Edible crickets farm coming to northern New Brunswick
Millions of the insects are scheduled to be farmed in Lamèque this fall
Gaëtan Chiasson is in the early stages of getting ready for his first crop of crickets.
He and his sister Renée Chiasson-Basque are renovating their family's shuttered fish plants in Lamèque to raise millions of the edible insects.
"I'll have at maximum production eight million crickets per month," said Chiasson.
Three years ago, a pair of the family's fish plants closed, but they're now being renovated in order to house the insect crop.
By the end of the summer Chaisson says his edible insect operation, KMMCF inc., will be ready to start hatching the first batch of cricket eggs before ramping up to maximum capacity around late January.
Chiasson says pet shops wants live crickets to feed lizards and other reptiles, while cattle and aquaculture buyers request them frozen.
And he says energy bar manufacturers want them in powered form; ground up into cricket dust.
What I've heard in my research is that they taste like hazelnuts.- Gaëtan Chiasson
"Seventy-five to eighty per cent of the cricket body is protein," said Chiasson.
He's never tasted a cricket himself, but says he's looking forward to it.
"What I've heard in my research is that they taste like hazelnuts," said Chaisson.
Renovations are expected to take around six weeks while the former fish plants are heavily insulated in order to keep the cricket farm at a balmy 35 C, even in the dead of a New Brunswick winter.
With files from Radio Canada and Pascale Savoie-Brideau