When we started Eat Grub in 2013 we’d already been on a bit of a journey of discovery. My co-founder Shami had been on a trip to Malawi (probably where the roots of Eat Grub began) where he’d seen first hand people eating insects both as a staple source of nourishment, and also as a delicacy. A number of conversations and a lot of research later and we were almost overawed at what potential insects have as a food source.
High in protein and minerals (much like nuts) insects are sustainable to farm when compared with other sources of livestock such as beef. For instance it takes one fifth of the feed required to produce a kilo of beef than it does to produce the same weight in crickets. The story is similar for water usage too. It’s then not a surprise that both Eat Grub and Liberation Foods are dedicated to the cause when it comes to “The Protein Challenge 2040”.
When we look at less developed countries, it’s incredible how much we rely on them and sometimes take advantage of them too. The quinoa example in Peru is something that has always stuck out for me in terms of the western market driving the price up of a local product to the point that the people who have lived off it for a lifetime can no longer afford it.
The way Liberation Foods have conducted their Fairtrade business is perhaps something that the insect industry can learn from. In Thailand, there are thousands of cricket farms popping up yearly with an idea of supporting the growing demand in the West.
Fairtrade practices are a wonderful method of ensuring farms and workers are not taken advantage of and receive a fair price for their years of knowledge and produce. It was interesting to then learn that one of Liberation Food’s nut producer co-op shareholders are in Malawi too. A tenuous link for the two companies, but also perhaps a sign of how small the world really is and thus the importance of the ongoing effect to the developed world and how it’s managed.
If you’d like to get cooking with insects, try some pre-prepared snacks, or make your own nut and insect mix then take a visit to our site www.eatgrub.co.uk