Providing a sustainable income and protein source
Our Insect Kitchen
Entomophagy, is the consumption of insects for food. There are many debates about whether we should eat meat, whether is it bad for our health and the environment. The question isn’t about whether we SHOULD eat meat, it’s about HOW we should eat meat. Eating meat is healthy and does not present a problem for the environment if it is sustainable. If you want to keep chickens in your garden for your own consumption or go fishing and eat your own catch, then this is sustainable. What is bad for our heath and the environment is mass factory farming, cattle grazing replacing forests and the poisoning of our bodies through chemicals fed to livestock. There are many ways to eat meat sustainably, such as farming your own meat, catching a fish with a line and pole or buying from sustainable sources.
What we would like to introduce you to is an alternative method that many countries have been doing for centuries, but has not yet made it to our dinner plates: eating insects!
We live on the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. Costa Rica is one of the the most biodiverse countries in the world, holding more than 5% of the worlds biodiversity in just 0.03% of its landmass. The Osa Peninsula is responsible for more than 2.5% of this biodiversity, yet is covers only 5% of Costa Rica’s landmass, which makes the Osa Peninsula the most biodiverse place on earth. What species make up most of the biodiversity here? The answer is insects! The Osa Peninsula holds a staggering 6000 species of insect, so what better place is there to open an insect kitchen.
This project aims to open an insect kitchen on the Osa Peninsula using species native to the area. The species will be bred, fed, and processed right here on the Osa. The kitchen will be open to everyone, from local people to tourists. Visitors to the kitchen will be provided with an educational experience about the sustainability of eating insects and will be invited to try one of several dishes using insects as the source of protein. In the long-term we also hope to be able to support local people to set up their own insect farms.
To educate people about the benefits of eating insects.
To break down the barriers to eating this food through allowing people to try a specially prepared dish.
To increase the sustainability of food production on the Osa Peninsula and internationally.
To provide families with a sustainable source of protein through supporting them in setting up their own farms.
Here are with a few facts that show why eating insects is a healthy and sustainable alternative
Meat production is damaging to the environment due to the amount of land and water it requires and the emissions it produces. Take a look at some of the facts below to see the comparisons with consuming insects.
Meat- 200 square meters of land are required to grow 450 grams of beef. Insects-15 square meters of land are required for 450 grams of crickets
Meat- It takes 10 kilos of feed to produce 1 kilo of meat, half of that is not even eaten. Insects- 10 kilos of feed will produce 9 kilos of insect, all of which can be eaten. Many insects can also be fed on our waste requiring no feed.
Meat- 1 kilo of beef requires up to 22,000 litres of water. Insects- 1 kilo of crickets requires just 1 litre of water.
Meat- 1kg of beef provides 320g of protein. Insects- 1kg of termites provide 350grams of protein
Meat- Per kilo cattle produce almost 3000g of CO2. Insects- Per kilo crickets produce 2g of CO2 and emit 60% less methane.
In addition, eating insects are better for our health, don’t contain dangerous hormones and antibiotics and are easy and cheap to produce, opening the market for production for even the poorest in our communities.