Exploring the Wild Mealworm

Exploring the Wild Mealworm

Less known to Western palates—but no less integral to the global food chain—is entomophagy, or the practice of eating bugs. Contrary to the Western aversion for eating insects, bugs are part of the regular diets of roughly 2 billion people across the globe. My name is Aly Moore and I eat bugs. My goals is to convince others that they should too.

After studying food policy at Yale and consuming many edible insects on my travels, I began speaking and hosting events around the wonderful world of edible bugs. I have continued for the past six years. I founded Bugible, now the leading bug blog in North America, and EatBugsEvents.com, a service creating approachable and fun events around eating insects—from bug dinners to wine and insect pairings. My goal is to educate the public about the benefits of eating insects and to reduce the stigma around using these ingredients.

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Edible Insect Trade Group Advocates Support for Insect Agriculture – NACIA Responds to efforts by Senators Flake and Cortez Masto to Prohibit USDA Subsidies for Insect Agriculture

Edible Insect Trade Group Advocates Support for Insect Agriculture – NACIA Responds to efforts by Senators Flake and Cortez Masto to Prohibit USDA Subsidies for Insect Agriculture

The North American Coalition for Insect Agriculture (NACIA) responds to efforts by Senators Flake and Cortez Masto to prohibit USDA subsidies for Insect Agriculture

December 17, 2018:

Global interest in Insects as Food and Feed was sparked by the 2013 release of a report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO): Edible Insects – Future Prospects for Food and Feed Security. Concerns about feeding a rapidly growing worldwide population (estimated to reach 9 billion or higher by 2050 from 7.5 billion today) led to problem-solving around increasing food production in an environment of ever-increasing scarcity.

After a failed attempt to add an amendment to the Farm Bill earlier this year that sought to ban research funding for insect agriculture and insect-based foods, Senator Flake (R-AZ) has now teamed up with Senator Cortez Masto (D-NV) in a renewed effort to frame ongoing research supporting insect farming as “wasteful.” Their proposed legislation (Removing Excessive Dollars to Uproot and Cut Expensive (REDUCE) Government Waste Act) is heavy on puns but light on facts concerning insects.

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Many innovations are misunderstood in their infancy until the scales tip to wider acceptance. In many parts of the world, insects as food and feed are well established. Research shows that insects have been an important part of the human diet for millennia, and remain a protein-rich food staple for billions of people today.Nearby, in Mexico, there are more than 549 known species of insects which are eaten, and comida prehispanica is once again trending.  One of the most well-known is the chapuline, a type of tasty grasshopper which holds deep cultural culinary importance.

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Today, insects as a source of protein for food and feed is a growing industry with over 250 companies worldwide. The insects as feed industry alone was estimated to be worth $900 million in 2016 and is forecast to reach $1.5 billion by 2022 (Mordor Intelligence, 2017). The edible insects market is expected to reach nearly $1.2 billion by 2023, supported by a CAGR of 23.8% per a recent Research and Markets report. There is an explosion of growth in this industry globally and the U.S. lags behind. “The insect agriculture industry has grown tremendously in only a few short years – creating jobs, starting American businesses, and fueling economic growth. All signs point to that growth not only continuing, but accelerating. We would welcome the opportunity to show Senators Cortez Masto and Flake how this new agricultural sector could benefit not just the small business owners and farmers already active across 27 states, but their constituents in Nevada and Arizona as well,” said Robert Nathan Allen, NACIA President.

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Aquaculture: Ÿnsect unveils the results of its insect protein ŸnMeal™ on sea bass

Aquaculture: Ÿnsect unveils the results of its insect protein ŸnMeal™ on sea bass

See below for a press released titled December 12th, 2018 from Ÿnsect: 

Gut health, cumulative mortality and weight gain have been tested with, in the end, outstanding performance. Thanks to the results of this trial, Ÿnsect has further demonstrated its commitment to high-performance premium alternative protein ingredients with nutrition and health benefits for animals and plants.

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Eating Insects Athens 2018 – A Recap of Industry Growth

Eating Insects Athens 2018 – A Recap of Industry Growth

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: 

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Bug News – Little Herds Announces Pitch Challenge Ento-Prize

Bug News – Little Herds Announces Pitch Challenge Ento-Prize

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.

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Bringing Cricket Flour to the Public – Seek Food Kickstarter Makes News

Bringing Cricket Flour to the Public – Seek Food Kickstarter Makes News

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:

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Fruits and Vegetables have Seasons. Do Bugs?

Fruits and Vegetables have Seasons. Do Bugs?

Last week I tried to make some amuse bouches from bugs. This is a French term meaning something along the lines of amusing the mouth (aka generating an appetite… aka an appetizer!) It’s also just super fun to say.

Long story short, I chose really bad avocados. My roommate Blake suggested that I learn the basics of when fruits and vegetables are in season and how to pick the best ones once in the grocery store. This got me thinking—are bugs seasonal? When is the best time to buy?

We’ll start with the fruits and veggies, but if you’re interested in the bugs skip past the lovely infographics provided by this blog and head to the last section of this post for the deets on when and how to select the “freshest” insects.

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Exploring Grilo Cricket Energy Bars

Exploring Grilo Cricket Energy Bars

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.

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Company Highlight: Coast Protein Cricket Protein Bars

Company Highlight: Coast Protein Cricket Protein Bars

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.

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