"In 1945 Jack’s grandfather, Tal Armstrong, a plumber by trade, was trying to find a way to breed crickets, in Glennville, Georgia. He loved fishing, and crickets proved to be his best bait—but he was done paying people to catch them. He began experimenting with raising the arthropods in his boiler room. A friend who owned a funeral home nearby offered Tal the boxes that caskets came in as makeshift homes for the crickets. They turned out to be just right; the crickets thrived. Within a year, word got around that Tal had the best fishing bait in town, and Tal realized his pastime could support much more than a roadside stand."
—From “Of Bugs and Men: Cricket Ranching in America,” Jennifer Biares for Pacific Standard on how one of the nation’s oldest cricket farms is expanding beyond the pet food industry into the people food industry (benefiting the environment in the process)
onEarth provides reporting and analysis about environmental science, policy, and culture. All opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of NRDC. Learn more or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.