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A UN Ducument

What is this Zine about? The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN published a document in 2013 called “Edible Insects: future prospects for food and feed security.� This book assesses the potential of insects as food and feed. The document includes important research and information that the public should know, but it is dense and tedious to read. Our mission is to break down the document and provide you with the most important information in a more exciting way.

Hello readers, We are two curious individuals that have a mission to open your minds to new lifestyles. In particular, we want to get you excited about eating bugs. Sounds gross, right? We thought so too, but after our experience, we are excited about the possibilities that eating insects can open in our society. There is a lot of important information published about entomophagy but not much hype around it. We are here to break it down for you and translate the research into a more palatable and compelling source. We hope that through our exploration of the edible insect world in NYC, we can inspire you to delve into the insect world and bring it into your own lives. Yours truly, Brandon Washington & Eliz Ayaydin

We took a trip down to Antojoria La Popular, a Mexican restaurant in Little Italy modeled after a Mexican street snack eatery.

La popular

Antojeria La Popular 50 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

La Popular sources their insects and many of their ingredients from Mi Barrio Tortilleria Corporation. It is a store for Mexican food products located in East Williamsburg.

OAXACA $6.95

The crickets stacked on a tostada crunch and topped with avocado make a great combination of ingredients.

André Luis Martín Entomophagy advocate

Are you aware of the recent UN document on entomophagy? If

Westerners are so used to getting all their food at a supermarket that they have forgotten what exactly they are eating.

Yes, very well. Queens County Museum as well as the Ministry of Agriculture of Aruba (my country) has started to gather support for mealworm and cricket farming. A Thai restaurant in Union Square called Qi has begun to sell Silkworms and Thai-style grasshoppers, and numerous entrepreneurial enterprises have been popping up even since we last spoke.

Still vying for my bachelor’s degree as well seeking a group of pasta business.

After being a vegan for 4 years I missed the crunchy, meaty,

did some research about entomophagy and I gave it a shot when I bought of a bag of chapulines at a Mexican foodstore in East Harlem and I LOVED IT. Ever since then there have been few insects I would not go crazy to eat again and am convinced that there’s a beautiful future for insects as food.

society? First and foremost society in general will be closer to nature, which as I did my own research came up multiple times. Westerners are so used to getting all their food at a supermarket they have forgotten what exactly they are eating. A change in what’s served will force people to think more critically (hopefully) about human’s closest and most universal cultural habit: eating. To continue, it will dependence of conventional livestock, which are disease prone and have bad conversion rates.

Get a celebrity or two to endorse it and marketing after that.

Yes, people are keenly interested and have begun to ask to try some.

I lost that factor since day one. With other people, I try to use very easy, especially if it tastes amazing.

Sun-dried and smoked Southern African Mopani caterpillars (mashonja), fried bamboo larvae (non pai), and crispy silkworm pupae (can). I have not had a tarantula yet. I have and will always have (forgive the pun) a soft part for any Crustacean. Are there restaurants or stores near you where you can order inI live in Washington Heights and there’s plenty of medical students walking about at night and I think some Thai-style cheap insects as bar-food would do very well here or anywhere near a college.

I see supermarkets freely selling them in sauces, prepared foods, and snacks. Some of them may be even making their way to replace croutons as a salad topping. I see it coming into the main healthy competitor against vegetarianism/veganism. The long awaited dining out possibilities maybe even supplanting Thai food, which many food critics have been stating.

of Little Herds and WorldEnto are inspiring stories for me. It really is an entomophagy renaissance, though I think they mostly have been preaching to the converted and could use with some more

Louis snorkin Forensic entomologist

I began in pre-med, but after taking a field entomology class and having to look at insects under a microscope, I became hooked on their morphology.

Are you aware of the recent UN document on entomophagy? If yes, Yes. It has jump started more discussion on the topic in many social circles. I spoke at the New York Academy of Sciences on the subject and it was well attended.

I’m actually working on spider systematics and forensic entomology, but also keep interest in entomophagy. I enjoy lecturing on the subject of entomophagy, to hopefully interest those who are interested or those who just want to learn. I’m very much interested in allergic responses including those from eating certain insects.

