Whole grasshoppers are packed with protein and other nutritional benefits. Grasshoppers are commonly consumed roasted, fried, or dried throughout the world and are sought fresh seasonally. They are considered a natural protein source for many cultural groups across the United States. Grasshoppers may also be fed in whole form to reptiles and poultry. In addition, research institutions have demand for grasshoppers as live research specimens.
Grasshoppers may be dried and ground into protein powder. This powder may then be incorporated into a host of value-add products, ranging from nutritional protein bars to tortilla chips to cookies.
Grasshoppers can be incorporated into aquaculture and poultry feeds. The dense nutritional value of grasshoppers can be utilized to supplement or displace a portion of traditional protein sources in bulk feed formulations.
John Cole, Ph.D., P.E. was seeking a project in agriculture that could have a big impact. The need for additional protein sources as the world population increases in the coming decades caught John’s eye. It looked like a project that would be beneficial on many fronts, from simple human consumption to helping solve wild fisheries decline. Plus, a business focused on grasshopper production would be highly scalable. After reading a 2013 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations publication entitled “Edible Insects: Future Prospects for Food and Feed Security” it was apparent that insect agriculture was a viable piece of the overall solution to meeting protein requirements in the future. Our goal is that Thoptera will play an innovative and impactful role in increasing food and feed security in the U.S. and beyond.