1,000 Organic Mealworms

Just received 1,000 organic mealworms. Wow!

Doesn’t look like much at first….

And here they come!

Got them all set up with organic carrots and broccoli!

Mmmmm. More to come when they start to multiply!

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Cinnamon Cricket Strudel Muffins

Step One: Mix it up

Step Two: Ready for baking

Step Two and a Half: Sweet and Crunchy!

Step Three: ZOMG teh muffins is Hot and Tasty!

Step Four: Happy Customers? Oh yes.

Yesterday’s flour has become today’s breakfast. Delicious with homemade blackberry jam and a hot cup of light roast coffee.

Cricket/Oat Flour

Fresh crickets, dried crunchy.

Up close they’re kinda cute!

Here’s the setup.

Hoppers into the hopper!

The meat grinder worked perfectly. Fast too.

This photo voids the warranty on my new mill. Oh well.

Cricket/Oat Flour! Ready for . . . bread? pancakes? bagels? burger?

YUM!

Cricket protein powder shakes

We baked several hundred crickets at a low temperature to dry them out and popped them in the food processor to make a high-protein, high-calcium cricket flour.

hundreds of baked crickets above, into the food processor below

out comes a coarse cricket flour, which we dried for a few more minutes in the oven.

while waiting for the cricket flour to dry, we sampled a traditional whey-protein shake

it basically tastes like chocolate milk – all we did was add 31 grams of the chocolate whey powder (containing 20g of protein) to ice and water. so this is what we’re up against.

the cricket flour is dry – out of the oven and into a shake!

we added 31g of the dry, coarse cricket flour into a fruit/yogurt shake.

it was a little chunky (and “crickety”) – too much cricket and not enough sugar/chocolate to make it delicious.

Next we tried just 15g of the cricket flour and mixed it with the chocolate whey protein

not bad! still a little crunchy and a tad crickety – but this can be worked out.

 

more to come soon!

 

We breed ’em too

In addition to cooking up insects our goal is to be vertically integrated. That means we need to grow the buggers too!

Here’s what happens when a meal worm pupates. It turns from a meal worm, into a chrysalis, into a little beetle. woo! See in the middle, there’s a white one. That one has already begun to pupate, the darker meal worms are hanging out to the left.

Then, a few days later, the guy turned into a beetle

The beetles will breed and make baby meal worms!

Bug Party

Ok – it’s time to get serious. We’re having a party to get customer feedback on our latest creations (and to celebrate LEW’s bday).

We’ve got Pico de Bicho (bicho means bug in Spanish – we’re using wax worms here.)

Chad is already enjoying the fried mealworms

And Heylin brought his specialty – teriyaki cockroach!

He even threw in a few giant madagascar hissing cockroaches for the team. Wow!

Once you get past the shell, they’re actually quite tasty.

Lauren didn’t even flinch!

Would you like to try one?

Yes please!

Mmmmm! Cockroach on a chip!

Mealworms in da house!

Let’s see what happens when we fry up some mealworms!

Wow, what a crunchy, salty snack! I could get used to this.

Cooking and eating wax worms

Next, we cleaned and cooked some wax worms. These buggers are pretty soft, no need to de-leg them. Straight into the pot with some garlic, sesame seeds and sesame oil:

mmmmm! Tastes crunchy, like fried chicken skin

 

First attempt at baking crickets

First task – cleaning the crickets:

Next, we pulled off their massive hind-legs, wings and antennae

The result is a delicious little protein pouch

Then into the marinade, and into the oven

They cook at 200F for one hour…results soon!

All done! Let’s give them a try.

Wow, not bad! Crunchy, spicy…kinda delicious!

 

Bug Buying

Day one (1/11/2012) of a path toward edible insects in San Francisco.

Purchased four types of critters today:

Crickets:

Wax worms:

Meal worms:

And “super worms”:

Also made a breeding colony for crickets:

And ate a little cricket that got squished in the process. Mmmm, scrambled eggs with extra protein!