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People are wasting: fruits, vegetables, and bugs?

Changing the public's perception through a high-end restaurant with a twist.

Photo of Donji YD
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Steve Jobs once said that if you want to change the world, you have to spend your life collecting different experiences. It's the people who think different that actually create change in this world.

Perhaps the problem is not that we are wasting fruits and vegetables, but that we are wasting something that we have never seriously considered eating. Why are we wasting a resource that is more sustainable than meat, and much cheaper to produce, all because we think it's gross? Just like a 5 year old thinking vegetables are gross, it's irrational to dismiss bugs as a food type. 


OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH FOOD

But everyone must be thinking, something that gross will never be accepted by Americans, but the same was said about eating raw fish; yet, now it's weird when people don't like sushi. From this we learn that it's the packaging and marketing that can change a person's perception. 

Our relationship with food is such that we are trained to only like the foods we were taught to eat by our parents. Anthropologically, this behavior stems back to the times when we were hunters and gatherers, when eating the wrong thing could mean death. Parents taught their children what not to eat, and children who learned to try foods their parents told them not to died off, leaving only the kids who learned to avoid the foods that their parents never told them about. In today's age, many of our parents never taught us to eat bugs. 

But just because we weren't taught to eat something, does that mean we should continue to have a limited relationship with food?


SAFETY

Bugs are not safe to eat...right? And the average American will never be okay with eating bugs...right? It turns out that everyone in America eats tons of bugs without knowing. This website goes over the FDA's number of bug particles allowed in our food: http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/SanitationTransportation/ucm056174.htm

Bugs are safe to eat, and we eat them all the time.


CHANGING PEOPLES PERCEPTION

In Tesla's infancy, Elon Musk was tasked with the goliath hurdle of trying to change the public's perception of the electric car. At the time, electric cars were perceive as wimpy and lame, and definitely not the future of the car industry. Elon knew that the idea of the electric car would never take off if he didn't sell it in a way that would change people's perception of what an electric car could be. He decided to market his cars as super fast, super sexy, and really expensive. Ever since Tesla has taken off, it's now a no-brainier that electric cars are the future.

Bugs need to be rebranded in order to take off and be publicly accepted, and for this to happen, they need to perceived as cool and trendy.


THE IDEA

Bugs need to be perceived as cool and trendy, and the only way for that to happen is to create the hottest restaurant around that incorporates bugs into all the dishes as an ingredient. Just like how high-end sushi restaurants changed people's perception of what raw fish could be, this restaurant will change people's perception of what bugs could be. Once this happens, bugs will be able to become a mainstream food, saving millions of people around the world from going to sleep hungry. 

This restaurant will be located in San Francisco and Los Angeles and will have the world's best chefs figuring out ways to serve bugs in ways that are appetizing to the general public. Celebrities will have paparazzi chasing them down at this restaurant because let's be honest, a celebrity eating bugs...how could the media not eat that up?

Once this restaurant creates a surge of positive publicity, new avenues will open for snacks and home recipes that include bugs as an ingredient. And who knows what the future will hold after this idea takes off. Maybe the FDA will decide to increase the levels of allowed bug particles in our foods saving millions of pounds of food waste per year. 


For more information on eating bugs: http://www.fao.org/docrep/018/i3253e/i3253e.pdf



What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

I will cook bugs and get people to try it. I'm not the greatest cook, so I'll probably end up asking one of my friends who is a chef for help.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

People to try eating the bugs I cook.

Tell us about your work experience:

I am a previous winner of an Open IDEO challenge. I work as a UX designer and co-founder of KromaKicks. Instagram.com/kromakicks

This idea emerged from

  • An Individual

How far along is your idea?

  • It’s just been created! It’s existed for 1 day - 1 month

1 comment

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Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Donji! Thank you for sharing your idea. The use of insects as a food source is certainly on the rise. There is a restaurant in the UK that serves dishes derived from insects, but it is more mid-range than high-end. However, it may give you a few ideas - http://www.grubkitchen.co.uk/

What sort of help doing you need from the OpenIdeo community to take your idea to the next stage? (Sadly, I am too far away to eat the bugs).

Congratulations on your previous challenge win!