So, here’s the thing: like it or not, insects are already a viable and much relied-upon food source for roughly 80% of the world’s population. And as hearts and minds continue to evolve, that concept (still very much relegated to the “not even during a zombie apocalypse” school of thought throughout much of the U.S.) will continue to gain traction, likely yielding much of its mystery and “ick factor” to pragmatism in the face of a swelling global population.
Helping that evolution on its way is the recent launch of a nine-episode web series called Buggin’ Out. Hosted by full-spectrum chef and food adventurist Don Peavy (ChefPV), the series debuted on Facebook and YouTube, with a unique focus on entomophagy (the practice of eating insects) as a solution to hunger issues globally, as well as for the sake of both nutrition and sustainability.
Developed by ChefPV along with Justin Noto and ONErpm Studios, the series lets viewers dip a toe into the concept of insects as food in a way that’s entertaining as well as educational. The episodes are set in a Brooklyn kitchen, where ChefPV along, with his bearded magic dragon co-host Mosquito hosts expert guests like renowned entomophagy advocate David Gracer, Founder & Director of Little Herds Robert Nathan Allen, and Critter Bitters founders Lucy Knops & Julia Plevin.
During the series, ChefPV has had to face, and conquer, a deep-seated fear of insects that many Americans share.
Buggin’ Out follows ChefPV’s adventures foraging for insects in the wild, artfully preparing them as cuisine, and learning more about the many benefits of eating bugs. Weighed against environmentally-threatening traditional livestock farming, entomophagy continues to earn accolades for its minimal impact on our carbon footprint.
“The standard American diet, heavily funded and promoted globally, has become highly desirable, especially in developing nations,” says ChefPV. “In terms of food sustainability, however, studies have shown that insects require significantly fewer finite resources to farm while creating more nutritional bang for the buck compared to traditional meats. Unfortunately, many Americans are highly averse to eating bugs, but with Buggin’Out, we are looking to change that.”
So who else will be dropping by, you ask? Well, here’s a rundown of notable guests scheduled to appear on the series:
- Robert Nathan Allen – Founder/Director, Little Herds
- Baron Ambrosia – NY Emmy Award Winner & Culinary Ambassador of The Bronx
- Jakub Dzamba – Founder, Third Millennium Farming & Cricket Reactor Creator
- David George Gordon – “The Bug Chef”, author of 19 titles, including the Eat-a-Bug Cookbook
- David Gracer – Writer/Naturalist & renowned advocate of Entomophagy
- Lucy Knops & Julia Plevin – Founders, Critter Bitters
- Leah Polans – Head Fabricator, The Evolution Store in SoHo
- Katharina Unger & Julia Kaisinger – Founders/Partners, LIVIN Farms Hive *The world’s first desktop hive for edible insects
The creators of Buggin’ Out creators hope that presenting entomophagy in an accessible and visually-compelling format will inspire viewers to take a clearer look at bugs as a credible, viable food source that’s also healthy, and enact positive change on our present and future food system. New episodes of the series will be released weekly, with the first episode having launched on October 26th. You can find ’em all on the Buggin’ Out YouTube Channel.
[Top image: Cricket Sliders]
[Images: Rafael Pinheiro/ONErpmStudios]