“Actually Foods is on a mission to renew Canadians’ relationship with “healthy” food,” copy on the company’s website reads.
“We’ve ditched so-called “natural” ingredients that are actually not as clean as they claim. Instead, we’re making something you can feel good about, using unexpected ingredients that, although surprising, actually boast the health benefits you’re looking for: like high-protein cricket powders, fava beans, and more.”
Included in Actually Foods’ Cheddar Jalapeno Puffs are the following ingredients: Puff (Organic Corn Meal Flour, Lentil Flour, Fava Bean Flour, Rice Flour, Organic Cricket Flour), Seasoning (Buttermilk Powder, Modified Milk Ingredients, Salt, Dehydrated Vegetables (Jalapeno, Onion, Garlic, Green Bell Pepper), Yeast Extract, Natural Cheddar Cheese Flavoured Powder, Herbs, Spices, Citric Acid), Sunflower Oil.
The food itself appears indistinguishable from other junk foods, and one would have to check the labels and ingredients even to be aware that they were about to eat crickets.
“Powered by crickets, 10g protein,” inconspicuous labelling on the package reads.
Moreover, given that the cricket powder has been mixed in with so many other ingredients commonly found in junk food, it’s likely the buggy flavour is entirely masked — though this journalist won’t be picking up a bag for a taste test any time soon.
According to the copyright on the page, the brand is owned by Entomo Farms, which is located in Norwood, Ontario, and claims that it’s “The Future of Food.”
“Through product excellence and education, to make cricket-based foods the first choice for individuals interested in high-quality, sustainable protein,” Entomo Farms’ mission statement reads.
The company’s website also includes several recipes, including their “Top 3 Cricket Powder Smoothie Recipes,” “Salsa with Cricket Powder,” and “Mexican Chopped Salad with Chili Lime Crickets.” Yum.
According to an article on the website, Entomo Farms raised its Series A Funding from Maple Leaf Foods to expand its operation in 2018.
The company was founded in 2014 by brothers Jarrod, Darren, and Ryan Goldin and had grown to 60,000 square feet of production space in just four years, making it “North America’s largest human-grade edible insect farm.”
In 2021, the company closed another round of fundraising, walking off with $3.7 million — primarily from North America and Asia — to grow the company’s operational capacity even further.
“We are thrilled to continue our growth trajectory in the alternative protein and sustainable foods space. We are expanding our facilities to support the exciting growth of our customers and we look forward to launching a new consumer brand later this year,” said Entomo Farms CEO Lauren Keegan. “With this investment, and a planned capital raise in late 2021, we will keep paving the way for crickets as an important food ingredient for people and pets.”