Eating Insects Athens was [insert superlatives here] beautiful. Thank you to everyone who participated in Eating Insects Athens, and to those of you that couldn’t make it but have been a part of my bug family still. I hope you enjoy this little blog post. If you don’t feel like reading, you can check out my recap video here:
It seems the big bugs news just keeps getting better! I’m excited to share this announcement with Bugible readers:
[PRESS RELEASE July 13, 2018] – Austin, TX – Little Herds, the Austin-based entomophagy (bug-eating) education nonprofit, will launch Ento-Prize, a pitch challenge for entrepreneurs with insect-driven ideas, announced founder and Director Robert Nathan Allen today. Winners will receive industry-specific mentorship, specialized services and a to-be-determined amount of prize money to help fund their idea.
Woo hoo – the edible insect world just took a major step forward today!
Check out Seek Food’s new Kickstarter campaign. They are working with an insanely talented team of award-winning chefs to launch a line of baking flours targeted to specific dietary needs and an accompanying world-class cookbook. Over the past year, they’ve learned a ton about how chefs, bakers, and customers everywhere incorporate bugs into their diets. Now they’re putting that research to use:
Influencer marketing. You see it all the time – the Instagram models with #ad in their caption, pushing the cute jeans they’re wearing or the blue gummy hair vitamins. If you’re unfamiliar with this trend, you need to crawl out from under your rock, hop on any of the major social media platforms, and take a gander at the advertising age of branded content. It makes sense – YouTube or Instagram influencers have a lot of market power, as they are more relatable than traditional celebrities and have very loyal fan bases. And, most importantly, many reach most brand’s ideal market: the elusive millennial.
Why Influencers and Content Creators Matter (Even to Bug Companies)
These influencers are, well, quite influential. And it’s not just products they are promoting – it’s a restaurant, an experience, a vacation destination, a way of living, and more. I’m particularly interested in the trend of influencers promoting ideas. Sometimes they start trends, and other times they are the spark that catalyzes a movement into the limelight. Whereas we are accustomed to tuning out traditional advertising, influencer campaigns have not just the “views” or “impressions” required to make an impact, but they also command the genuine attention of their fans.
All natural, organic, dairy free and complete protein products made with cricket powder. This is the promise made by Byron Bay (Austrailia) based company Grilo. Grilo means “cricket” in Portuguese.
On their site, they write, “According to the dictionary, a cricket is a brown or black insect that makes short, loud noises by rubbing its wings together. For us it means much more than that.” I love it.
Around 40 years ago, the average U.S. citizen didn’t relish the idea of consuming raw fish. Many, in fact, even considered eating raw fish barbaric—something for the uncultured or poor. Now, sushi is a thriving industry. All it took was some clever branding, the California Roll, and time. My name is Aly Moore and I eat bugs. My goals is to convince others that they should too.
On some level, I think I have always known that I would end up eating insects. As a kid, my mouth watered whenever that Timon & Pumbaa scene came on during The Lion King. Though, in all seriousness, I first became interested in edible insects after a summer I spent building health clinics in Mexico. There, we would eat tacos from the stands open late. My favorites were tacos de chapulín, or grasshopper tacos.
Around 40 years ago the U.S. did not relish the idea of consuming raw fish. Many, in fact, even considered eating raw fish barbaric… something for the uncultured or poor. Now sushi is a thriving industry. All it took was some clever branding, the California Roll, and time.
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.
Class is in session!
The rustling of eager students settling into their seats softened as the lights in the auditorium dimmed. “Let’s set the stage to discuss the U.S. regulation of insect-derived foods,” began Ricardo Carvajal, director at Hyman, Phelps & McNamara. He was about to take us on a journey touching on what is known on the past, current, and possible future of regulatory facts that matter for those of us interested in entomophagy.
It felt like I was in university again… how I wish I could have taken classes about THIS!
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.