Awesome Denmark. First country to make a movie about edible insects (Bugs by Andreas Johnsen). First country to have a team of experienced chefs developing recipes with critters (the well known Nordic Food Lab). First country to have a government financing bugs as food and feed. Despite being so small (population is 6 million), Denmark hosts a number of edible insect start-ups and a vibrant bug scene.
I visited Denmark at the beginning of September, to attend the Innovate Food International event and speak at the session dedicated to bugs, together with a representative of the Danish Food agency and Andreas Lieberoth, a psychologist from the Aarhus University who worked on understanding the yuck factor – the western preconception on eating small crawlers.
But there were even more events featuring edible insects. A few days before, Copenhagen hosted the Bug Fest:
and the Copenhagen Geological Museum displays closeup photos of… microsculpture.
Bug food was also showcased at the Aarhus food festival, where Crickster allowed people to taste yummy whole bugs and powders.
Enorm was there, too.
Time to go back to Copenhagen, where edible insects were the protagonist at the Future of Food event….
…and at the TechBBQ startup venue. Usually TechBBQ is all about digital, but this year food tech has been added, and insects got most of the space. In the photo, Nina – check out her blog The Bug Lady – who kindly helped Bugsolutely for the entire day. Nina also organizes bug cooking classes and promotes edible insects with passion and knowledge.
Passion is clearly empowering other danish people: Malena, Jessica and Maria produce delicious treats like the snacks with chili, chocolate and cricket flour undertake brand Dare to Eat.
All of the above took place in Denmark within less than a month. Is it enough to establish the Danish as the European leaders in edible insects?
University of Copenhagen started working on bugs as food in 2014, and recently one of its professors released the most extensive paper on cricket sustainability (Afton Halloran, 2017).