As dietitians the most common question we get asked is, why entomophagy? Of all the interests you could have in the field of food and nutrition, why choose insects? Our first response is to say it just makes sense. We are both committed nutrition professionals who want people to be as healthy as they can and enjoy a nutritious diet. We are also scientists and understand the many threats posed by environmental degradation and the contribution we are making to this degradation through what we eat and the way we live. There must be a better way. The food we eat plays a significant role in our total ecological footprint so each of us can do our bit in what we choose to eat. Insects offer a significantly more sustainable protein food source than other animals, especially red meat. We wouldn’t go so far as to say we should stop eating meat, but many people in rich countries could eat less, and insects represent a nutritious alternative. Moreover, insects represent an opportunity to achieve food security for those in poorer countries. Variety is the spice of life, and insects can add to the amazing variety of foods we can choose from.
Some may baulk at chomping on whole insects in all their leggy glory, however we believe the future will look more familiar. Insects will take their place as high protein ingredients in popular food formats, as we’ve seen in other countries in the form of cricket pasta, crackers, crisps and snack bars. We’d like to help the emerging food-as-insects industry by providing nutrition expertise in all aspects including nutrition research, product development, recipe development and nutrition communications. While eating insects is not new or unusual for 2 billion people, it is new in Western countries and we’d like to help spread the word- dare we say create buzz- about what insects can offer in both good nutrition and better environmental sustainability. If that sounds interesting to you, please be in touch.