What’s for dinner? Chili-fried grasshoppers and mealworm cookies

Tine, Ashley and Monica from Global Nutrition & Health
Monica (left), Ashley and Tine (right) share knowledge about entomophagy, i.e. eating insects, through lectures and tasty recipes.
Can you imagine eating insects as a Friday snack? In Scandinavia, people may be sceptical of this idea. But according to three students from VIA Global Nutrition & Health, we shouldn’t be. Based on a study project they established ‘Buggies’ in order to share knowledge about entomophagy, i.e. eating insects.

The three girls behind ‘Buggies’ are Tine Niklasson (25), Monica Joy (22) and Ashley Summers (28). They are studying VIA Global Nutrition & Health in Aarhus. Buggies’ mission is to inform people about the potentials and benefits of eating insects. The idea of ‘Buggies’ started as a project aimed at promoting health behaviours in Denmark.

“Insects are interesting as food because they are both nutritious and sustainable. They are stuffed with vitamins and minerals and they are extremely low on resources. Few people are aware of the possibilities – that’s why we will tell them about it,” Tine Niklasson says.

Insects are the key to feed the future

The world population is growing while the earth’s resources are shrinking. Nevertheless, we have to live off something. Tine, Ashley and Monica believes that insects are an important part of the solution to feed the future population. Because of the fact that insects are sustainable.

“Insects don’t need nearly as much space, feed, and water as cows do. To produce one kilo of meat, cows need 10 kilos of feed whereas insects only need 1,7 kilo, in order to produce the same amount of meat,” Tine Niklasson explains.

Insects are rarely the first ingredient Danes use when cooking dinner on a regular Tuesday night. For most people in Denmark, insects are something unfamiliar, unappetizing and maybe a bit risky. But Tine, Monica and Ashley wish to change that perception.

Information and tasting samples

“We all want our food to be delicious. That’s why we create recipes and show people how insects can be cooked in loads of tasty ways,” Ashley Summers says.

And that is what the girls did on 23rd October, which was World Edible Insect Day. They invited people to a lecture about insects and afterwards they served chili-fried grasshoppers and mealworm cookies.

“Many of the people who came had tried eating insects before, or they were already interested in the concept. But that simply tells us that awareness and familiarity is important. It will take time, but we are confident that it is possible,” Ashley Summers says.

A project with business potential

As of now, Buggies is a developing project. Tine, Monica and Ashley were offered to be a part of VIA Student Incubator, who give students advice in relation to innovation projects and business ideas.

“We dream about turning Buggies into a business, where we can sell insects and continue to inspire people with information and recipes that we develop,” Ashley Summers says.

Interested in more?

Read about and see pictures from World Edible Insect Day on Buggies’ Facebook page.

Meet Buggies on their website.