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Thing you have to understand about me is that i love life. I love living living and i very much would like to share that with our children and our so we dont know what their world will look like. But we do know a couple of things well know that in order to survive.
They need just three basic things theyll need air water and food. So with this basic passion for wanting to share life with future generations and just that basic knowledge. Ive led a career path as a hydrologist.
A climatologist and as an agronomist and ive primarily been focusing on h2o. So you can kind of sum up all that by just saying. Im a water geek and but from a water geeks perspective.
Theres its pretty obvious that there are two major obstacles getting in the way of our simple ability to share life with future generations. The first obstacle is that we have an overconsumption of our natural resources. Its basic supply and demand graph so in this example.
Here basically all you need to know is that this blue line is the supply its the supply of the colorado river. Which supplies water for 30 million people. The red line is the demand thats how much we consume now obviously.
The point of contention is here. Where those two meat lines meet and weve been able to stomach. This trajectory with the knowledge that or the attitude that future generations will have increased technology.
Theyll find new sources. But when i add the x axis to this graph youll see that this point has already happened so the time to do something about it is now and the people who are going to do it are we so the second major obstacle even if we balance the supply and demand is that our supply of food and water is not adaptable to a changing climate so in addition to working as a climatologist and agronomist and a hydrologist. I also work as a raft guide ologist and this photos from the grand canyon in the grand canyon.
As you travel down the river you pass through the layers. The canyon walls and each layer represents a dramatic different landscape and representation of a different climate throughout the history of the planet. So i want to be very clear about this second obstacle.
Its not necessarily the fact that the climate is changing. Its that our supply food and water will not adapt to any changes. One example is that is the lack of diversity in our food supply.
So of the thousands of varieties of edible plants. We grow for for almost 95 of our crop production.
Each one of those having a pre fragile climate window. With which they operate a slightly more extreme example of this was from my ancestors. Who relied on one primary crop and 150 years ago.
When there was a blight on the potatoes in ireland two million people died and another two million emigrated. Many of those to united states. And thats why im here today so there you have it our two major obstacles overconsumption of natural resources.
And a lack of an adaptable supply. So heres a map of the colorado river in its watershed. And i one of the companies.
I work for in the grand cane and on rivers. Is a school by the name of national outdoor leadership school and we teach we go on multi day river expeditions and we teach our mental science and a leadership curriculum and my favorite class that i teach is i draw this map. Thats me i draw this map with a paddle in the beach and then i take a rescue rope and i draw the river and then i take a bucket.
I start at the top of the river and i scoop out the water and i show how much water. Were using for agriculture. How much for industry.
How much for municipalities and then of course. I get to the sea of cortez in the buckets empty. Because weve consumed that river entirely and its always pained me that im presenting these problems and i wasnt able to just hand them a blueprint with how to solve them so.
What i would do instead was i would sit them down. And i would just say listen you are the future leaders. Its up to you to have game.
Changing ideas to get around these obstacles. Yeah. Around the trajector that we put you on because even though.
I had dedicated my career to dressing. These issues. I was doing things like measuring evapotranspiration for an agricultural field to drive irrigation efficiencies for a fuel of alfalfa that shouldnt be grown in the middle of the desert in the first place then one day.
Im listening to a podcast riding my bus on the way to work and actually some of this podcast. Some of you may have heard about its called a ted talk.
Some of you have heard thats good and this ted talk was a dutch professor by the name of marcel dica. And he presented an idea about eating insects and he showed how insects are eaten all over the world mostly just not in western europe in the united states. He laid out all the environmental benefits and the health benefits and the economic benefits and i thought id remember sitting up actually very specifically in the bus.
My eyes opening me like this could be an idea worth spreading so i remember i stopped on my way home from work that very day. I stopped in the library. I got every book on insects and insect consumption that i could and i just read everything i could and basically.
This is some of the information that i found so if you take 10 pounds of bead. Which is primarily what that pie chart was thats what were growing here and you give that to a cow that cow will grow one pound. If you give that same ten pounds of feed to crickets.
Theyll grow about six pounds so strikingly more efficient and converting plant matter into it edible protein. Now as a wall radik. This ones super.
Exciting. So crickets are more than 10 times more efficient at using water and turning into protein. And even more efficient than livestock.
Substitutes. At corn soy and rice land. Again 10 times.
More efficient than cattle. You can actually grow these things and bins. And you can stack them vertically.
