Weak Oversight Is Holding Back Edible Insects

BY KYLE LIGMAN / MARCH 28, 2015 2:22 PM EDT

On a rainy night in New York City last December, a man in a leather jacket stood alone in a dark parking garage just across from Penn Station. He held a briefcase tightly and wore a straw fedora that hid his eyes. Inside his case were samples of his specially milled cricket powder, created using a process developed with funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that, if all goes right, could change the food industry.

A Florida native, Dr. Aaron T. Dossey is one of the main suppliers fueling a burgeoning insect boom. That powder, his latest product, was made for Exo, an insect protein bar company. His company, All Things Bugs, has also supplied cricket protein bar company Chapul, as well as Six Foods’s cricket chips.

Since the United Nations came out with a report in 2013 recommending insects as food, entrepreneurs, restaurants and farms have been scrambling to cash in. The report hails the environmental benefits—since insects are cold-blooded, they burn fewer calories and therefore need less food than chickens…

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