Are bugs the new trendy food?
WOULD you ever try cricket flour? How about mealworm snacks? As unappealing as these may sound, insects are lean, green, protein machines – and soon you will be able to buy locally produced bugs to eat.
Grubs Up, a start-up just south of Pinjarra, is the first human-certified insect farm in WA.
Founder Paula Pownall, a local with a degree in agribusiness, said she realised a change in the way Australians ate was on the horizon.
Globally, about two billion people eat insects on a regular basis – but the source of protein has yet to catch on in the western world.
Although it’s a very new industry in Australia, raising insects as a food source is celebrated as an eco-friendly alternative to traditional meat sources, which use far more water and create much more greenhouse gas.
Grubs Up is still in its beginning stages, but shareholder Amanda Abou Rjeily says they are hoping for rapid expansion.
“We still have to iron out some of the production kinks,” Amanda said.
“But we’ve been speaking to restaurants and stores in Perth.”
Amanda and Paula attended university together, where their mutual love for sustainable agriculture started a life-long friendship.
In August, they joined forces to take Grubs Up to the next level.
As of yet, Grubs Up products are not available for purchase in stores and talks with local venues are in their preliminary stages.
There is one cafe in Pinjarra, Raw Creations, where you can sample their products: a cricket flour and cricket hazelnut dukkha.
In the future, expect to see these products branching out to a wider range of stockists and hopefully a few restaurants.
New products may include roasted mealworms and a cricket and nut trail mix.
In the meantime, Grubs Up chef Rohan Pownall is working on recipes for cricket smoothies, pancakes, and much more.