- Associated Press - Thursday, December 15, 2016

LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) - Two entrepreneurs are working to open an eatery on Kauai that offers customers healthy food options, with a focus on crickets as a main protein source.

Lourdes Torres and Emilio Ruiz-Romero have been raising crickets to prepare to open their Lihue business in January, The Garden Island reported (https://bit.ly/2gMerJk).

They keep the insects in large bins at Torres’ Kilauea home and once they’ve lived out their six-week life cycle, the crickets are frozen, dehydrated and ground into powder.

“We did a lot of research on the most humane and sustainable way to kill the crickets,” Torres said.

The powder will be available as an option for customers to add into fruit smoothies or baked goods, such as chocolate chip cookies.

Torres said the focus has been on ensuring all their food is farmed sustainably.

“We’re micromanaging every aspect of everything we do to make sure that it’s truly sustainable,” Torres said. “That means sourcing locally as much as possible and making sure that all of the packaging is biodegradable.”

The two business partners are hoping to win a competition hosted by the Kauai Economic Development Board to help support their venture. The Agricultural Business Plan Competition currently has a prize pool of more than $30,000.

“Winning that money would be really helpful for equipment like blenders and refrigerators,” Ruiz-Romero said.

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Information from: The Garden Island, https://thegardenisland.com/

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