In many countries (for example, China) crickets are collected from the wild. But in Thailand crickets are farmed. And cricket farming has been going on for decades. 20,000 families rear six-legged livestock in the backyard, making good money with it, more than with traditional crops. The result is a production of 4,000 tons of crickets per year, at a price way lower than that of crickets harvested in western farms.

In 2017, the Thai Ministry of agriculture released the first guidelines for cricket farming in the world. The Good Agriculture Practice (GAP) manual is part of a program to train the farmers and certify them once all the safety measures are in place. In brief, Thailand is not just a convenient place for buying crickets, it is also a safe one.

edible insect cricket farming Thailand
A seminar about cricket farming and food safety held in the Khon Kaen province and organized by the Ministry of Agriculture. Bugsolutely among the participants.

The GAP initiative is just one of the initiatives that Thailand has brought on on the last few years to improve cricket farming. The University of Khon Kaen is known to research the activity and the ways to improve it since the early years of 2000. Dr Yupa Hanboonsong traveled from Khon Kaen to Africa and Europe to collaborate with local initiatives and speak to International food conferences. The Agricultural and Food Commodity Standards government agency has promoted cricket farming and eating through a number of events, including a 3 days conference in Bangkok (2016), with the participation of the European Union. In 2019 the same agency will submit a Acheta Domesticus dossier to the EU to get the house cricket approved as a Traditional Food from a Third Country within the context of the new EU Novel Food law.

The cricket flour processor in Thailand are HACCP approved and Thai FDA registered. They mostly roast the crickets, but in a few cases they can also offer spray dried flour. The price as of 2019 is averagely below 35 USD per kg, which is a very competitive price compared to that of the US and EU.

PS crickets in Thailand are called: จิ้งหรีด which sounds like jing-ree (or jing-li, depending what kind of transliteration you chose). The house cricket species (Acheta Domesticus) is called tong-dem, while the bigger, darker Gryllus Bimaculatus is named told-dam.

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