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About the Film.

The answer to feeding the world’s expanding population may be smaller than you think.

The sound of crickets isn’t always a good thing, but to the entrepreneurs of Entomo Farms, it’s the sound of their rapidly growing business. The Goldin brothers raise cricket protein for human consumption, and they’ve seen their farm grow tenfold in 24 months. The surge of interest has been sparked by a 200 page UN report outlining the health and environmental benefits of insect protein -- that has been downloaded 7 million times. While an estimated 2 billion people eat bugs worldwide, it’s still not an accepted food in the west. With the population projected to surpass 9 billion by 2050, the time to consider alternate proteins is now.

Watch and Learn
Official Trailer

Bugs on the Menu follows startup companies, such as Entomo Farms, as well as Salt Lake City’s Shark Tank-winning Chapul, Boston’s female-led insect chip company Six Foods, Austin’s Hult Prize-winning Aspire Food Group, Vancouver’s famed Indian restaurant Vij’s, and Seattle’s celebrity cook, The Bug Chef. These and other restaurateurs, cricket farmers, scholars, and scientists are part of a movement to normalize insect eating in the west, as an alternative to accepted, but resource intensive proteins like chicken, pork, and beef.

Travelling worldwide, the feature food/enviro documentary Bugs on the Menu is a comprehensive examination of bug eating, observing these traditions in South Africa, Mexico, and Cambodia. Experts Dr. Arnold van Huis of The Netherlands (author of the UN report “Edible Insects”) and Washington D.C.’s Sonny Ramaswamy of the USDA provide scientific analysis of this food industry revolution.

THE TEAM

Ian Toews, Director/Producer/DOP

Ian Toews csc, has been making films and videos since 1996. His works are primarily concerned with the natural environment and often, its degradation. He is the producer, director, and DOP of 7 short films, more than 60 television episodes, and 5 full-length documentaries. He is a 5 time nominee of Canada's top honour (the Gemini Award), winning in 2008 for the arts and nature series Landscape as Muse. Ian Toews csc, is a full member of the Canadian Society of Cinematographers.

Mark Bradley, Producer

Mark Bradley has worked in the film and television industry since 1998. At 291 Film Company, he produces documentaries and series. Projects include the Gemini Award-winning Landscape as Muse (Bravo!, SCN, Knowledge), Canadian Screen Award-nominated Untamed Gourmet (APTN, SCN) and Grasslands (Oasis HD, City). Mark also created and produced the first season of Great Minds of Design (documentary Channel), which broadcasts in more than 25 countries.

Jason Nielsen, Editor

Jason Nielsen is an accomplished picture editor and writer who has worked on a variety of award winning productions, including thirty-eight episodes of 291 Film Company's Landscape as Muse. Jason was recognized with a Gemini Award nomination for Best Picture Editing (2004) and is the recipient of various Directors Guild of Canada Awards.

Brendan Ostrander and Darren Phillips, Original Score

Brendan Ostrander is a musician, producer, and composer who has performed, recorded, and toured with a wide variety of internationally recognized artists including The Be Good Tanyas, Daniel Powter, Gene Simmons, Carole Pope, John Wozniak (Marcy's Playground), and The Northern Pikes. In addition, Ostrander has an extensive background in engineering and audio postproduction, including sound design and re-recording mixing for film and television. In 1994, Ostrander and Darren Phillips helped form the seminal west coast ambient/electronic group, hellenkeller.

MEDIA KIT

Download the Bugs on the Menu media kit here.

Where to Watch It

  • Devour! The Food Film Fest
    Wolfville, Canada
    November 2, 2016
  • Heartland Film Festival
    Indianapolis, USA
    October 26, 2016 7:00:00 PM
    October 27, 2016 3:30:00 PM
    October 28, 2016 3:00:00 PM
    October 29, 2016 11:00:00 AM
  • Environmental Film Festival
    Australia
    October 4, 2016 (Melbourne)
    October 14, 2016 (Brisbane)
    October 15, 2016 (Canberra)
    October 21, 2016 (Sydney)
  • Calgary International Film Festival
    Calgary, Canada
    September 27, 2016 (Green Carpet Gala)
  • Cinéfest Sudbury Int’l Film Festival
    Sudbury, Canada
    September 18, 2016
  • NORTHWESTFEST
    May 6, 2016
    *Nominated for “Made in Canada Feature” Award*
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Community Diner

What insect-inspired delight is on the table tonight? Use #BugsontheMenu to join the conversation.
Also, follow us on Twitter! @BugsontheMenu

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From Farm to Table

Two billion people eat bugs as a part of their regular diets. 
And the trend is catching on.

