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Edible Insects

Matt and Todd Selak (2010 and 2013).

Insects on the menu may not be the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of your weekly shop, but brothers Matt and Todd Selak (2010 and 2013) have been working hard to redefine the way people think about food.

Early last year, Matt and Todd established their own company, Primal Future, with the intention of leading change in New Zealand by providing healthy and edible insect foods for a sustainable future. Primal Future specialises in healthy food products made with edible insects.

With the world rapidly heading towards a population of 9 billion people and meat continuing to be the main source of protein for much of the Western world, the brothers say new ways of thinking about food are desperately required. “Insects can host more than double the protein content in dry weight than traditional sources of meat, which is why they are increasingly seen as a candidate for the protein of the future,” says Matt.

According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), insects form part of the traditional diets of at least 2 billion people worldwide. Matt and Todd are trying to normalise the act of eating insects in New Zealand by introducing them into food products people are already familiar with.

The pair successfully ran a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter in February this year in which they raised $2500 to launch their healthy corn chips and bliss balls, made with cricket powder. This cricket powder is made from organic crickets that are farmed specifically for human consumption. They are dried and milled into a fine powder that can be added to smoothies, baking or any recipe choice to increase the protein and nutritional content.

Both brothers propose that sustainable foods are the future of eating and believe farmed insects will become popular for the smaller amount of land, food and water they require as well as the significantly smaller amount of greenhouse gases that they produce in comparison to traditional sources of protein such as beef, pork, chicken and fish.

“People in Western cultures are becoming more open-minded about non-conventional food sources as we are all becoming increasingly aware about the sustainability of the foods we eat,” says Todd. “They also taste great and can offer a unique component to typical foods.”

To find out more about Matt and Todd’s work with edible insects, visit www.primalfuture.co.nz.

Matt graduated from the University of Otago in 2014 majoring in Marketing, with a minor in Psychology. Todd is currently in his last year of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Canterbury.