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Hargol, the world’s first commercial grasshopper farm, already farms grasshoppers for human consumption. Now, they are turning their attention to animal feed, starting with petfood.


scaling up, we are looking for partners to handle the feed production and fattening as we replicate the infrastructure of the poultry industry, with a special focus on the development of new breeds and breeding.” On a similar note, Hargol is looking into the opportunity of producing grasshoppers for livestock feed: “We are seeking a strategic partner from this industry to collaborate on developing a high-quality, grass- hopper-based feed, to not just deliver the nutrients to the animals, but to also provide them with a wide range of health benefits.”


FOOD FOR THOUGHT


In addition to being kosher, grasshoppers – and the locust subspecies in particular – are halal, and the use of grasshoppers in animal feed does not pose any challenges to either kosher or halal food production. Rabbi Eliezer Zalmanov explains: “The general rule is that only humans are obliged to keep kosher, not animals. There is no prohibition against feeding animals non-kosher insects, even if the animal itself will be eat- en by a kosher-observing Jew. The only concern would be if, once the kosher animal is slaughtered, a fully-formed insect or worm is found in its intestines. Then it must be removed.”


Asif Iqbal, founder of www.isithalalorharam.com, seconds this state- ment as he comments on halal food production, stating that what the halal animal eats is not important as long as the animal is slaughtered in a halal manner. He does add, on the other hand, that there are “… spiritual Muslims, for example Sufis, who would look at the lineage and diet of the animal; even to the extent of who slaughters the animal be- fore they consume it, as they believe this has an impact on the individ- ual consuming the meat.” Under such circumstances, locusts could very well be a viable option.


▶ ALL ABOUT FEED | Volume 29, No. 1, 2021 31


The company is currently working on expanding its produc- tion capacity and plans to establish grasshopper farms globally. Tamir: “We’ve already reached our proof of concept: we can achieve a cost level that makes grasshopper protein the most efficient animal-based protein out there,” he says. Tamir concludes by mentioning the investments the compa- ny has made into researching the health benefits of grass- hoppers. “The more we learn about them, the more excited we become. Grasshoppers are truly a superior protein source in every way.”


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