With demand for meat rising around the world, and many nations facing starvation and food deficiencies, we know we have to change the way we view food. Current farming practices are ravaging the environment, polluting the water and air, causing deforestation, overfishing, and contributing to the rise in infectious diseases.
Culitvating insects as food addresses each of these problems. But in North American and in Europe, we have the hurdle of the taboo against them. 80% of the world views them as normal food; it's only nations in Europe, Canada, and the USA who balk at the idea.
Little Herds is changing that perception, through children's education and public events, working with chefs, bakers, farmers, and businesses to make this a viable market, and promote healthy eating and sustainable farming.
We work with schools, museums, farmers markets, as well as businesses, organizations, and individuals around the world to spread the knowledge of why we need to adopt insects into our diet. Insects are high in protein, iron, calcium, and trace vitamins and minerals not found in other meats. They're complete proteins, full of omega 3s and 6s, with low amounts of cholesterol and fat. We use insect flour to bake cookies, breads, muffins, and other everyday approachable foods, giving them a nutritional boost without seeing, tasting, or feeling the bugs inside. We've had fantastic reception at dozens of events, feeding over 3000 people insects in our first few months, and we're excited for 2014's lineup.
We're the first US nonprofit that we know of promoting entomophagy, or eating insects, and we are proud to be partnering with every business or individual we can find working with edible insects.
We're also working with our local, state, and federal regulatory agencies, creating the rules and standards to raise insects for human consumption. Because there are no rules right now, we're going above and beyond to make sure we promote safety, cleanliness, and transparency in all aspects of the edible insects industry.
Edible insects are an answer to a host of very real, very pressing issues facing our world, and the answer has been right under our feet the entire time. The only way to start this change is to educate western markets about how insects can change the world. With your help, Little Herds is bringing bugs to the people!
My mother sent me a video about eating insects back in March 2012, as a joke, saying "you'll never get me to eat bugs!" I took it seriously, and started reading more about their health and environmental benefits. I looked around at other groups starting to explore insects as a viable way to feed the world and cut back on the ecological damage our meat industry creates, and was shocked to find that Austin, famed for being weird, had nobody involved in the movement.
That summer my family visited the New Orleans Audubon Insectarium, and I finally got Mom to eat some bugs in their insect cafe.
Over the next year and a half, the idea transformed into the nonprofit we have today, and I've been blessed along the way to meet some amazing people who can see the inherent beauty of this idea. While most people think we're crazy at first, people across the board realize how much sense it makes once they hear why we want to adopt them into our diet.
With a core team (and board of directors) of my fiancée Meghan, good friend and fellow entomophagist Harman Johar of World Ento, and friends Glen and Tara, we've taken this idea from a crazy dream into a very real force in Austin. Dozens of volunteers have joined us and we have partners across the country and abroad. We're looking for you to help us take it to the next level. Won't you join us?