Researching Insects for Malnutrition: Where Will Entomophagy Have the Biggest Impact?

Researching Insects for Malnutrition: Where Will Entomophagy Have the Biggest Impact?

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.

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Insects, Italian Cuisine, and “Natural Remedies”

Insects, Italian Cuisine, and “Natural Remedies”

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.

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Reinventing Entomophagy for the 21st Century

Reinventing Entomophagy for the 21st Century

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.”

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Tiny Farms on Regulations, Barriers to Entry, and the Technical Side of Insect Farming

Tiny Farms on Regulations, Barriers to Entry, and the Technical Side of Insect Farming

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.

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Coalo Valley Farms: The Open Source Farm

Coalo Valley Farms: The Open Source Farm

I called to talk about crickets, but ended up with plenty to think about regarding company culture, the future of innovation, serendipity, and even artificial intelligence! Coalo Valley Farms has a lot going for it, especially strong leadership.

A little more about Coalo Valley Farms: Coalo Valley Farms is an urban cricket farm focused on the production of alternative protein through sustainable means. Coalo Valley Farms serves both businesses and private clients who are interested in eating healthier and/or reducing their environmental footprint. Established in 2014, the Coalo Valley Farms operates in San Fernando Valley out of a single farm that is modified for the organic and cruelty-free production and processing of premium cricket-based protein powder. Coalo Valley Farms focuses on giving consumers an alternative option when they choose how to ingest their protein. Cricket-based protein offers a healthier and more environmentally friendly solution to protein from traditional livestock such as cows, pigs, and chickens.

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Entomophagy Spurs Holistic Health

Entomophagy Spurs Holistic Health

A Look into Cricket Flour’s Relationship with the Environment, Nutrition, and GMOs.

I had the good fortune of speaking with Jarrod Goldin, one of the founders of Next Millennium Farms, to better understand what’s occurring on the ground level of the incredible entomophagy movement gaining popularity.  Next Millennium farms is leading the protein revolution with a new, environmentally sound method of food production.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be releasing his interview in a Next Millennium Series, taking you on explorations of ento’s relationship to GMOs, FDA regulations, the water crisis and more.

Today, Jarrod discusses how entomophagy spurs holistic health –

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Meat, Meet Bugs

Meat, Meet Bugs

The average American eats over 70lbs of red meat each year. I’m not quite that carnivorous but I definitely indulge in my share of beef stew and burgers. It’s awesome that consumers are now looking for their animal products to be “grass-fed” and “cage-free,” but the vast majority of meat here is still “conventionally raised” (quite the euphemism, eh?). And some consumers, like my mom, are constantly complaining about the increase in things like egg prices that result from these changes.

Like I said, I still love a good burger. But the truth is that the meat industry is super unsustainable. The agricultural sector accounts for roughly 18% of all greenhouse gases – that’s more than the entire transportation sector combined! Each pound of edible bee takes about 2,000 gallons of water to produce…woah!

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15 Reasons Why People Who Eat Insects Are Saving The World and Themselves

15 Reasons Why People Who Eat Insects Are Saving The World and Themselves

1. Insects are more sustainable and ethical than chicken, pork, or beef…maybe even fish!

2. The UN has advocated for eating insects

3. Growing grain and then feeding it to animals so we can in turn eat them is incredibly inefficient.

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Should Vegans Eat Insects?

Should Vegans Eat Insects?

When I’ve told some of my friends about my slightly unusual hobby of cooking insects, they replied with a,   “Oh man…that’s why I’m a vegan…” This, dear vegan friends, brings up an interesting inquiry: If the ultimate goal of a vegan is to reduce the harm done to animals, then an exclusively plant-based diet is not the answer.

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What Do Insects Taste Like?

What Do Insects Taste Like?

Maybe you’ve been seduced by my other articles or your curiosity has finally gotten the best of you. Or maybe you’ve watched a little kid munch a bug or two and want to vicariously understand what she’s tasting. Do you want an idea of what they taste like first? Here’s my best attempt at describing my Bugible culinary experiences.

*keep in mind that insects are, for the large part, taste-malleable. Insects, especially crickets, tend to both adopt the flavor of what they have been fed (mint-fed crickets will have a minty taste) or what they are cooked with (chili powder crickets vs lemon crickets vs crickets in a salad will all taste WAY different). I’ll be doing my best attempt to describe the unique flavor of insects, given these variations. Most of the bugs I have consumed have been either cooked at home or encountered at street vendors in Mexico or Thailand.

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