I have been interested in entomology since childhood and entomophagy and forensic entomology since university graduate school. Sometimes the two have crossed paths when treating

at insects under a microscope, I became hooked on their morphology.

society? I think that more and more of the approximately 2000 species of insects already documented as edible by many world societies will be reviewed and assayed in order to provide data on protein, fat, essential oils, essential amino acids, etc., to see which species might There will be better ways to rear, cook and package these to blend in well with society to be enjoyed in many who still resist their usefulness.

order to hide the insect form from the general public because so many people identify insects with infestation and disease transmission.

I think after lectures and also having the participant’s try some insects that aren’t simply covered in chocolate or have become enveloped in a sugary lollipop teaches that insects taste very good on their own.

“yuck” factor.

I don’t have too much of a favorite, but I do like crickets and waxworms. Oven dried, stir fried, steamed, in soup, are all ways insects can be enjoyed. I know that many local preparations include healthier ways should be promoted. Are there restaurants or stores near you where you can order I don’t know of any stores near me, but many things can be ordered via the Internet and you don’t really need a ‘brick&mortar’ structure. I know of some restaurants in NYC, but I haven’t gotten to them to taste their dishes.

Maybe I’m optimistic, but I see more insects entering into the human food chain, but I think in the U.S. it may very well come from the menus that have whole insects, too.

cluding those who have created home mass insect production units, to those who produce food items that have insects in their composition to those who lecture on the subject to get people inter-

Marko Manriquez Foodie & designer

Brandon: Are you aware of the UN document on edible insects? Marko: No, I don’t really subscribe to UN publications. Brandon: How do you feel about eating bugs? Marko: Um, I have strong feelings about it. I don’t want to eat bugs. I feel like someone got overzealous about saving the world with this overeating animal protein which is clearly very bad and agriculture as the industry is probably the 1st or 2nd most catastrophic for climate changes so many things being done to the soil and water supply and can alter and improve the way we deliver food to people than that’s a good thing but I see people so desperate to create change that they kind of grab onto a trend and like want to shove it down everyone’s throat. Brandon: So you think eating bugs is like kale? M: No, I think we should be eating more vegetable protein. I don’t see why we have to be eating bugs. That’s not part of my culture. Food is very personal and very traditional and I see it kind of like this idealistic colonialism. What I mean is like, oh you came up with something and now you want to impose it on other people because it’s good for us. That’s colonialist to me. If you want to inform change, maybe these people should go into these regions, be an anthropologist, and from something and I think the UN and foreign policy does it a lot. Brandon: I see. Marko: Sorry I didn’t realize I was going to be that passionate about it. Brandon: So you don’t feel like we have the place to bring bugs into our culture?

Brandon: Well I think that the organic part about it is other cultures bringing in bugs into these dishes.

Marko: Yeah but what cultures? Brandon: Like the Mexican cultures bringing in crickets as a garnish. Marko: Yeah but it’s not like a panacea. As you say they bring it in it complements the main thing. I think maybe with Western culture it was always how there was protein at the center of the plate and garnishes on the side. And then you saw the second wave of vegetarianism and even with that you saw the vegetarian products trying to imitate the meat products rather than embracing the beauty of the can get really high quality vegetables and learn to cook them the way vegetables want to be cooked rather than the trend. Like a Tofurkey or Veggie Pizza with fake soy cheese. Eliz: Are you vegetarian? M: No, I’m weekday vegetarian. For me, it’s moderation of everything. I try to curve my annual proteins because I recognize they are very detrimental. This much water and energy consumption makes a pound of meat versus a pound of vegetable. The French have an interesting saying that is like everything in moderation is moderation. So I think I follow that. B: So, you have no interest in eating bugs? Have you tried?

like things that are sweet and crunchy and savory. That’s why all snack foods are designed for that. Plus there’s the other thing, we like things that look like us. It’s just basic geometry – 2 legs, 2 arms, and dling up with a tarantula.

which makes a lot of sense. A shrimp is good, crab is good, and lobster is good. E: It’s like the insects of the sea. M: That’s a good point.

