Entomologist and food scientist Skye Blackburn launched her own startup to get bugs on our plates.
“I tried crickets, grasshoppers and bamboo worms in Thailand. They were tasty, although the worms were oily and a bit too spicy for me!” recalls Skye Blackburn of her first taste of bugs.
When she got back from her holiday, Skye, who was already working as a food scientist (and had her own bug-based education business), made 1000 lollipops with insects like mealworms and scorpions inside them, and set up a stand at a pet expo. They sold out in an hour.
“I decided to send some crickets and mealworms for nutritional testing. When I got the results, I was shocked that no-one was eating them as a source of food. They had a complete amino acid profile; they were like a superfood! I thought, you know what? If anyone can convince people that eating insects is a good idea, it’s me. As an entomologist and food scientist I had the perfect combination of skills.”
Skye set up her own insect-breeding facility and processing plant and hasn’t looked back. Her edible-bug products have evolved to meet changing tastes and the novelty lollipops have made way for foods like high-protein cricket pasta.
“Even though I didn’t set out to teach people about edible insects, I’ve taken my skills and made it into something really awesome.”
Don’t try this at home!
Only sample edible bugs that have been farmed and prepared for that purpose. If you are allergic to seafood, avoid eating bugs as they can cause a similar reaction.
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Skye’s study and career pathway to becoming an entomologist and food scientist
- Bachelor of Science (Biological and Chemical Technology) (Invertebrate Biology), Western Sydney University
- Group Technical Manager, The Sydney Bakery Company
- Butterfly Skye’s, Butterfly Release and Insect Education Business
- Founder, Circle Harvest (formerly The Edible Bug Shop)
Author: STEM Contributor
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