When you think about the future of food, one of the key topics of discussion is alternative sources of protein. One of the most hotly discussed alternative protein sources has been bugs. Culturally eaten around the world, they can easily be converted into high protein sources of food.
While not the most appetizing on their own, one startup in Nebraska is aiming to make bugs look and taste great by converting them into pasta.
Bugeater Foods, a small startup company based out of Lincoln, just received a $100,000 USDA grant to turn edible crickets into rice and pasta. Their goal is to make the rice and pasta tasty while still maintaining the high nutritional content that bugs provide.
Apart from being great sources of protein, bugs are also rich in nutrients like fiber, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. By incorporating these into pasta, Bugeater Foods aims to create a nutrient-fortified product that any customer will enjoy, despite the fact that their products are made from insects.
If they are successful, the start-up will secure an additional $600,000 in funding from the USDA to commercialize their product and distribute it to grocery stores, marking a huge investment for a worthy cause in sustainable protein.
Currently, the company sells "Jump" chocolate cricket protein powders, which are available in local supermarkets and online.
As we look towards a future of alternative proteins, it's important to look at bugs as a viable option. They are rich in nutrients and are much more sustainable than beef or chicken to produce.