Why a TEDx event in Belgium served larvae at lunch

Snacking on insects at TEDxFlanders

Snacking on insects at TEDxFlanders

Would you eat bugs? Crickets? Worm larvae? TEDxFlanders bets you might.

Just a few months before their 2014 event, TEDxFlanders’s home country of Belgium became the first nation in the European Union to legalize the consumption of insects. To start a conversation on what this might mean for their community, the team invited insect breeder Peter De Batist, the first and only licensed edible insect distributor in the country, to speak at the event.

In his talk, De Batist explained how he became an enthusiastic entomophagist (one who studies the human consumption of insects) and gave a primer on the nutritional breakdown of some edible bugs. Like fellow TEDx bug expert Florence Dunkel (watch her TEDxBozeman talk on edible insects here), De Batist is enamored with the prospect of insects becoming a popular food source in the west, not only because they are high in protein, he says, but also because of their low ecological and economical footprint.

During breaks, the team at TEDxFlanders invited attendees to further explore the ideas in his talk by offering samples of the 10 insects newly-approved for consumption, including crickets and morioworm larvae. Daring attendees tried the offerings and the TEDxFlanders team even captured a tasting on tape. Interesting refreshments, indeed!

Eating insects at TEDxFlanders. Photo: Dimitri Belfiore

Eating insects at TEDxFlanders. Photo: Dimitri Belfiore

 

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