Headline November 11 2019/ '' 'INSECTS FOR SNACKS' ''


THAI ENTREPRENEUR PUSHING insects as the snack of the future : "They have incredibly high content of protein, minerals and vitamin B12.''

They are sold in bags like salted peanuts, or tubes like stacked potato chips, but these crunchy morsels on the shelves of Thai convenience stores and supermarkets stand apart from the snack food crowd.

The bugs, baked, not fried could be the next big thing in tasty treats. Rural Thais have long eaten bugs as part of their diet. In big cities, street vendors catering to migrant workers sell cooked insects that under most circumstances would cause foreign tourists to whip out a can of bug spray.

The idea to package them like potato chips came to entrepreneur Thatnat Chanthatham when a story on the news caught his attention.

I heard on the TV news that the United Nations said insects were an alternative source of protein for the future. So I thought that Thais eat a lot of insects already and can get them as street food.

Has anyone put them in bag? the 46-year-old told The Associated Press. ''If not, how can we do it? What sort of flavours?''

His supply chain begins at the Smile cricket farm in Ratchaburi province, 100 kilometres [60 miles] west of Bangkok.

In one breeding room alone, more than a million of the chirping insects are being raised on a 45-day cycle from egg to adult to harvest. Some of the products are baked here, others at the next stop, a factory in Bangkok, where they are packaged and then trucked to retail outlets.

Small crickets are one of the best sellers in the range of insect convenience snacks sold under the HiSo brand that's Thai slang for 'high society'.

HiSo snacks unabashedly proclaim what they are : the bamboo worms look like bamboo worms; the crickets look like crickets. The line also includes crispy silkworms.

They come in original, barbecue and tom yam flavors, and can be found in Thailand's Ubiquitous 7-ELEVEN shops and in a major supermarket chain. Crickets are priced at 25 baht [83 cents] for a bag; at the high end, a tube off bamboo worm costs 160 baht ($5.29).

HiSo has established itself in the snack market, but there was plenty of trial-and-error involved, Thainat said such as when they were considering whether to sell large, black crickets.

''Even though I'm regular when it comes to eating bugs, I still felt like their eyes were staring at me.......Then after we eat them, their legs and wings poked out and got stuck in our teeth, and gums,'' he said, laughing.

''I thought, should we go ahead? I talked to the team and they said please shelve this one, so I did.'' Two tons of insects pass through the Bangkok factory every month.

Revenue is steady at around $100,000 per month, but overheads are high. While he raises his own crickets, he hasn't yet found a way to produce enough silkworms and bamboo worms to the required standard, so he has to buy them from independent suppliers.

''When it comes to bugs, there are people who are scared of them, people who eat them and people who don't. But to be where we are today, with people knowing and accepting our HiSo brand, that's what I'd call success.''

The Honor and Serving of Ways of the World and the Future, continues. The World Students Society thanks AP.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the World. See Ya all on !WOW! : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Millennial Gosh Mercury '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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