LOS ANGELES, May 8 (UPI) -- The owners of a Los Angeles cricket farm said they are hoping to promote a culture of cultivating culinary creepy crawlies as a source of protein.
Maximilian Cunha, Peter Markoe and Elliot Mermel, three of the four four entrepreneurs behind Coalo Valley Farms in the Van Nuys neighborhood, said they want to promote ground-up crickets as a protein source that can be added to foods including pasta, shakes and bread.
"We are trying to create a sustainable food source that not only can feed a lot of people -- a lot of hungry people -- but will also benefit the environment," Cunha told KCAL-TV.
The men said crickets are matured for six to seven weeks and are then humanely euthanized by lowering their body temperature before being ground up into powder.
"It's a protein supplement. So it's great to mix with everything -- we've made a pizza crust," Markoe said. The owners said raising crickets is far more eco-friendly than raising some of the more popular sources of protein.
"You know a pound of beef from a cow takes 1,700 gallons of water. Here it's only one gallon," Cunha told KABC-TV.
The men said they are planning a Kickstarter campaign next week to raise funds for the farm.