Bugs on the Menu
The sound of crickets isn’t always a good thing, but to the entrepreneurs of Entomo Farms, it’s the sound of their rapidly growing business. The Goldin brothers raise cricket protein for human consumption, and they’ve seen their farm grow tenfold in 24 months. The surge of interest has been sparked by a 200-page UN report outlining the health and environmental benefits of insect protein — that has been downloaded 7 million times. While an estimated 2 billion people eat bugs worldwide, it’s still not an accepted food in the west. With the population projected to surpass 9 billion by 2050, the time to consider alternate proteins is now. Bugs on the Menu follows startup companies, such as Entomo Farms, as well as Salt Lake City’s Shark Tank-winning Chapul, Boston’s female-led insect chip company Six Foods, Austin’s Hult Prize-winning Aspire Food Group, Vancouver’s famed Indian restaurant Vij’s, and Seattle’s celebrity cook, The Bug Chef. These and other restaurateurs, cricket farmers, scholars, and scientists are part of a movement to normalize insect eating in the west, as an alternative to accepted, but resource intensive proteins like chicken, pork, and beef. Travelling worldwide, the feature food/enviro documentary Bugs on the Menu is a comprehensive examination of bug eating, observing these traditions in South Africa, Mexico, and Cambodia. Experts Dr. Arnold van Huis of The Netherlands (author of the UN report “Edible Insects”) and Washington D.C.’s Sonny Ramaswamy of the USDA provide scientific analysis of this food industry revolution.