B: I don’t know if you could introduce it like that but at some point people probably thought seafood was disgusting. M: Oh yeah, people thought lobster was disgusting. B: Yeah, when you crack open a crab it doesn’t look like the meat that’s served on your plate, it looks like slime. M: Yeah it’s also how you prepare it too. Even if you get a lobster tail, they remove the head and all the parts that are disgusting looking.

M: If they did more preparation. When I ate that cricket taco, I could eat it but when I looked at it there was just this disconnect. E: Yeah, it just looked kind of disgusting. Like you shouldn’t be eating it. M: Yeah. Like when you see a bug on your plate you’re like, oh.

M: Yeah, that’s my main complaint. I think you have to be honest with yourself as a chef. Cook it because you like something about it and expand that characteristic in the food. Don’t assemble a meal. Make it in concert so the ingredients work together. B: I think the UN document is trying to get people to start talking about it. This is really just how the media does. M: Look where it’s coming from. It’s coming from the UN. It’s a political document. I want to see a chef do this. E: I think there’s something exotic about eating insects just because you know there is a small segment of restaurants that have an insect dish so I think it might be possible that it becomes more of a delicacy or something like that. Do you think that’s possible?

M: Yeah I mean if you sell it that way. You know people love food with a story. It’s just so tiny. Lobster and shrimp are larger.

We like things that like us.again. it’s M: look I just had bull’s testicles At ajust Japanese restaurant. E: How did thatgeometrytaste? basic 2 M: legs, It’s not really taste, it’s more like atstuff. texture. Really chewy. 2aarms, and E: What’s the most exotic food you’ve ever had?

B: What made you eat that? M: It was there. It was exotic. It was on the menu. I just thought, let’s try this. B: So you do try things because they are exotic? M: Yeah, I’m curious. You have to expand your pallet. B: So if you saw bugs on a menu would you try? M: It depends, is it some fancy chichi place or am I in the middle of Indonesia? Which I will be in 2 weeks.. and someone was like, we’ve been making these for centuries. B: So you would try both? M: Yeah. E: Alright, thanks for letting us interview you. Really interesting to

Harman Johar

I work to provide a Yes I am – one my team members, David Gracer, was involved with it safe and reliable supto some degree. The results – more entrepreneurs are turning their attentions to entomophagy and publications have now started to put ply ofthatedible insects out stories view eating insects more seriously to food entrepreneurs Iand am a future oriented of entrepreneur, currently working on growing and chefs all kinds Are you aware of the recent UN document on entomophagy? If yes,

developing the US and international entomophagy community as well as growing my company. I work to provide a safe and reliable supply of edible insects to food entrepreneurs and chefs of all kinds.

I began experimenting with raising insects in my dorm room during a college course my sophomore year. I became more interested and put together a group of people in various majors, such as media, formally launch World Entomophagy.

society? Environmentally/Sustainably – animal protein is the most destructive form of food we have. It even surpasses cars/trucks/planes in its environmental devastation. Switching even a small amount of meals We would use less water, land, and feed to reap more protein and produce much less waste. Insects are also extremely nutritious and incorporating them into your diet only plays along with the recent movement of knowing what you eat and eating truly healthier.

Create mass produced products like Chapul and EXO (using cricket to deal with the visual stimulus). Also, to get insects into the hands of the world’s best chefs to encourage innovation and push to see what the potential of insects as a culinary phenomenon really is.

We have – more people are interested in getting involved. We’ve seen a huge increase in entrepreneurs contacting us for ingredients and to talk about their ideas. Every event we attend we’re always one of the most visited booths and we always run out samples. More and more people are seeing our media and looking for a way to try the products.

We either embrace it and help people get over it with education or taste and no visual stimulus. Education is generally the key.

