4 Reasons Why Edible Insects Should Be A Dietary Staple For People Around The World

A believer in the potential of insects shares his thoughts on why we should be consuming them.

We recently talked to Adam Dostál, CEO of Grig. Hailing from the Czech Republic, this sustainability-driven company began in 2017 with the aim of seeing whether insects could be made into food and eaten around the world. Since then, Grig has become one of the fastest-growing startups in the European Union and shows little sign of slowing down. In the following conversation with Dostál, we learn a little more about how he got started in the edible insects sector in the first place, before providing a few reasons as to how the eating of insects can change the world. 

When most people think of eating insects, their immediate reaction tends to be one of reluctance. It’s not hard to imagine why. Most people have a natural aversion to insects, and consider them as more creepy-crawlies than anything with the slightest chance of being enjoyed as food. There are, however, a growing number of people who believe in a future where edible insects are consumed and enjoyed on a daily basis. Dostál and the team at Grig fit into that group, but where’d this belief come from in the first place?

Dostál’s journey started when he was 12 years old. With an entrepreneurial mindset surprising for his age, he felt a natural pull towards the business side of the world, leading him to learn how to trade stocks and cryptocurrency. While his passion for business flourished, he still missed a way to satisfy his equal love for sustainability practices. That was until 2017, when an experience eating insects served as the catalyst for Grig’s start. 

The decision to begin an edible insects company could not have come in a more timely manner. In 2021, the estimated market value of edible insects amounted to $3.2 million. This is forecast to increase to about $17.6 billion by 2032. Riding on the perfect wave of growth and interest around the world, Grig is set to take the edible insects sector by storm. To illustrate this, in the following section, we’ll take a look at how they’ve fared so far. Afterward, we’ll provide a few reasons as to why Dostál believes the wave of edible insects will only grow into the future. 

Some Stats About Grig So Far

  • 2nd largest startup in the Europe Union with a turnover of 700,000 euros last year. Projected turnover this year is 2 million, with 7 million euros targeted in three years time.

  • Startup of 25 people.

  • Large range of products on the market. 15 products, each with two – three available flavoring options.

  • Cheapest edible insect product in the EU. Cricket Triangles made from chickpea flour and cricket powder sell for 4 euros per 100 grams!

1. How Climate Change Affects The Way We Eat

While the idea of sustainable food has always been something that interested Dostál, nowadays he’s more aware of the essential importance driving the sector. With climate change continuing to threaten all aspects of global stability and ruin any chance at prosperity, there’s a pressing need to make significant changes in areas like our diet in order to ensure the world remains habitable for generations to come. For example, as of 202180% of agriculture worldwide and 95% in Africa is rain-fed, which puts it at the mercy of changing rain patterns and intensity. While we rely so heavily on nature to work in our favor, the reality is not as forgiving. 

This is precisely why Dostál wants to breed insects that aren’t only healthy and delicious, but good for the well-being of our planet. In the Czech Republic where Grig is based, progress so far has provided ample reason to believe in the potential of edible insects. When they received their first investor in 2020, only about 5% of the Czech people were open to eating insects. Three years later, the number has grown to 25%

2. What Are The Benefits of Eating Edible Insects?

Aside from the positive impact eating of insects will have on the environment, the list of benefits do not end there. Instead of focusing then on how great something like cricket protein can be for the world, what happens when you narrow the scope down to a single human? Edible insects are great for a person’s diet because of how rich in vitamin B2, B12, iron, calcium, zinc, fiber, essential amino acids, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and antioxidants they are. Take something like Grig’s Cricket Chips, the perfect sustainable snack that is packed full of flavor and cricket protein. Coming in four different flavors (natural, chili, garlic, and wasabi), a packet of this healthy protein-packed snack costs 2.88 euros. For those still in doubt about the health benefits of edible insects, studies have shown that crickets have a higher protein count than more common animal protein sources like chicken, pork, and goat.

3. What Makes Edible Insects So Ecological? 

While numerous studies have evidenced the real-time benefits of eating edible insects, the positive impact of investing in the sector can be felt even before people take their first bite.

The fact is, continuing to consume animal protein like cows, chickens, and pigs have detrimental effects on the environment even before the animals are slaughtered. Most are well aware of how much methane cattle produce, with roughly 14% of human-induced climate emissions coming from these animals. Compared to such numbers, breeding edible insects has a far smaller environmental impact, with only a need for 1300 grams of feed to produce one kilogram of any given raw insect. That’s 50x less than what it takes with cows

RELATED READING: 5 Reasons Why Insect Protein Is A Poster Child of Sustainable Investing

If that wasn’t good enough news, the feed conversion ratio (FCR) of insects is another way in which it helps ecologically. Essentially, FCR’s refer to how much kilogram of feed is required in relation to kilogram of live weight of an animal. Crickets are twice as efficient as chickens, 4 times more efficient than pigs and 12 times more than cattle

4. A Future With Edible Insects

Though there’s still much more work to be done before edible insects are consumed world-wide, Dostál is confident that one day it will be so. In an effort to continue pushing the envelope and heralding a future with edible insects, the team at Grig does what they can to stay at the forefront of innovation. This has been demonstrated by the fact that despite only being a startup, they already have retail stores that operate under a self-buy philosophy, meaning they’re completely unmanned. By only utilizing AI and cameras in these stores, Grig has made it possible for customers to purchase their product without having to interact with anyone else, offering a retail experience like no other. 

It’s in these ways that Grig is fighting for edible insects. Not only will their consumption benefit our health, it will also benefit the health of this planet we call home.

Subscribe to the Voice of Sustainability

Get monthly newsletter with impact stories from around the World and news from SUSTAINOVA.

