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Big Cricket - The New Yorker


Stashed in: New Yorker, Bugs!, World Hunger, @schwarzenegger, World Hunger

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FASCINATING!

Despite the bureaucratic challenges involved (for example, developing theH.A.C.C.P. food-safety protocols and traceability systems that the U.S. law requires), both Bachhuber and Johar clearly relish the task of inventing an entire industry from scratch. Toward the end of our conversation, Bachhuber began discussing the possibilities of improved cricket feed. 

Small-scale studies have shown that by replacing grain with skim milk and brewer’s yeast can create cricket Arnold Schwarzeneggers, while feeding the crickets carrots for several days before harvest gives them a faint carrot flavor. 

Bachhuber’s most ambitious vision, however, concerns something he learned as a dinosaur-obsessed kid: back in the Jurassic Period, when the oxygen content of Earth’s atmosphere was much higher, he told me, even dragonflies were a foot long. “It’s cost-prohibitive,” he said, “but I’m really curious about what would happen if you tinkered with the atmospheric mix.”

Johar also dreams of giant crickets. He plans to launch a breeding program early next year. Just as we have bred chickens for bigger breasts, he plans to select for crickets that reach maturity faster and convert feed to mass even more efficiently. But he draws the line at the kind of artificial insemination that takes place within the yield-obsessed cattle industry today. “Hell no,” he said. “I assure you, I will never allow us to descend to that point. I’m not going artificially inseminate crickets. I’ll quit and get that marketing job back in my college hometown before I let it come to that.”

I do not dream of bigger crickets. I have nightmares about bigger crickets. 

I wish they would put all this effort into growing better high protein plant foods more efficiently.

I'd much rather eat plants than crickets. 

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