Blueberry Parisian Mealworm Macaroons. I’m also a fan of cricket ing line. Are there restaurants or stores near you where you can order Just one, and that’s as a novelty to eat with a big shot of tequila. We do see the opportunity but are focused on streamlining our supply infrastructure and getting some of the ento businesses we’ve been working with up and running. While we do retail to restaurants and stores, we want to focus on creating an open and friendly industry so are what we’re interested in getting into stores.

I think it will be along the lines of sushi. It will become a food option, much like choosing shrimp, chicken, or beef at your local Chinese restaurant. Stores like Whole Foods will be carrying edible insect products (such as EXO bars) and raw insects (much like you can buy steaks and burgers at trader joes now)

Kevin Langley (US G20 YEA Summit President and my personal mentor), Marianne Shockley (in industry), Kevin Selhi (personal mentor and entrepreneur), David Gracer (in industry), David George Gordon (in industry).


Restaurant Manager

The most exotic dish I have served is our What type of food you are interested in? most recent menu I am interested in well-balanced, diverse and sustainable food, addition combinations. I amthe also passionate about local and seasonal eating. “Grasswhopper�. An on entomophagy, Have you heard of the recent UN document which promotes the consumption of eating insects as a cheap and American style I am familiar, but not well-versed. slider burger, made you share stories? with crickets in place One of the ingredients we feature in the restaurant is Crickets. I have tried them both by themselves and in the context of several dishes. of the traditional beef. your restaurant? Why or why not?

I manage Antojeria La Popular, Mexican tapas restaurant. I also have experience working as a private chef and specialize in gluten-free cooking and baking or other dietary restrictions.

They are tasty & high in protein. They are readily available, making them a potentially sustainable food source in countries where protein is especially limited.

Even people who shutter at the idea are often convince to try, just to say they did. tent food source? of them becoming readily available.

I make Mexican chocolate cake for the restaurant and have been really interested in the possibility of creating a dessert that features crickets. Dipped in chocolate perhaps?

For sure our most recent menu addition the “Grasswhopper�. An American style slider burger, made with crickets in place of the traditional beef.

Katharina Unger Designer for insect production

Are you aware of the recent UN document on entomophagy? If yes, I was in the middle of my design phase for Farm432 when the new Entomophagy paper came out. I had started my test breeding already lutely crazy. There has been a load of media coverage about it ever since and I see many small startups coming up around this topic. ing on? My proposal is less about the eating part but rather deals with the production. Decentralized production will play a big role in our food supply in the future, which is why I created the small scale breeding chamber. I am currently making Farm432 ready for production and also I am working on new, thematically related, projects.

I grew up on a small farm. Therefore I have a deep connection to nature and food and how we produce it. My experiences in China showed me the importance of sustainable and ethical food production when facing a rapidly growing urban population. I looked at my work and saw that most of it has already been dedicated to these topics. I guess in the end the most authentic work of a designer often relates to his or her roots. ety? The most plausible on the consumer end is that there are so many When prepared well they taste delicious plus they are a very sustainable food source. By building a culture around it. Chefs who start to cook with it and create recipes, people who breed them, moms who experiment in plement it- just like with any other type of food.

I see the shift whenever I tell people about it. My most conservative friends were the ones who in the end were most excited about it. My

The most inspiring are messages from people Communicating clearly and presenting cleanly. who themselves get inspired by my work This really depends on the type of insect. Grasshoppers for example I like best simply fried in a bit of olive oil and with some spices added. and start growing, Larvae I always mix with rice and additional sauces. eating, and Are there restaurants or stores near you where you can order Thereexperimenting are pet stores ;) Otherwise the supply is mostly online. with it too. This showed me that it is truly not as hard to convince people about it.

be on board very soon as they do not mind protein from whatever individuals and how we build up the culture around it.

Most inspiring are messages from people who themselves get inspired by my work and start growing, eating, and experimenting with it too. The diversity of people is unexpected and gives me the trust in pursuing this idea further.

