June 20, 2017 / 5:35 PM / in a month

By Jiminy: Belgian start-up puts crickets on the menu

1 Min Read

A worker shows crickets at a farm belonging to company "Little Food," which prepares and promotes food products made from crickets, in Brussels, Belgium June 9, 2017.Francois Lenoir

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A Brussels start-up is hoping to stir a culinary revolution in Belgium by pushing crunchy crickets as a protein alternative to meat.

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Eco-friendly 'Little Food' said its crickets, which can be eaten dried, in different flavors such as garlic or tomato, or turned into flour, were also friendlier on the environment compared to some cattle farming.

"For the same amount of protein as a cow for instance, they (crickets) need 25 times less food, they need 300 times less water, and they produce 60 times less greenhouse gases," Little Food cricket breeder Nikolaas Viaene said.

While eating insects is common practice in a number of countries, such as China, Ghana, Mexico and Thailand, Brussels residents seemed unsure about putting crickets on the menu.

Strolling in downtown Brussels, Efthimia Lelecas declined the offer of a cricket snack: "No, I'm not eating that," she said. "No, no, that looks awful, no, no...no."

Reporting by Charlotte Steenackers; Editing by Patrick Johnston and Richard Balmforth

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