So per unit area you get a lot more protein out of it you can grow them in urban areas. So why why arent we you actually right you actually dont even have to be a environmental alterus to understand it so it gets even better hold on crickets are like little hopping super foods yeah theyre a complete protein theyre high in calcium iron vitamin b12 and so the one reason why we dont eat insects theres only one and ill tell you the reason. Why we dont eat insects without any words ready.
This is why we dont eat insects. Thats it thats the only reason. Why we dont eat insects.
Because some people make a funny looking face thats nothing with all the reasons. Why we should and thats the only reason.
Why we dont i listen to that podcast three years ago. So one year after that two years ago. Knowing all this with the help of lots of friends and family.
We started a company with the sole mission of introducing insects into western diets as a healthy and sustainable form of protein so because were a bunch of rap guys outdoor enthusiasts we kind of ripped a page out of the book from every mountain biker and ski guy and raptor that says if you have an obstacle in front of you in our case. The funny face if you focus on it and and thats where youre looking youre going to hit it youre going to an end though youre going to lose your teeth. But if you if you see that obstacle you immediately divert your energy and your focus around it.
And so thats kind of what we did so lets look at our obstacle. The funny face a little closer so theres a man by the name of jeff lockwood. Who has a theory that says human beings have a heightened awareness associated with insects.
Thats biologically programmed in our dna. Because through tens of thousands of years as foragers. We had to quickly identify if an insect was a potential food source that we had to grab quickly or skitter away or if it was something that was harmless like black widow or a scorpion and we were glad to skitter away so i like to call a similar like to the fight or flight mechanism.
I like to call this the meal or squeal mechanism. But because when european style agriculture came over to north america all but wiped out the meal aspect of it and so the decision making process that were left with this bunny face. So okay bunny face is our obstacle.
How do we jump over it well there wasnt any model to follow for us. There was no insect based product. So what we did is we looked at other industries.
That had a similar psychological barrier or hurdle. That to get over and the closest parallel that we could draw was sushi. So sushi.
More we learned about it was very strategically introduced and so the stepping stone. The baby step for us was the california roll scene here and one of the most brilliant things that they did was that they took the rice and they put on the outside of the nori. So we didnt have to visually see that foreign looking seaweed.
So we learned from that we said okay. Lets take the visual component away from insects. So how we do that these are some photos for our kitchen.
We take a big bowl of crickets and we rinse them just like you would have a bowl of shrimp. Another edible arthropod.
We then take those and we spread them out on baking sheets. We throw those baking sheets and some convection ovens. We take them out we put them through a stone mill.
We come up with a very fine powder put our creative caps on to come up with a name for this and we called it cricket flour maybe not creative a pretty descriptive. We then take that create a cricket flour and throw it in a bowl with a bunch of healthy organic all natural ingredients nuts and throw a little kitchen voodoo in there mix it around and what would come up with voila. We make energy bars.
So very familiar just looks like any other energy bar. However were hoping its a little more than that as the introduction of insects is a healthy sustainable farm protein that will drive a whole new sustainable form of agriculture so i am under no grand illusions that insects are going to cure all of our food security issues. Because the fact is theres no single solution is it going to take a very multi faceted approach for example should we be growing a wider diversity of plant species like quinoa.
Which grows at high altitude air and environments. Yeah definitely. And what about increase the amount of edible gardens and our front yards open space and the rooftops.
Great idea and what about removing a bunch of dams in the pacific northwest make room for a sustainable foreign protein that just swims upstream every year brilliant. The ideas are literally endless so as we look forward into the future with a infamous 2 degree rise in global temperatures do we have to view it necessarily as catastrophic well maybe to an over consumptive monoculture style of agriculture that we probably shouldnt be relying on for our survival in the first place and if its associated with rising sea levels maybe to some political boundaries close to infrastructure. But people will move and the hardships associated with these human migrations.
Some of which weve even heard here today. If you look at them with a wide enough view youll see that human migration. Its woven into the fabric of what it means to be a human being on this planet.
And im well aware that 2 degree rise and temperatures hasnt been seen on this planet for 10000. Years. Wow.
What an exciting time to be alive. Those of us generations alive today have the opportunity in the honor to redesign the infrastructure. Our civilizations that have been placed for thousands of years so if you like me would like to share a livable future with future generations.
I will tell you the same thing that i told my students on the bank of the river. Its up to you to come up with these game. Changing ideas.
Its up to you to figure out a way around and over and under these obstacles ahead of us and even more important is to support the ideas of your neighbors. That come up with these ideas. These revolutionary ideas even if it means you suffer the burden and the hardship of changing your daily habits and even even if it means that a few people around you make a funny looking face at you thank you very much thank you you .
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