Bug protein’s time to shine

For Your Health

Forget ham and turkey for Christmas dinner...how about insect protein? As beyond meat makes alternative proteins more popular, can insects finally shine in the U.S.?

Forget ham and turkey for Christmas dinner. How about insect protein?

As Beyond Meat makes alternative proteins more popular, can insects finally shine in the u.S.?

We take a look at a cricket farm in Oakland, California, as Barclays predicts the bugs-as-food market will be worth $8 billion by 2030.

You’re looking at a gateway bug. An insect with so much potential to feed the planet using minimal resources, it seems a no brainer protein source. But would you eat it?

Much of the world eats insects from crickets to mealworms to scorpions, black ants, and grasshoppers but Americans generally say ew. Don’t judge.

A growing group of entrepreneurs may prove that bugs are the future.

Chef Joseph Yoon has made it his mission to make insects delicious and social media worthy to millennials – like cricket quinoa hash.

Brooklyn Bugs Executive Director Chef Joseph Yoon says, “Even if 10% of Americans were to incorporate edible insects once a week, even that would have a tremendous impact on our environment.”

Anne Carlson has found an easier path by creating insect-based dog food called Jiminy’s, with sales in the millions, growing 70 percent a year.

The sustainability message appeals to millennials, who may not eat bugs themselves but have no problem giving it to dogs.

Jimmy’s Founder & CEO Anne Carlson says “One of the key reasons I got into this is my daughter, she’s a millennial and she said she might not want to have children because she’s worried about the world, what the world is going to be like.”

Demand, which is currently outstripping supply – the largest cricket farm in North America is Entomo near Toronto.

But Monica Martinez is raising her own bugs for her snack food business, Don Bugito in Oakland.

Don Bugito Founder & CEO Monica Martinez says, “80% of the biomass of the planet is, you know, made of insects. Doesn’t make any sense that we are not tapping into that.”

Barclays estimates the insect protein market could grow tenfold to 8 billion dollars by 2030, Nestles is interested, Tyson is watching, and it’s possible that someday, people will actually ask for a bug in their food.

One big reason is sustainability. Producing the same amount of protein from bugs requires 1/2000th the amount of water versus cows, and bug food has more fiber because you eat the entire thing.

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