Are bugs the new trendy food?

Cockburn Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Emily Boney

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.

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