There are few things more stereotypical of American youth than chowing down on a burger, fries, and maybe a chocolate shake. But what if that burger was made of insects? Enter: Bugfoundation.
What started off as a bug blog has turned into an events-based brand building and public relations resource for all things edible insects. I encourage you to check out my new site: Eatbugsevents.com!
“Try finding a landlord that lets you raise 5 million crickets in his building…” I hear a soft chuckle on the other end of the line. “Yeah – we’re excited to expand but there’s a lot to consider!”
I’m speaking with James Williams, owner of Crunchy Critter Farms. Williams, along with Sean Schultz, Brian Battle, Elliott Blair, and Alex Schneider started Crunchy Critter Farms in 2016 to raise wholesale quantities of crickets for human consumption.
“We’re the Baugh brothers, identical twins born and raised in Colorado with a passion for an active lifestyle and adventure. Our free time is spent skiing, rock climbing, mountain biking, powerlifting, auto racing, cycling, and backpacking.”
It’s with a happy heart and an older soul that I write this particular post. It’s a post of gratitude to my friends and family who gathered around last weekend for some birthday festivities. I asked them not to come bearing gifts, but an open mind instead.
I asked them to try crickets with me for the first time.
The sun was shining brightly last Sunday in beautiful Santa Monica as I sat down with a closet friend to enjoy some mimosas and brunch food. Our catch up on life and work was suddenly interrupted as she abruptly stood up and spilled her beverage all over. What caused the frenzy? A cricket had landed on her lap.
What do you get when you combine a shared passion for outdoor sports, nature, and healthy food? Fit people. Fit people who have great ideas… like making protein bars out of crickets.
William Walcker, Minh-Anh Pham, and Antoine Domergue are the three men who woke up one morning and decided they would make protein bars out of crickets. Kidding – it’s a much more interesting story than that. I had the pleasure of speaking with Minh to hear a little more about how he went from triathlete to cricket evangelist.
The horizon is vast, and the journey will be long, but I’m excited so many edible insect companies are coming along!
Wendy Lu McGill, CEO of Rocky Mountain Micro Ranch, made a great point during her presentation at Eating Insects Detroit. She mentioned that most of the entomo-enthusiasts in the room had something in common: they were, or are, first to market *mic drop*.
What does it mean to be first to market? The edible insect market is relatively new in our modern industrial timeline. It’s beautiful / cool / exciting / invigorating to be at the precipice of a new industry – to be a part of a community where the rules are still being written! One could also say, however, it’s confusing / stressful / risky / an uphill battle to be at the precipice of a new industry where the rules are still being written. It depends how you look at it.
“It’s a seasoning blend made with roasted ground cricket, sea salt and spices. Made by none other than myself. It works really well as a beer salt.” – Mark Nagy.
Mark – my man – you’ve truly outdone yourself! After my interview with with the Cadesky brothers about their mouth-watering bolognese sauce, I’ve been obsessed with products out there that normalize insects as ingredients. What better way to bring edible insects to the masses than in the trojan horses of foods we already know and love? …On second thought, trojan horses may be a bad comparison. These foods are not hiding their special ingredient – Nagy’s product is called Sal de CRICKET for goodness sake – but they are certainly changing the way we think about insects and food.