Interview with Patrick, founder at Bugzz
What convinced you that edible insects could be something in relation with a “normal job”?
Well, we just started and found that was pretty awesome to cook with insects. A really nice product with a fantastic taste that to be produced also takes less resources from the environment (less ground/water/feed) than meat. And besides it is really healthy to eat.
So actually why not? There are so many good reasons to do so, that we had to inform other people about this and introduce them to the world of eating insects.
You take part to street-food festivals, what’s the usual reaction when someone eats an insect (or an insect-based product) for the first time?
When they see the insects, they say: IEUWW insects. WOW insects.
But after they tried them they all say: pretty good ! ”It is all in the head” is what we say.
Do you think curiosity is the strongest reason for people to try edible insects or is there something more/different?
Curiosity is one thing, but we believe that the strongest reason is the enviroment. We cannot go on much longer like this (with meat industry), so we need to force ourselves to look at alternatives.
Insects is one of them. Second reason is health. Insects are full of protien (complete), iron, calcium, and vitamin B12.
Do you need any special license to sell edible insects products?
No. You do not need anything in particular. Sure, you do need to work accordino to the HACCP procedures, but all horeca/restaurants/bars/foodtrucks need to do that.
You only need to be able to show where you got your insects from.
What’s your best-seller product?
At the moment our ‘Bitter Balzz’ are a hot item. A real traditional Dutch treat with insectmeat (buffalo worms) instead of beefmeat. We launched a succesfull crowdfunding campaign last fall, to bring them into professional production. It was really funny, got us in the media, and made it possible for us now to be working with a great production house.
Where do you buy your insects?
We have several insectfarms in the Netherlands, they grow everything we need. And sometimes we get our grashoppers from our neighbours in Belgium: they have fresh frozen insects as opposed to freeze-dried in Holland.
Will entomophagy be normally practiced in Europe in ten years?
We definitely hope so! It might be a bit too soon, but at least a lot more normal than now. We can already see a big difference in the past year (insect products at festivals, in the media, in supermarkets, in wholesalers)…so imagine what can happen in 10!
What are your projects for the future?
For now our plan is to produce our Biter Balzz and sell them in supermarkets, bars, and restaurants. We’re planning to take part to some big music festivals in Holland or even abroad. That would be awsome to succeed in 2016. After that maybe we’ll also produce burgers and protein bars.
More lectures to inform people about eating insects and also workshops should help people start cooking with insects. There is enough to dream about.