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Eating habits

Insect eating might seem bizarre to some, but for billions of folks, chowing down on buggy delights is a totally normal practice. (Spoiler Alert: You’re probably one of them.)

Entomophagy isn't a new concept. Australian and North American Aboriginal peoples have eaten insects for thousands of years, and the Ancient Greeks were no strangers to six-legged snack foods. Today, 3000 ethnic groups all across the globe eat over 1900 edible species, from beetles to caterpillars to dragonflies. Understandably, the thought of eating insects reminds some people of gross-out reality television. But not long ago, amazing foods like sashimi, quinoa, and kimchi were something you’d dare your college roommate to lick. Often what we do or don’t consider “food” is really just a state of mind.

Read More
Coming Summer 2016
Bugs on the Menu

Eating habits

Global
Perspectives

Over 100 countries already practice entomophagy, creating countless insect-inspired culinary delights. Below are a few examples; explore what they are and where they came from (and hey, don’t knock ’em ’til you’ve tried ’em).

Fun Fact No. 1
In one week, an average household in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo consumes 300 grams of insects.
300g
Fun Fact No. 2
In Southeast Asia, 200 different species of insects are consumed on a regular basis.
200
Species

Eating Habits

Coffee and Chocolate and Insects…oh my!

North Americans unknowingly consume 1kg of insects every year.

Question:

How many insect parts have you consumed in the past 24-hours?

Answer:

A lot more than you think.

Watch and Learn
What's Entomophagy?

10%

of coffee beans can show

signs of "insect damage"

75

or more

insect fragments per 50g

of cocoa beans

250

aphids per 100g of hops*

*On average, IPAs require 100g of hops per 9.5 litre batch

RED

food colouring

is made from

Cochineal shells

Eating Habits

Top 10

Bug-Eating

Health Benefits

    1

    20x more B12 than beef

    2

    More calcium than milk

    3

    More iron than spinach

    4

    5x more magnesium than beef

    5

    High in prebiotic fibre which is good for your guts

    6

    40% protein by weight and low in saturated fat

    7

    High in Chitin which fights against nasty stuff like viruses, tumours, and allergies

    8

    Contain all 9 Essential Amino Acids for building and repairing muscles

    9

    Free of stuff you don’t need like sugar, pesticides, and GMO

    10

    Won’t make us sick (no zootomic diseases)

Population Problem

By 2050, the world’s human population is set to hit 9.6 billion. With food and fresh-water shortages looming, bugs might just be the superfood we’ve all been waiting for.

If there’s one thing bugs and people have in common, it’s that we’re good at making babies. Everyday, 400,000 newborns are welcomed to the planet (that’s 278 every minute). And in the same time span,156,000 people die. This means that the human population increases by a quarter of a million people every 24 hours. Currently, our tally sits at 7.3 billion, and it keeps getting bigger.

Read More

Population Problem

Running
out of Room

Nearly 60% of people are concentrated on 32% of the earth’s land mass. Overpopulation corresponds with poverty, food insecurity and malnourishment.

Many places have long felt the negative effects of overpopulation, including poverty and malnourishment. Currently, 795 million people on earth are malnourished, and 3.1 million children under 5 years old die of starvation each year. The United Nations estimates that the population will boom to 9.6 billion by the year 2050. To obliterate food insecurity (meaning all people have access to safe nutritious food at all times), we’ll have to increase food production by 70%. Unfortunately, as the population increases, the amount of land available for farming and agriculture decreases. We need a high-protein food alternative that is plentiful, palatable, sustainable, and affordable to deal with the fact that there are too many peoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeoplepeople

Read More
Top 10 Nations by Population
(with Land Mass km2)

4.73
litres

6.8m2

405litres

582m2

3,569
litres

45m2

233,811litres

3,852m2

4,947
litres

50m2

305,561litres

4,280m2

17,481
litres

200m2

1,496,376litres

17,120m2

Population Problem

Livestock, Land and Water

Agriculture already takes up 32% of inhabitable land, and is responsible for 87% of total fresh water usage. Compared to chickens, pigs, and cows, cricket farming takes up way less space and water.

