SPRINGVILLE, N.Y. (WKBW) — It’s the sound you usually hear outside on a summer night, but at a new farm in Springville, it’s a sound you hear all day long. .A sound that means food is on the way.
"It’s a tough sell..It scares people, you know? But once they come in and they try stuff, we got them," said Nicholas Alexander, Founder of Perfect Protein.
Alexander farms crickets and turns them into protein packed treats to sell.
“Protein balls and protein bars, we do a granola and we do a cricket bomb, those sell out, that’s our best seller," said Alexander.
He learned about crickets as a source of protein about five years ago.
“I had back surgery I was all jacked up, so I had to start from scratch again and when I used crickets for the protein, it changed everything," said Alexander.
"Nutrients in that actual food source are easier to digest and absorb, so maybe that’s why he felt better," said Noelle Citarella, nutritionist and dietitian.
Citarella says people have been eating insects for thousands of years and they come with a lot of benefits.
"It is actually a complete protein so if you were to compare it ounce per ounce to other proteins it’s actually higher in protein than other things like beef and cattle," said Citarella.
Alexander raises millions of crickets, freezes them, boils them to kill any germs, then grinds them into a fine powder.
"You can put it in anything, you can put it in your smoothies, put it in your pancakes, put it in your smoothies so you’re constantly getting the protein you need all day long," said Alexander.
Citarella says she's never recommended adding crickets to anyone's diet, but she'd be okay with it.
“I would also be slightly cautious, I would ask them where are you getting these crickets?” said Citarella.
Citarella says just because they’re good for you, doesn’t mean you should start hunting for crickets on your own, she says make sure you buy it from a safe distributor.
Alexander says his operation is not only safe, but good for the environment.
"We produce no gas, we hardly use any electricity. It’s a minimal footprint. This is the next generation of farming," said Alexander.
Perfect Protein is open Wednesdays from 10-3, Thursday-Saturday 1-7. For more information, click here for their website.