Future of Food: A Food Podcast About What’s Next

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March 9, 2018  

The Cricket On Your Plate

March 9, 2018

Some entrepreneurs are driven by quick fixes. They see financial gain all around. Others are holistic thinkers, looking to solve a problem that might persist beyond their lifetime. The cricket farmers you'll meet in this episode are trying to solve a deep problem that is likely to persist. We need to create a lot of protein.

Making edible protein consumes resources. Not only is the world population growing — the United Nations predicts there will be nine billion people on Earth by 2050 — but rising income levels mean that more people can afford meat. When the demand for protein exceeds the plant's carrying capacity, there will be an environmental crash and people will go hungry. This reasoning is a driver of the "why eat crickets" argument. Our demands for protein cannot exceed the Earth’s carrying capacity. or we are done. You might say the pathway to survival involves choosing one of two human engineering projects.

  •  Project one: convince people to eat less meat protein.
  •  Project two: convince people to eat bugs instead of cows.

Crickets provide protein efficiently, and they also might provide health benefits by providing probiotic fiber. There's a massive shift in health and nutrition science going on, a deepening understanding how the gut biome enhances overall human health. there's evidence that diseases like Parkinsons and Alzheimers start in the gut biome. Will that convince you to eat crickets? Cricket protein might help fight diabetes by regulating glucose. Jarrod Goldin, a co-founder of Entomo Farms, cites evidence of the health benefits of cricket protein. He also cites a story from South Korea that suggests that hospital patients who ate food fortified with cricket protein got better, faster.

Andrew Brentano, a co-founder of Tiny Farms, also interviewed in the podcast, talks about the market for cricket protein expanding from humans to dogs and cats.

In engineering, water and energy savings are the easy calculations. It's the human engineering that is hard. What will it take for you to eat a cricket even if it is unrecognizable as a bug and supplied as a powder?

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