Amount of land (square meters) needed to raise

one pound of protein:

Did you know?

Every year, the average North American consumes:

Chicken - 65.5 lbs
Pigs - 52.7 lbs
Cows - 63.3 lbs

6.8m2
45m2
50m2
200m2

Amount of water (litres) needed to raise

one pound of protein:

Did you know?

17,481L = 4600 water bottles!

4.73
litres
3,569
litres
4,947
litres
17,481
litres

Total land and water required

to fulfil one North American’s yearly protein intake:

(Based on 85.6 lbs of protein consumption per year)

In short,cricket farming requires less resources and is better for the environment.
405 litres
582m2
233,811 litres
3,852m2
305,561 litres
4,280m2
1,496,376 litres
17,120m2

The Case for Crickets

Could insects be the answer to our agricultural woes?

No one is disputing the fact that we need protein to survive, and meat is an effective way to get it. But the planet won’t be able to keep up with our mass-consumption of meat forever, and we might as well start looking for awesome alternatives.
Raising cricket doesn’t require nearly as much land, water or feed as traditional proteins, and they emit a much smaller percentage of greenhouse gasses (we’re talking 90% less methane and 99.7% less nitrous oxide than cows). Since the global meat industry is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions every year — 4% more than transportation — crickets represent a small solution to a big problem.

Read More

The Case For Crickets

Top 7 reasons to consider crickets

There are SO MANY REASONS why crickets are a more sustainable alternative to animal proteins. Here are just a handful:

    1

    Crickets are far more efficient at converting feed into protein than chickens, pigs and cows.

    2

    Crickets can be farmed indoors, year-round, and in urban spaces, cutting down on food transportation distances.

    3

    In developing countries where workers collect crickets by hand, crops are saved from hungry bugs, and the crickets become a source of income.

    4

    Along with supplementing human diets, crickets also make excellent feed for livestock, further reducing their environmental footprint.

    5

    Crickets reproduce at an impressive rate (females can produce 1200 eggs at a time).

    6

    Crickets can happily survive off of grocery store leftovers, keeping precious “expired” food out of landfills.

    7

    When produced on a large scale, cricket protein is substantially more affordable than animal protein.

Feed Conversion Efficiency

Feed consumed: weight gained (in pounds)

Protein (g)

Fat/Saturated (g)

Cholesterol (mg)

Carbs (g)

Sodium (mg)

B12 (mg)

Vitamin C (%)

Iron (%)

Calcium (%)

59g

24g/8g

228mg

8g

0.31mg

24mg

14%

110%

110%

23g

1g/0g

58mg

0g

65mg

6mg

0%

0.1%

0%

30g

6g/2g

94mg

0g

65mg

0.31mg

2%

8%

1%

19g

13g/5g

62mg

0g

68mg

0.8mg

0%

11%

1%

Nutritional Info

OK, crickets may be a more sustainable alternative to animal proteins, but are they seriously a healthier choice? In a word...totally.

Nutrition table comparing meat proteins to 100g serving of cricket powder

The case for crickets

The Magic Ingredient

Cricket powder can be added to any food with ease, so it’s a great first step for the uninitiated.

If you’re new to the world of entomophagy, cricket powder (also called cricket flour) is a good way in. Cricket powder is a fine powder made from ground crickets. It has an oily, nutty flavour that's great for smoothies and baking. Cricket powder is high in calories, fat, and protein, meaning you don’t have to eat a lot to get a lot. Plus, it contains the entire cricket, so nothing goes to waste.

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Not into crickets?

You can also try mealworm, silkworm, and even earthworm powder for the same health benefits.

Still a little weary? Insect powders also come in capsules, just to get you over the hump.

But how does it taste?

OK, you get that it’s good for you and good for the planet, but will it actually make your taste buds sing? In a word, yes!

Remember, entomophagy isn't about giving up the foods you know and love; it’s about broadening our culinary horizons and realizing that maybe the answer to future food shortages has been at our feet the whole time — just waiting to be noticed and invited in for a meal.
When it comes to preparing amazing insect-inspired culinary creations, who best to ask than the experts?

Read More