David Gracer Composition teacher & entomophagy advocate

Are you aware of the recent UN document on entomophagy? If yes, Yes, I’ve read the 5/13 document and the reports that came before it. One aspect of my work involves archiving articles and technical papers on entomophagy; there were 199 journalistic articles on insect consumption in May 2013. Some of these were unrelated to the FAO report, but most were in reaction to that document. Beyond that obvimoment. ing on? My day job is teaching composition and literature at a community college and state prison. I’ve got a vibrant methodology that includes they write essays on their willingness or unwillingness to try one. and overnight. I’ve also done a good deal of media and lectures and educational events. Other than the articles and a [fairly ragged] manuscript on entomophagy, I’ve been writing captions and labels for a museum-style exhibit on entomophagy. It features not only the predictable artifacts of insect consumption, but also the underlying narratives that explain our reactions to insects in general and entomophagy in particular. I’m a member of the Future Food Salon Group, and we’re organizing an international conference on entomophagy in Montreal next August. I recommend that you consider presenting there.

Long story short: an old college friend gave me insect snacks one day. It was the perfect gift, as it awoke energies and a sense of focus from many threads over my entire life. That was perhaps fourteen years ago. I approach this subject from a humanities perspective, and I have come to understand the philosophical underpinnings of what’s really going on behind the obvious. There is opportunity for multi-media and inter-disciplinary work here, including performative elements. I’d like to be involved in all of that. ety?

It will provide basic resources for the immense, almost unimaginable, societal storms that are coming. Until that time it can awaken curiosity and a sense of adventure and wonder for those intelligent enough to see what they represent. Granted, those are grandiose answers. More basically there’s the whole “saving our natural resources like feed, water, food-miles,” etc. Those are also true. There are many predictions about increasing urbanization, and the need for urban agriculture so that we can make cities protein-independent. Insects will

As egotistical as it sounds, i’m mostly trying to inspired myself

It must be done experientially. It must be handled with humor but not

cities, neighborhoods, etc. We need ‘boots on the ground’ because it’s through immediate, faceto-face education that we can connect with others. “The public” is much stupider than individual people. Yes, but only as individuals. That makes for a long haul.

Over the years I’ve been very fond of teasing people in good-natured ways, and using humor to disarm the situation. I don’t mind acting like a salesman because I’m not on commission; I get paid whether they eat the food or not. I should also admit that over the years I’ve found the food-preparation element to be increasingly onerous, because I’m a lousy cook and I feel a lot of pressure over that part of the presentation.

Waxworms are completely delicious. I’m also quite fond of chapulines and of stinkbugs, despite the name. I have no problems with crickets. Any time a real chef has prepared insects, they have had no bad culinary experience.

Are there restaurants or stores near you where you can order There are Southeast Asian markets here in Providence that sell frozen and imported species. Some are seasonal, others year-round. I’ve found a few other items in ethnic markets; from Uganda and from Mexico, but it’s very hit or miss. There is a lot more to be done in this aspect of the subject, but I have neither the background nor the interest to get into food importation. Overall I’ve managed to source a surprisingly large variety of species; many orders I’ve gotten could

That depends entirely on the stability of our infrastructure to continue delivering the standard protein sources such that ‘everyone’

about the next ten years and beyond, I feel that historical upheaval is heading toward us.

As egotistical as it sounds, I’m mostly trying to inspire myself. I knew Gene DeFoliart, though it was just over the phone. I’m close friends with Zack Lemann, David George Gordon, Harman Johar, Daniella Martin, Jakub “Kubo” Dzamba, and many others; they’ve all done a lot to help the subject forward and they’re all much better cooks than I background and skills to bring people forward, but for various reaand my other colleagues at Future Food Salon Group are trying to accomplish. Beyond this, conservationists like Jane Goodall, David Attenborough, Gerald Durrell, and a few others -- including younger, non-famous people whom I know -- are my biggest heroes. I don’t have their drive.

What is this Zine about? The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN published a document in 2013 called “Edible Insects: future prospects for food and feed security.� This book assesses the potential of insects as food and feed. The document includes important research and information that the public should know, but it is dense and tedious to read. Our mission is to break down the document and provide you with the most important information in a more exciting way.

Daniella Martin

Writer, Girl Meets Bug blog.

