, and flame retardants).


If the crickets are not caught in the wild, but are raised for food, it is important to consider the safety and quality of the feeds or substrates they are fed. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has published a detailed report about this topic, “Looking at edible insects from a safety perspective.” The sector faces challenges but has many opportunities.


Although edible crickets have been found to be rich in nutrients and proteins, there are still scientific knowledge gaps and challenges that must be addressed. The lack of information about the edible species and their locations around the world is one of the obstacles to promoting edible crickets as human food.


What Cultures Eat Crickets

As far back as prehistoric times, crickets were eaten as food in Asia and Latin America. Even in the Bible, the Israelites were advised to eat cricket. Crickets have been eaten as food in China for more than 2 000 years. Crickets have been an important part of African food enrichment for many decades. With the increasing recognition of its nutritional benefits as well as food security, edible crickets have become more popular in America, Europe, and Australia. This is especially true for protein powders primarily made from crickets which are growing in popularity. These protein powders are known as the “Gateway bug” for their similarity to flour.


What does Crickets taste like?

Crickets possess a unique, slightly smoky, nutty flavor with just a hint of astringency at the back. This is a pleasant umami flavor that intensifies with roasting.


The future of Eating Crickets

Due to their low environmental impact and high nutritional content, insects, especially flours and protein powders made from insects, will continue to be a bigger part of our diets. Celebrities and athletes are recognizing their benefits and starting to endorse them. Plus, because of their nutritional value, crickets could be part of space travel’s menu. 


Entomophagy, the eating of insects, is a proven method of providing human nutrition, and a promising one for the future.

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