Why Re-Imagining an Insect-Rich Diet Helps Build The Future of Food
Slimy, yet satisfying!
We have all imagined it: what will insects taste like? While some of us have never eaten bugs, worldwide 2 billion people eat them as part of a standard diet. Have you thought about what a diet rich in insects would be like? And what benefits could it have for us and for the planet?
I think about it all the time. I think about the future of food, what it looks like and how we can make a difference. Why? Because our food system is broken. It needs disruptive changes to provide food security to a growing population, provide better conditions for those who grow our food, and quickly reverse land degradation (because 75% of Earth’s Land areas are degraded).
There are many ways in which we can make a difference: better management of food waste, switching to regenerative agriculture practices, supply chain traceability, diversifying our diets, among others. With Griyum, my partners and I hope to help diversify protein sources. Griyum creates innovative bug-based food alternatives, in a production process that is good for local communities and for the planet.
When selling direct to consumers, we sell under the brand One Chance. We chose the name because it gives each one of us an opportunity to make a difference through our everyday consumption choices. We created One Chance in the fall of 2020. Since then we have already launched our first product, a cricket-based flour containing 65% protein. We are soon unveiling other products including protein milkshakes and snacks.
Bug protein: a good alternative for the planet
Including insect protein in our diet has many benefits. The first one is a benefit to our planet. We have lost 15% of the Amazon and much of it is due to raising livestock and growing grain for animals. Changing our protein source has a huge impact. In fact, producing 1 kilograms of cricket protein requires 25 times less land area than 1 kilogram of cow protein. But just as importantly, 1 kg of cricket protein requires 2,000 times less water than the cow equivalent. We are talking about 77 thousand liters of water using cows vs. only 4 liters using crickets.
Health benefits. Eating insects can also be good for our own health. The University of Wageningen in the Netherlands has identified 2,000 types of edible insects. Insects are high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Some, including the edible cricket, are a source of iron and healthy fats. In addition, the edible cricket jumps to the first place of the alternative proteins for containing 9 essential amino acids, vitamin B12 and fiber. You can add cricket flour with all its nutrients to your favorite recipes without affecting its taste or texture.
Social and cultural impact. Including insects in our diet dignifies the ancient knowledge of many cultures. At the same time, it makes us reflect on the origin of our food. At One Chance we use edible cricket flour made in conjunction with rural producers from rural communities in Mexico. Thus, we make sure that the crickets are cultivated with the best practices, in a fair chain that benefits both the ecosystem and the smallholder producer. Moreover, as the company grows, our modular and low-in-CAPEX production systems allow us to open fully functional cricket farms near our consumers in less than 9 months. This means that we can reduce our carbon footprint while providing job opportunities to local communities around the world.
As a small and growing company, Griyum is ready to expand in a sustainable manner, jumping on to new markets and crafting additional nutritious and exciting products. Today, if you are based in Mexico, you can already order One Chance on our website or in a growing set of marketplaces that have trusted our vision. If you are interested in learning more about Griyum and our expansion plans, reach out and let’s explore how we can work together. You can also follow us on Instagram as @onechancefoods
Thank you for jumping into the future of food with us.
Rafa Alonso is a Nature Entrepreneur and Partner at Griyum and One Chance