South African entrepreneurs pushing crickets into daily diet

Global Business

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While the idea of eating bugs may be a complete turn-off to many people, the Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that farming insects could help food security. Insects are part of the diet of at least two billion people around the world. Now a small South African enterprise wants to revolutionize urban farming.

CGTN’s Julie Scheier reports.
Follow Julie Scheier on Twitter @juliescheier
 

South African entrepreneurs pushing crickets into daily diet

While the idea of eating bugs may be a complete turn-off to many people, the Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that farming insects could help food security. CGTN's Julie Scheier reports.

Tucked away in a cottage in Johannesburg, Adri Van Nieuwkerk and Joanne Techow are doing their part to serve up an alternative, sustainable source of protein.

“Crickets are insects that are jammed packed full of protein and other vital micro nutrients smaller nutrients that your body essentially needs that we typically get from vegetables,” co-founder of Endoki Adri Van Nieuwkerk said.

Endoki is a sustainable farming business, focusing primarily on crickets.

“The bigger dream is feeding Africa and South Africa and its people with the best nutritious food that we can find but farm it more importantly in the most sustainable way that we can,” Van Nieukerk said.

Easy and quick to farm, Endoki’s vision could soon become reality.

“The eggs they are incubated for about two weeks afterwards they hatch and they become little baby crickets that look like ants and from there it takes four to six weeks depending on the temperature in which they are kept. Once they’re adults then they have an adult life span of another four weeks and which time they lay eggs and then after that once you’ve harvested some eggs you can kill them after that,” operations officer of Endoki Joanne Techow said.

The challenge lies in persuading South African to swap their chicken wings and steak for crickets.
To do this, Endoki is highlighting the environmental benefits of eating insects.

“We have compared the two protein forms together and one kilogram of a steak versus 1 kilogram of protein flour from crickets you would need 10 kilograms of feed for 1 kilogram of cow, where we would only need 7 kilograms of feed for 1 kilogram of protein flour. The most striking fact is that in order to get 1 kilogram of steak you need 10 thousand litres of water whereas we will only be using 3 litres of water for the crickets for one kilogram,” Van Nieukerk said.

Although it’s still in its infancy, Endoki hopes to change mindsets and bring a sustainable solution to the dinner table — while at the same time creating jobs and protecting the environment.