Guest Post: Edible Insects and World Entomophagy

My friend David Gracer has some news from the world of insect eating!  From Dave:

The world has become increasingly interested in the subject of edible insects. There’s frequent mainstream media coverage, conferences, and now two important new developments. World Entomophagy, of Athens, Georgia, has launched a open-sourced website that will become the definitive source of information on entomophagy – a meeting-place for researchers and practitioners with visionary interests and goals. We are at

For now, we are seeking all manner of contributions. Although we’re happy to see basic articles such as, What is Entomophagy; Allergy Concerns; Wine Pairings for Insects; How to Prepare your Insects for Cooking; and General Recipes, we are more interested in the cultural and international aspects of entomophagy; the many disciplines involved (such as Entomology, Anthropology, Nutrition, Sociology, Psychology, Literature, Agriculture, Sustainable Studies, History, Engineering, Chemistry, Culinary, Marketing, etc.); and artwork, video, and creative writing. We’re also creating a gallery of cross-referenced images with captions: documentation of edible insects around the world.  Eventually we hope to publish original, peer-reviewed scientific papers.

Technical articles are welcome, and authors of such work will be asked to include short summaries in layman’s terms. In all cases we will prominently feature contributors’ names and other information they would like to include. Currently we cannot pay for content; the current budget is set for the site, though we may make exceptions for some articles. We would be happy to discuss the possibility of barter (edible insect products in exchange for articles) or terms for future compensation (within reason).

The other major development is EDIBLThe Environmental Discourses of the Ingestion of Bugs League. This student-group model was founded by Rena Chen, a food-anthropology major at Princeton, in 2010. Other chapters have started at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, the University of Texas, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. There are big plans to continue growing nationally and internationally, to pool resources and increase awareness. While college/university campuses might be the best setting for such enterprises, EDIBL’s founders would welcome other kinds of groups. Hopefully, the evolution of multiple chapters would encourage collaboration, friendly competition, and perhaps conferences.

There are Facebook pages for both “World Entomophagy” and “EDIBL Nation,” as well as Twitter.  If social media holds no interest for you, email me at and I’ll answer any questions you have. As the main editor of the site, I’d be delighted to see anything you might like to contribute.

The future of this subject is very bright; consider joining us. According to the FAO, climate scientists, and other experts, there’s a very good chance that humanity’s future will have a lot more bugs in it.

Ento Box

ento logo

Some time ago, I got an email from a student in the UK working on an Entomophagy project:

“I’m a postgraduate design student studying at the Royal College of Art in London, who is currently knee deep in a project on Entomophagy. Myself and 3 other students have spent the last four months developing a roadmap to western acceptance of bug eating.”

I referred them to Dave Gracer as the local Entomophagy Maven, and then sort of forgot about it. And then….Lo and Behold! They produced this project, with input from Dave and entomologists.

I’m not entirely sure what a Masters Degree in Innovation Design Engineering is, but if it produces results like this, I think we need more of them.  Well done!ento box

More about the project:

Ento is a project by Aran DasanJacky ChungJonathan Fraser and Julene Aguirre-Bielchowsky, who are a team working together on the Innovation Design Engineering joint Masters course at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London. We also collaborated with Kim Insu in producing the food, who is a chef in training at Le Cordon Bleu.

This project is the outcome of the team’s motivation to tackle the growing issue of food security in an increasingly hungry world. Discovering the environmental and nutritional benefits of insects as a sustainable alternative to the high energy required to produce other meats, we wanted to see how it could be introduced into Western cultures through design.

It’s not just about introducing a new food, it’s about understanding human perceptions and psychology, then using the design of innovative experiences and strategic thinking to drive cultural change.”

In other words, addressing the mental hangups we have about eating insects, as well as making the food look amazing. Their video addresses some of the ecological benefits to insect eating in a very amusing way.