The Canadian entomophagy industry is another rapidly growing Western bastion for edible bugs and a few of its more prominent representatives are briefly highlighted here.
Next Millennium Farms, founded by the three Goldin brothers, began the shift into the edible insect industry (for human consumption) after their success with Reptile Feeders, Canada’s largest live food supplier (for pets). They are primarily cricket farmers and now even vary their crickets’ diets according to their clients’ needs, feeding them apple and cinnamon to enhance their flavour or carrots to increase their vitamin A content. Their hope is to become “a world leader in providing protein alternatives in the form of the finest organic and world-class insect proteins with great tasting products and recipes”. Here they are on CBC News.
Jakub Dzamba, also interviewed by CBC News, is the founder of Third Millennium Farming, a Montréal-based company developing a food-grade home cricket farm called the “Cricket-Reactor” designed to maintain a “superior level of hygiene, be escape-proof and [utilise] domestic bio-wastes as feed”, as shown in this video.
They launched “Circle Chirp” at the 2014 Future Food Salon in Montréal, where Jakub also gave a talk on the use of urban bio-waste as feed for farmed insects.
Atlantic is a Toronto restaurant owned by Chef Nathan Isberg, serving food “a little lower on the food chain”. Nathan has done away with the menu and simply prepares his dishes depending on the ingredients available and his customers’ preferences. True to the name, dishes tend to be based on seafood, but sautéed crickets, escargot, and frog legs with kimchi are also available upon request.
Another Toronto-based eatery is Charlie’s Burgers, serving crickets, grasshoppers and a range of other bugs, but with a twist – prospective customers have to first make contact through their website, after which they are provided with a questionnaire and if successful, hopefuls become diners at a secret location.
uKa Protéine is a Montréal company headed up by former triathlete, Marie-Loup Tremblay. They produce granola bars with mealworms and crickets, and hope to add more sports nutrition products to their repertoire as the consumer interest in entomophagy continues to rise in Québec.
Next in this Leaders of the Revolution series, we will take a look at the companies and institutions at the forefront of European entomophagy, beginning with the Netherlands, arguably the most progressive of all.