Are you aware of the recent UN document on entomophagy? If yes,

In 10 years, I’m hopeful it will be like chia seeds: available, but not yet omnipresent like tofu.

big results yet, but I know it had tremendous reach, so that’s encouraging.

Right now I’m recording the audio version.

thought it was fascinating.

society? They require fewer resources, land space, and time to raise. Meanwhile, they’re nutritious, inexpensive, and they taste good. What’s not to like?

I think the idea of incorporating them into an energy bar is a good one. Luckily, a few companies are already doing that, like Chapul.

cently, people seem to be a lot more informed on the subject. At

tacos. Are there restaurants or stores near you where you can order

Nope. I live in Minneapolis, and there isn’t anything here, even though Andrew Zimmern lives here, too. I think that as the market grows, more stores and restaurants will jump on board.

I’m hopeful it will be like chia seeds: available, but not yet omnipresent like tofu.

For sure. There’s some major genius out there in terms of new perspectives on the topic. Ento, World Entomophagy, Chapul, Little

Marianne Shockley

Are you aware of the recent UN document on entomophagy? If yes, I am aware of the UN entomophagy document. I have seen numerous popular press articles (50 or more) since the document was published so it has undoubtedly spurred interest in the media and beyond.

I am a faculty member at the University of Georgia in the Department of Entomology and one of two, to my knowledge, in academia talking about, practicing and researching entomophagy. The other is Florence Duenkel. My research involved perceptions around entomophagy. One of my student alumni, Harman Johar, created the for human consumption. I assisted him with his initial mealworm and cricket rearing projects. I have just published a chapter entitled “Human Consumption of Insects” in a Book titled, “Mass Production Outreach and Service-Learning class where we serve edible insects at many of our events.

I was invited to participate in an edible insect conference at SIFAT in 2009 to present on the status of entomophagy in higher education. From that point forward I was invited to present at many other entomophagy and edible insect conferences or symposia.

society? I see edible insects as an alternative protein source particularly for RUTF’s for malnourishment worldwide. Georgia is the lead producer of peanuts, which is the main protein for many RUTFs. A few years ago due to a drought followed by a wet spring we had a very low peanut yield that translated into not enough peanuts for the malnutrition bars. Having an alternative protein to peanuts is a win win. On -

a larger scale as our population grows, our environment is negatively impacted due to current agricultural practices and farmable land if anything decreases, we’re going to be faced with a need for alternative protein sources not only in the U.S. but worldwide. There is a huge disconnect with the general public and food. Chicken know, or want to know, what happened in the slaughter and packaging houses to get those animals ready. Most people don’t buy whole an(which I am). Due to this disconnect my feeling is Western culture will limitedly embrace the whole cricket as garnish concept, but will have or paste.

I personally see it at each of my community events. Most people have never considered it as an option. Once they try, if they’re willing to, they often comment that’s insects are quite tasty (if it’s whole insects) or tasteless (if they’re mixed in).

We won’t be able to remove the “yuck” factor per se. If someone has an unwillingness to try insects, they probably won’t try escargot or foie gras or any other food they’re unfamiliar with either. This is called a food neophobia. However, there are many adventurous eaters. That is the population I am hoping to reach and impact.

Waxworms sauteed with garlic and onions. Melt in your mouth

Are there restaurants or stores near you where you can order Due to my relationship with World Ento I can have insects ready to eat delivered on an as needed basis. Harman has also worked with a local company called Mama Bird’s Granola who incorporates insects

if someone has an willingness to try insects, they probably wont try escargot or foie grass or any other food they’re unfamiliar with either

vendors of live crickets or mealworms or from local pet stores or bait shops.

As mass production of edible insects becomes available, I see insects being sold in grocery stores, and by restaurant suppliers. It will be a niche market just as organic foods, locally grown foods, or whole veyors are able to market and sell them to a large number of companies.

I mentioned my student alumni Harman Johar. Otherwise, Robert Nathan Allen is my counterpart for promotion and perceptions in the well. David George Gordon, Dave Gracer, and Daniella Martin were keep in touch.

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A zine on entomophagy


A zine on entomophagy