I love when someone rocks my world with a new point of view, it’s a good day. A great day. Darja Dobermann provided that when she suggested we might be focusing our marketing efforts of entomophagy in the wrong areas. Well, not the wrong areas… but not the most effective ones. We already have countries that culturally accept eating insects (that also have climates to support their sustainable breeding). So why are we trying to force insects on other markets before optimizing those?
Darja is doing incredible work examining the potential for entomophagy in undernutrition, specifically anemia and uses in aquaculture in Africa. In our interview we dig a little deeper into work that will change the world.
And entomophagy continues to collect momentum in the press! The Digital Journal released a nice piece a few days ago titled, “Are insects better than Italian cuisine? Some people think so!” In it, they discussed a valid point: what we consider food is largely influenced by culture. Something completely normal to you may be offensively gross to eat, from another culture’s perspective.
The article looks in particular at the Bozzaotra bros – a duo selling insects as food to a growing Italian market. Most fascinating to me was the brief (but MASSIVELY CLEVER) quip on regulations that the article contained. As some of my readers know, I’ve been fascinated by the development of the regulatory scene around the growing entomophagy field. I’ve written a few articles about theregulation of insects as food – focusing on the barriers they present. *SPOILER ALERT* The Bozzaotra bros, geniuses that they are, passed their insect delicacies off as “natural remedies” in order to bypass the strict government regulations.
Adriana Janovich of The Spokesman-Review wrote a delicious article the other day about David George Gordon, better known as The Bug Chef. I loved the interview so much, and the recipes he shared with The Spokesman-Review, that I had to share it with you all below:
“We want people to embrace eating insects, but apparently it is too irresistible to showboat.
Just look at your own website. Pictures of sticking an entire critter in your mouth are meant to evoke emotion. Imagine the beef industry highlighting pictures of folks biting bloody hunks out of a walking calf.
Folks need to learn to just say no to showcasing these images. I just read an article in which the camera crew bet the child of the interviewed family $5 to eat a live bug on camera. They should have declined.
Media knows how to excite their audience, which isn’t the best for a fledgling industry.”
Ouch. Well… that was my immediate reaction. I think anyone being called out for perpetuating the show-boating of an industry trying to make a place for itself on grocery store shelves would feel a little embarrassed about this sort of comment. It really got me thinking – how does my OWN blog reflect my values and beliefs about how entomophagy should be presented and marketed to the world. Heck, what ARE my beliefs about this matter?
The fitness market is huge – and growing. In September 2014, Globe Newswire reported that the global sports nutrition market was valued at USD 20.7 billion in 2012 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.0% from 2013 to 2019, to reach an estimated value of USD 37.7 billion in 2019.
“Increasing health awareness, healthy lifestyle, rising number of health clubs and fitness centers and changing consumer clusters for nutritional product across the globe are the key growth drivers for the global sports nutrition market. Traditionally, bodybuilders and sportspersons are the major consumers for sports nutrition products. However in recent years, new user groups (recreational and lifestyle users) have increased their market share in sports nutrition market. The market for sports nutrition is expanding from its major markets (North America) towards developing markets of Europe and Asia Pacific owing to ever-increasing population, rising income and rising living standard of consumers in these region. Countries such as India and China with their fast pace economic growth offer huge opportunities for sports nutrition market in the future. Moreover, surge in national and international sporting events and increased global participation in these; provide a good launch pad for the sports nutritional products. ”
There’s nothing like a deliciously cooked taco. The warm tortillas, the crisp lettuce, the perfectly-melted cheese, and the main ingredient: crickets. Today I want to share with you one of my favorite spins on a classic taco – the cricket taco. Not only is it healthier (crickets are a more sustainable and more nutritious protein addition than beef) but it also tastes ahhhh-mazing! It can be intimidating for newbies to cook with insects, but once you learn to treat them like any other ingredient, you’re golden!
I don’t know about you, but it makes me thrilled when I read about entomophagy more and more in popular media sites. The Huffington Post released an article today about reinventing entomophagy for the 21st century, and I couldn’t agree more.
“‘Entomophagy is an evolving term in need of review,” says Afton Marina Szasz Halloran, Ph.D Fellow at the University of Copenhagen. Halloran calls for a change in the way we speak about edible insects and entomophagy.”
Prepare to be inspired! I’m over the moon about the recent chat I had with one of the wonder-women who founded MIGHTi – a collaborative research project designed to address the multifaceted and systematic factors that contribute to food insecurity in Southern Africa while simultaneously joining a global effort to re-envision food systems in a changing climate.
Needless to say, Rachel is making an impact in food sustainability and had some great stories to share about it!
Today I had the pleasure of speaking with Susan, founder of EntoMarket. For those of you not already familiar, EntoMarket is one of the leading online sellers of all things edible insect and beyond! What drew me to EntoMarket was not only the wide array of edible insects available for purchase, but the focus on educational materials to promote the topic as well.
Speaking with Susan was like getting drinks with a dear, longtime friend. She’s warm, quick-witted, and has quickly become a mini-idol of mine: a real ento-eductaion rockstar.
We’ll be discussing the start of EntoMarket and focusing on the importance of education – let’s get started!
After being virtually introduced by a distant mutual friend, Jena and I hit it off quickly. Owner and brains behind Tiny Farms, Jena was witty, driven, and a joy to speak with. Tiny Farms is a San Francisco based startup working on pioneering smart, scalable insect farming. We hopped on a call to discuss data, crickets, and regulations… to name a few topics. I’ll jump ahead in the story to say I ended the call with a smile on my face, knowing that we have people like Jena working hard on “smart farming” for our future.