Bugs on the Menu (2016)

(Feature Documentary, 90/60 minutes)

Bugs on the Menu follows restaurateurs, cricket farmers, scholars, and scientists, who are part of a movement to normalize insect eating in the west, as an alternative to accepted, but resource intensive proteins like chicken, pork, and beef.

“Four Stars” - Retired Globe and Mail TV Critic James Bawden

Canadian Screen Award Nominee
(Best Cross-Platform Project - Non-Fiction)

Official Website: www.bugsonthemenu.com

The answer to feeding the world’s expanding population may be smaller than you think.

The sound of crickets isn’t always a good thing, but to the entrepreneurs of Entomo Farms, it’s the sound of their rapidly growing business. The Goldin brothers raise cricket protein for human consumption, and they’ve seen their farm grow tenfold in 24 months. The surge of interest has been sparked by a 200-page UN report outlining the health and environmental benefits of insect protein -- that has been downloaded 7 million times. While an estimated 2 billion people eat bugs worldwide, it’s still not an accepted food in the west. With the population projected to surpass 9 billion by 2050, the time to consider alternate proteins is now.

Bugs on the Menu follows startup companies, such as Entomo Farms, as well as Salt Lake City’s Shark Tank-winning Chapul, Boston’s female-led insect chip company Six Foods, Austin’s Hult Prize-winning Aspire Food Group, Vancouver’s famed Indian restaurant Vij’s, and Seattle’s celebrity cook, The Bug Chef. These and other restaurateurs, cricket farmers, scholars, and scientists are part of a movement to normalize insect eating in the west, as an alternative to accepted, but resource intensive proteins like chicken, pork, and beef.

There have been some other breakout successes in the western entomophagy industry in the last few years. Chapul founder Pat Crowley raised startup money on Shark Tank, securing a $50,000 deal with celebrity investor Mark Cuban. Six Foods raised over $30,000 on Kickstarter to start their Chirps cricket chips business.  Aspire won the one million dollar Hult Prize, presented by President Bill Clinton. 

Travelling worldwide, the feature sustainable food documentary Bugs on the Menuis a comprehensive examination of bug eating, observing these traditions in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. Experts Dr. Arnold van Huis of The Netherlands (author of the UN report “Edible Insects”) and Washington D.C.’s Sonny Ramaswamy of the USDA provide scientific analysis of this food industry revolution.

Film Festival (Official Selections)
Borneo Eco Film Festival, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysian Borneo (September 22, 2017)
Port Townsend Film Festival, Port Townsend, WA, USA (September 15-17, 2017)
Planet in Focus, Family Favourites Festival, Toronto, Canada (April 7-9, 2017)
Tofino Film Festival, Tofino, Canada (February 19, 2017)
Victoria Film Festival, Victoria, Canada (February 5, 2017)
Devour! The Food Film Fest, Wolfville, Canada (November 2, 2016)
Heartland Film Festival, Indianapolis, USA (October 26-29, 2016)
Environmental Film Festival Australia (Festival and Tour)
- Melbourne, Australia (October 4, 2016)
- Brisbane, Australia (October 14, 2016)
- Canberra, Australia (October 15, 2016)
- Sydney, Australia (October 21, 2016)
Calgary International Film Festival, Calgary, Canada (Sept 27, 2016)
Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival, Sudbury, Canada (Sept 18, 2016)
Feast Food and Film Festival, Victoria, Canada (May 13 & 15, 2016)
Northwestfest, Edmonton, Canada (May 6, 2016)

2017 Canadian Screen Award Nomination (Best Cross-Platform Project - Non-Fiction)
2017 Leo Award Nomination (Best Web Series)

Broadcasters (Canada)
documentary Channel (English Canada)
ICI Explora/Radio-Canada (French Canada)