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The Next Einstein COMPETITION ENTRY

ENTRY TITLE

Don’t Squish Them, Eat Them! Consuming Insects Is the Future.
IDEA BY: Robert Celik LOCATION: Canada CATEGORY: Environment/Sustainability

ENTRY TITLE

Don’t Squish Them, Eat Them! Consuming Insects Is the Future.
IDEA BY: Robert Celik
LOCATION: Canada
CATEGORY: Environment/Sustainability

ENTRY DESCRIPTION

Livestock food production is the single biggest contributor to global environmental change. One 8oz steak uses over 4000 litres of water, whereas 8oz of crickets only uses 2-4 litres. We need to seriously rethink the impact of our diets.

Modern meat production is placing incredible strains on the planet. It accounts for “...51 percent of annual worldwide GHG emissions” (World Watch Institute). There has been a radical ‘meatificaiton’ of our diets. This trend has been particularly noticeable in affluent countries such as Canada and the United States. We consume over 120kg of meat per capita per year where the world average is only about 40kg (FAO). The solution is crickets! Crickets are a low input, nutrient dense food source. However, cricket farms are doing a poor job at marketing their product to the masses. They have been introduced as a gourmet, niche option and not a staple. The trend for eating bugs is just not catching on at the speed it needs to. The reason for this huge barrier to acceptance is the stigma of insects being ‘dirty’ and ‘scary’. Shows like Fear Factor have contributed to this mentality at home but around the world over 2 billion people already consume bugs! This stigma can be overridden by systematically implementing cricket protein into people’s diets. How will we do this? First we can build brand partnerships. For example, cricket powder can be introduced as a booster option at Booster Juice. Cricket powder can also be used to supplement meals in soup kitchens or could be implemented as an alternative for flour in chain restaurants. The sooner people try cricket based products, the sooner they will change their opinions. By replacing one meal a week with cricket protein, a family of four will save 650,000 litres of fresh water a year! That’s equivalent to having 10,000 fewer showers. Our goal is to reverse the stigma, provide people with healthier alternatives and get people thinking about how the food they eat affects the world around them.