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Have you considered the Future of Food in a world of 9bn people in 2050? Are insects a real alternative? Help us inspire the debate!
Have you considered the Future of Food in a world of 9bn people in 2050? Are insects a real alternative? Help us inspire the debate!
27 backers pledged £2,000 to help bring this project to life.

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Participants showing off some insect-based creations at our workshop at Tandem festival
Participants showing off some insect-based creations at our workshop at Tandem festival

Help us run inspirational, interactive and educational events for anyone who wants to know more about eating bugs!

 We - six scientists and one chef - have an idea. 

Independently or in small teams, we have already run a few insect-eating events on a shoestring (such as this workshop at Tandem festival, Oxford, and this one in Japan), showcasing insects as an exciting new protein source, and asking questions about WHY we are so surprised at how much fun eating bugs can actually be.

Our events have been enormously successful. Adults and children alike love to find out more about insect foods, and to hear some of the stories behind them.

Getting up close and personal with a live wasps' nest at an event in Japan
Getting up close and personal with a live wasps' nest at an event in Japan

We create an open-minded, thought-provoking but playful atmosphere, in which people of all ages can find out more about eating bugs...

Annie introducing the fun of playing with insect foods to families at our Tandem event
Annie introducing the fun of playing with insect foods to families at our Tandem event

 For our next step, we'd like to collaborate as a larger team, and to scale up - with your help!

So why bugs?

Did you know that by 2050 there will be approximately 9 billion people on this planet? That's a lot more mouths to feed! 70% of our land is currently being used to produce livestock with a massive chunk of that land being used for growing animal feed. For every 10kg of feed you can produce 1kg of beef, 1kg of pork or 9kg of locust meat. Agriculture is also responsible for 70% of our global freshwater usage. For every 1kg of beef you need 22,000 litres of water. Mealworms, for example, obtain all the water they need from their food so they require no more water to produce the same amount of meat.

Also, bugs are really tasty..this photo shows three members of our team, Rebecca Roberts, Charlotte Payne and Annie Zimmerman. Photo by Oxford Mail.
Also, bugs are really tasty..this photo shows three members of our team, Rebecca Roberts, Charlotte Payne and Annie Zimmerman. Photo by Oxford Mail.

Okay, so you've heard the argument, but bugs are definitely not the most visually appealing of delicacies... look at their legs and beady eyes! It's all in our mindset, we're just not used to it. But it's high time we pulled ourselves together to embrace the future of food. Our planet will thank us for it!

Bug Banquet will create a platform to give people an opportunity to engage with the future of food.

We will launch Bug Banquet as an interactive picnic at Green Man Festival 2015 with our friends at Einstein's Garden, a popular section of the 20,000-capacity festival showcasing scientific and artistic innovation.

Green man festival, in the heart of the Brecon Beacons, where we will hold our first official Bug Banquet (photo from visitwales.com)
Green man festival, in the heart of the Brecon Beacons, where we will hold our first official Bug Banquet (photo from visitwales.com)

At our Bug Banquet picnic, 5,000 people will taste an insect-based treat for the first time and join us in a conversation about the future of food. We are raising funds to make sure we present a unique event that can engage as many people as possible on this important topic. Thanks to your pledges, we will develop our Bug Banquet games to keep our visitors engaged in insects as a source of food. We also hope that with enough support we can continue this event at science and food festivals around the UK. 

OUR GOALS

  • 5000 people taste an insect based treat at Einstein's Garden
  • 2,500 people play a bug-themed game, get up close and personal with some live bugs, and chat to our Bug Banquet experts at Einstein's Garden
  • Bug Banquet visits 3 more festivals between 2015 - 2016
  • After 12 months, produce a shareable infographic on the public's perception of an insect based diet.

How do we find out if we're changing peoples' perception of bugs?

To track our impact, we will measure and quantify the public's responsiveness to an insect based diet at our launch at Green Man Festival 2015 and compare it to the public at other science and food festivals around the UK. This will be done through mini surveys. And then...

This girl's perceptions of bugs went from 'yuck!' to 'yum!' at one of our events!
This girl's perceptions of bugs went from 'yuck!' to 'yum!' at one of our events!

At 6 months post-launch: we will engage with our participants who signed up at Green Man Festival 2015 to see if they tried an insect based dish again 

At 12 months post-launch: we will produce a shareable infographic which includes a spectrum of the public's attitude to eating bugs. This will help us represent the changing attitudes over time. 

By the end of the project, we hope that more people will be finding a fly in their soup on purpose.

Our insects

We will be offering tasty snacks made with traditionally prepared and sustainably harvested grasshoppers from Japan. 

Delicious Japanese grasshoppers with soy, which we'll be serving at our events
Delicious Japanese grasshoppers with soy, which we'll be serving at our events

Our edible insects are all provided by our primary sponsor Tsukahara, who specialises in wild, sustainable, traditional foods in central rural Japan. 

Charlotte and Becca with Mr Tsukahara
Charlotte and Becca with Mr Tsukahara

Risks and challenges

We are a team of 7 people with the task of engaging at least 5,000 festival visitors on the topic of entomophagy. Our biggest challenges are making sure that the food is prepared on time, our games are fun and well coordinated and that we have a very warm and inviting banquet at Green Man Festival 2015.

To overcome these challenges, we've developed a project plan to make sure that we have everything we need to reach our goal. Our team consists of two science communicators who are experienced in running events that engage the public on various topics of science. There is one professional chef who will be preparing the insect-based treats in a registered kitchen and four experts in nutrition, entomophagy, political ecology and psychology. As a team, we are highly qualified to deliver a very enjoyable experience at Bug Banquet.

After the project has been funded, our main challenges are to thank our pledgers by the end of September 2015 and to reach out to science festivals around the country to deliver this event again. We hope that being well organised in the beginning and by following the project timeline we won't run into any issues.

With a dedicated team, this project is low risk. One possible risk is that we don't get invited to other festivals in the UK. We will overcome this issue by running smaller events with local partners based in Oxford while continuing to build our profile online through blogs and social media.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £2 or more About $2.55

    A big warm thank you from the bottom of our antenna.

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    Pledge £5 or more About $6

    A Bug Banquet Badge and a personal thank you from the Bug Banquet team.

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    Pledge £25 or more About $32

    A Bug Banquet t-shirt, badge and a personal thank you from the Bug Banquet team.

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    Pledge £100 or more About $127

    A Bug Banquet t-shirt and a selection of our favourite gourmet edible bug delights.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £500 or more About $637

    Bug Banquet's chef and the culinary team will host a Bug Banquet in your home for you and 3 other guests. Sit down to a 3-course aesthetic exploration of entomophagy.

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Funding period

- (51 days)