Hacking Meat: Why Insects Are the Future of Food
By 2050, there will be 2 billion more people on the planet and food security experts say that at today's rate of production, there won't be enough protein for everyone. Innovators are racing to find solutions to the looming food crisis with everything from lab-grown meat and synthetic eggs to edible insects.
In May 2013, the U.N. released a 200-page report on the potential of insects to solve the global food crisis. The U.S. startup community is answering the call to action with exciting new businesses at the forefront of the food revolution.
In this session, you'll mingle with the founders of Bitty Foods, the cricket flour baked goods company, insect-farm automation experts at Tiny Farms, and exotic insect-food supplier World Ento. We'll discuss the environmental and health benefits of edible insects, provide delicious foods to sample and answer all your burning questions about insects and the future of protein.
Passionate about technology and food, Andrew is an extreme optimist about most situations, particularly the potential for technology and design to improve lives. With a degree in Cognitive Systems and Linguistics, and a professional tenure in enterprise tech solutions and web design and development, Andrew has fused his technical background with his love of food and his deep concern with the food production system. He sees a unique opportunity to apply both technologies and mindsets from the software industry to rapidly evolve radically new agricultural systems. In 2012, an investigation into sustainable food production opportunities shone a spotlight on the potential for utilizing edible insects and almost immediately Andrew, his wife Jena Brentano, and their close friend Daniel Imrie-Situnayake founded Tiny Farms with the goal to help develop a viable edible insect industry.
After lecturing in automatic identification and data capture technologies at England's Birmingham City University, Daniel moved to California to develop software for startups and big business. He became interested in entomophagy after researching agricultural automation. He is excited about fusing Open Source with the agricultural industry, and sees entomophagy as a route to international food security.
Harman Singh Johar
Known as the Bug Guy, Harman Singh Johar is an entrepreneur with a passion for exotic cuisine and travel. Heavily influenced by the food insecurities that he was exposed to while traveling through India, he had the importance of food ingrained in him at a young age.
Founding his first company, World Ento, at 19, Harman quickly fell in love with entrepreneurship and future foods. Edible insects in particular appeal to his adventurous and carnivorous side.
He now works to integrate more sustainable food options into the American diet, specializing in edible insects.
Megan is an avid foodie and fitness enthusiast who has been fascinated by bugs since the last 17-year cicada invasion during her childhood in Baltimore, Maryland. Her mentor and favorite professor at the University of Maryland was entomologist Dr. John Hellman, who introduced her to chocolate-covered ants. Before embarking on an entrepreneurial career path, Megan earned a masters in philosophy, worked in a fine-dining pastry kitchen and on an organic farm, and gained a decade of experience as a technology editor, digital strategist and R&D director for an international media company.