Insecto

Insecto welcomes you into the wondrous world of insects! The multi-dimensional workshop gave visitors a chance watch a small live cricket-farm prototype while listening to the chirping of the insects, discover some edible local ento-products, and check out some recipes!

Images 

What is Food/Insecto

Words

Benoit Daoust

Geneviève Sicotte

The New Super-Food

Insects are a super healthy food, containing high-quality lean protein. For centuries, they have been a staple in many culinary cultures. Their short life cycle means that farm production is really quick and economical. In addition, the wide gap between our species makes the transmission of illness unlikely.

Adopting insects in our diets to replace meat would have a considerable beneficial impact on the environment. In 2013, the United Nations stated that edible insects can be a solution to food insecurity. The benefits of adopting a varied diet and agriculture (especially if it's local) goes a great way towards resilience to climate change. 

Why promote urban entomoculture

in Montreal?

1. The harvest of wild insects can cause environmental disturbances in the countries from which they are taken. So it’s better to have local farms than to collect insects in their natural habitat.

 

2. Local production ensures that production is monitored and worker’s rights are respected. Engineers have created machines to automate bug farming, and they could be implemented on larger-scale farms to increase production.

 

3. Climate change will cause disruptions in conventional food production and transportation. Urban entomoculture is a step towards food security and sovereignty.
 

The “Yuk” Factor

Do you know that by law, many products can contain a certain percentage of insects or insect traces? Flour, chocolate or dried fruits are among them. So it is most likely that you are already eating bugs, or at least bits of them.

 

Truth is, it does take strategy to convince occidentals to eat the creepy crawlies, which is only the first step to farming them. 

 

Anthropologists have studied this reaction and even gave it a name, the “yuk factor”. This negative response can make you feel that nature is speaking and telling your body that should not eat a certain food. But of course, preferences are shaped by culture and assumptions about edibility. Incidentally, it is because of the “yuk factor” that insect powder is often presented as “flour”, even if there is nothing vegetal in it…

 

To overcome this learned repulsion, chefs have challenged their creativity to play on texture and presentation. Interested in putting insects on the menu? Here are some recipes from the respected magazine Food and Wine.

Insecto

Trying new things is what Insecto is all about. Our mission is to promote the urban farming of bugs for human food. But in order to do that, we need to take the first step of convincing people that bugs are actually food!

We studied what people have done in other countries, met with a very diverse bunch of passionate humans, created a few weird semi-low-tech prototypes with re-used/recycled materials. Now we go around town giving classes in schools and small communities.
 

Benoit Daoust is a multi-disciplinary freelancer who is the founder of Insecto. A self-educated, as well as system-educated Jack of All Trades. At the moment, he is an urban cycling gardener, barman (for the summer) and cricket farmer.

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