Insects have the nutritional benefits of meat and a climate-impact similar to plants.
Our mission is to integrate insects since they are nutritious, tasty and sustainable to produce.
Insects are very efficient at converting input (feed and water) into protein that we can eat. Since they are cold-blooded and reproduce quickly, their so-called feed-conversion ratio is much lower than other animal protein sources.
Even when comparing to some plant protein sources insects can be argued to be more sustainable. Soy beans for instance take up a lot of land and require large amounts of water, whereas insects can be farmed vertically.
Protein is a vital nutrient required for building, maintaining and repairing cells in your body. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. There are 20 amino acids and 9 of them are defined as the essential amino acids. The essential amino acids are acids that your body cannot create by itself, but which we must obtain by eating food. So, when eating your daily protein, you should always consider 3 factors: quality, digestibility and quantity. The best kind of protein source contains all 9 essential amino acids (high quality), a lot of protein (quantity) and is easily digested and absorbed by our body (digestibility). Insect protein is one of the best protein sources, as they contain all 9 essential amino acids, provide us with 60-75% protein and has a digestibility up to 98%. By eating insect powder you will get the best protein in a sustainable manner.
Fibre is the indigestible parts of plant foods, such as vegetables, fruits, grains and legumes. It is a type of carbohydrate that helps keep our digestive systems healthy and clean. It passes through our body undigested easing bowel movements and flushing harmful substances out of our body. However, besides from plant food, insects contain a significant amount of fiber. The most common form of fibre in insects is chitin, an insoluble fibre derived from the exoskeleton. Chitin is very good for us, as it is known to have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties giving many potential health benefits.
Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid. That means, fats that are vital for our body to function and develop. It is good for our brain, eyes and heart. The word essential tells us that the nutrient cannot be made in own body, but that we need to get it through our diet. The most common essential fatty acids are Omega-3 and Omega-6. Omega-3 we get from seafood or flaxseed, and omega-6 we can get from most vegetable oils. As insects are related to the seafood world, we get a good amount of healthy fats and omega-3 from insects.
Iron is an essential mineral that is a vital component of haemoglobin. Haemoglobin represents about two-thirds of the body's iron. If you don’t consume enough iron, your body can't make enough healthy oxygen-carrying red blood cells. There are two types of iron: heme iron and non-heme iron. Heme iron is found in animal based foods, such as meat, poultry and seafood. Non-heme iron, by contrast, is found in plant-based foods like grains, beans and vegetables. Our bodies absorb the iron from animal-based protein (heme iron) better than the iron from plant-based protein (non-heme). This is one reason why a vegetarian is more at risk to develop iron-deficiency anaemia than people who eat meat. Edible insect are full of heme-iron, so they can be a good source in your diet, to make sure you get your daily iron and avoid anaemia.
Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that helps keep the neve and blood cells healthy. It also prevents a type of anaemia that can make people tired and weak. You can only find vitamin B12 in animal products such as meat, fish, eggs and milk products. Vitamin B12 is generally not present in plant foods, but fortified vegan foods can be found on the market. If you want to make sure to get your daily B12 vitamin, edible insect is a strong source. You can find more B12 vitamin in insects than in other animal based products.
Edible insects are very high in protein, fiber, omega-3, iron and vitamin B12. However, the insect powder also contains a lot of other essential vitamins and minerals. This include vitamin A, D and E and minerals such as calcium, magnesium and zinc. The nutritional profile of insects is too good to be true and can provide you with a lot of nutrition in the best quality and quantity.
COPENHAGEN, OCTOBER 2016
An insect researcher and a social entrepreneur meet in Copenhagen and they start to talk. About global problems; malnutrition, food security, gender inequality and insects. Insects, argues Malena, are the single most nutritious resource with a very small climate footprint, relatively easy to produce, free from pesticides and antibiotics, and take up a small amount of land – they can even grow vertically in cities.
5 YEARS AGO IN TANZANIA
She knows all this, because she has experienced it herself and studied the topic for 5 years. Being a vegetarian she wasn’t so sure about eating the grasshoppers that she was served by her host family in Tanzania. But best to adopt to the local culture, she thought. One year later and she was feeling less tired and was less anemic, having consumed more protein, iron and vitamin B12 from the grasshoppers.
Back in Copenhagen. A dinner of larvae risotto and a few glasses of wine and sparks start to fly. Jessica, who has a background in business and experience with making a social cause into a high-end fashion company, thought the risotto was pretty tasty. And if it was tasty, nutritious and sustainable, why on Earth weren't we eating more of these? The answer of course was fairly simple - because most people find it gross! So we started making the bugs into powder and integrating them into foods that we already knew such as snacks, burger patties and smoothies. And our friends really liked it!
THE TASTE OF A REVOLUTION!
Together we have gone on a quest to save the planet, by creating a whole new market for insect-based foods. The goal is to lower our CO2-footprint, while also building a company that is economically sustainable. We will also work directly in developing countries, where we can support women farmers to increase their output, in order to support themselves financially while fighting nutrition deficiency.