Auburn student, Cam Brantley-Rios, has challenged himself to incorporate bugs into his diet for 30 days. Why would he do this? How does this relate to living sustainably? We interviewed Cam to see what he has to say about his 30 Days of Bugs project.
Q: What was your original motivation for creating your 30 Days of Bugs challenge?
A: It was very last minute; there was not one moment where I decided to do this challenge. I originally wanted to make a website, but then I thought, “No one will read a website where I’m talking about eating bugs.” I needed to get people’s attention and lead by example. So I tweeted and posted on Facebook “I’m going to be eating bugs for 30 days. I’ll explain later. Follow this twitter account.”
Q: Could you explain how eating bugs relates to sustainability?
A: Simply put, bugs don’t require many resources. The great thing about bugs in particular is that they can be farmed anywhere unlike other proteins. Farming insects conserves land and you don’t lose out on any protein per gram. They use 1000x less water. You can give cows 10 pounds of feed and only get 1 pound of meat, where with bugs you can get 9 pounds of bugs for 10 pounds of feed.
Q: What is your favorite meal that you have prepared so far?
A: It’s too soon to say. I can tell you my least favorite. The other day, me and my friend Sam got some silkworm pupae that smelled like sewage. We got it from an Asian market in Auburn. It definitely wasn’t fresh.
Q: What is the most valuable thing you have learned so far from this challenge?
A: The biggest thing is it’s so easy. I thought it was going to be a long month, but halfway through its gone by pretty fast. Eating bugs isn’t hard. They taste good and cooking them only takes a few minutes.
Q: How do people normally react when they see you eating bugs?
A: Usually, not that weird. I don’t think I have surprised many of my friends. I get a little bit more of a reaction from strangers. I think since I have been talking about it for months, my friends are used to the idea.
Q: Are you going to continue to eat bugs after the 30 days are over?
A: For life. And I feel like as time goes on more people will start to eat bugs. I think it will snowball from here and more companies will tap into this and it won’t lose popularity. I think it will be easier to do in the future. I’m not going to stop with the 30 days. I am very health conscious and this is a healthy way to get protein without the cholesterol and fat. I may not be eating bugs as much as I am right now, but this is a life choice.
You can read even more about Cam’s journey and the benefits of eating bugs at http://30daysofbugs.com/.
Post contributed by Hallie Nelson, Office of Sustainability Intern