Subscribe to the Voice of Sustainability

Get monthly newsletter with impact stories from around the World and news from SUSTAINOVA.

4 Reasons Why Edible Insects Should Be A Dietary Staple For People Around The World

A believer in the potential of insects shares his thoughts on why we should be consuming them.

We recently talked to Adam Dostál, CEO of Grig. Hailing from the Czech Republic, this sustainability-driven company began in 2017 with the aim of seeing whether insects could be made into food and eaten around the world. Since then, Grig has become one of the fastest-growing startups in the European Union and shows little sign of slowing down. In the following conversation with Dostál, we learn a little more about how he got started in the edible insects sector in the first place, before providing a few reasons as to how the eating of insects can change the world. 

When most people think of eating insects, their immediate reaction tends to be one of reluctance. It’s not hard to imagine why. Most people have a natural aversion to insects, and consider them as more creepy-crawlies than anything with the slightest chance of being enjoyed as food. There are, however, a growing number of people who believe in a future where edible insects are consumed and enjoyed on a daily basis. Dostál and the team at Grig fit into that group, but where’d this belief come from in the first place?

Dostál’s journey started when he was 12 years old. With an entrepreneurial mindset surprising for his age, he felt a natural pull towards the business side of the world, leading him to learn how to trade stocks and cryptocurrency. While his passion for business flourished, he still missed a way to satisfy his equal love for sustainability practices. That was until 2017, when an experience eating insects served as the catalyst for Grig’s start. 

The decision to begin an edible insects company could not have come in a more timely manner. In 2021, the estimated market value of edible insects amounted to $3.2 million. This is forecast to increase to about $17.6 billion by 2032. Riding on the perfect wave of growth and interest around the world, Grig is set to take the edible insects sector by storm. To illustrate this, in the following section, we’ll take a look at how they’ve fared so far. Afterward, we’ll provide a few reasons as to why Dostál believes the wave of edible insects will only grow into the future. 

Some Stats About Grig So Far

  • 2nd largest startup in the Europe Union with a turnover of 700,000 euros last year. Projected turnover this year is 2 million, with 7 million euros targeted in three years time.

  • Startup of 25 people.

  • Large range of products on the market. 15 products, each with two – three available flavoring options.

  • Cheapest edible insect product in the EU. Cricket Triangles made from chickpea flour and cricket powder sell for 4 euros per 100 grams!

1. How Climate Change Affects The Way We Eat

While the idea of sustainable food has always been something that interested Dostál, nowadays he’s more aware of the essential importance driving the sector. With climate change continuing to threaten all aspects of global stability and ruin any chance at prosperity, there’s a pressing need to make significant changes in areas like our diet in order to ensure the world remains habitable for generations to come. For example, as of 202180% of agriculture worldwide and 95% in Africa is rain-fed, which puts it at the mercy of changing rain patterns and intensity. While we rely so heavily on nature to work in our favor, the reality is not as forgiving. 

This is precisely why Dostál wants to breed insects that aren’t only healthy and delicious, but good for the well-being of our planet. In the Czech Republic where Grig is based, progress so far has provided ample reason to believe in the potential of edible insects. When they received their first investor in 2020, only about 5% of the Czech people were open to eating insects. Three years later, the number has grown to 25%

2. What Are The Benefits of Eating Edible Insects?

Aside from the positive impact eating of insects will have on the environment, the list of benefits do not end there. Instead of focusing then on how great something like cricket protein can be for the world, what happens when you narrow the scope down to a single human? Edible insects are great for a person’s diet because of how rich in vitamin B2, B12, iron, calcium, zinc, fiber, essential amino acids, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and antioxidants they are. Take something like Grig’s Cricket Chips, the perfect sustainable snack that is packed full of flavor and cricket protein. Coming in four different flavors (natural, chili, garlic, and wasabi), a packet of this healthy protein-packed snack costs 2.88 euros. For those still in doubt about the health benefits of edible insects, studies have shown that crickets have a higher protein count than more common animal protein sources like chicken, pork, and goat.

3. What Makes Edible Insects So Ecological? 

While numerous studies have evidenced the real-time benefits of eating edible insects, the positive impact of investing in the sector can be felt even before people take their first bite.

The fact is, continuing to consume animal protein like cows, chickens, and pigs have detrimental effects on the environment even before the animals are slaughtered. Most are well aware of how much methane cattle produce, with roughly 14% of human-induced climate emissions coming from these animals. Compared to such numbers, breeding edible insects has a far smaller environmental impact, with only a need for 1300 grams of feed to produce one kilogram of any given raw insect. That’s 50x less than what it takes with cows

RELATED READING: 5 Reasons Why Insect Protein Is A Poster Child of Sustainable Investing

If that wasn’t good enough news, the feed conversion ratio (FCR) of insects is another way in which it helps ecologically. Essentially, FCR’s refer to how much kilogram of feed is required in relation to kilogram of live weight of an animal. Crickets are twice as efficient as chickens, 4 times more efficient than pigs and 12 times more than cattle

4. A Future With Edible Insects

Though there’s still much more work to be done before edible insects are consumed world-wide, Dostál is confident that one day it will be so. In an effort to continue pushing the envelope and heralding a future with edible insects, the team at Grig does what they can to stay at the forefront of innovation. This has been demonstrated by the fact that despite only being a startup, they already have retail stores that operate under a self-buy philosophy, meaning they’re completely unmanned. By only utilizing AI and cameras in these stores, Grig has made it possible for customers to purchase their product without having to interact with anyone else, offering a retail experience like no other. 

It’s in these ways that Grig is fighting for edible insects. Not only will their consumption benefit our health, it will also benefit the health of this planet we call home.

Subscribe to the Voice of Sustainability

Get monthly newsletter with impact stories from around the World and news from SUSTAINOVA.