Jimini’s was born with a simple but ambitious mission: to integrate insects into the diets of Europeans as well as educate and inform shoppers of this sustainable and tasty alternative source of protein.
As we are all aware, the global population is due to rise to over 9 billion by 2050 and this combined with increasing demand for animal protein, calls for alternative, sustainable forms of protein such as insects.
When Clément Scellier, my business partner, and I learned that almost 70% of agricultural lands are used for farming livestock and that this process alone is responsible for 18% of all greenhouse gases, we felt very strongly that we needed to cut down our personal meat consumption and look for a long term alternative. We wanted to help future generations by bringing a new protein source into European diets. We didn’t have to look far, one possible solution existed literally right under our noses, as well as below our feet: insects.
We primarily focused on insects because of the obvious health benefits; it is a great source of protein and iron, and contains high levels of vitamins B12 and the 9 essential amino acids.
We felt that the process of eating edible insects needed to be incorporated into Western diets sooner rather than later, and well before we hit panic point in 2050. Which is why we, as a company, started to work on educating people and changing people’s preconceptions. It is all a matter of culture and we knew we needed to work on altering the public’s opinion! In fact there is very little difference between eating grasshoppers and prawns, who are actually part of the same family. If people decide to get on board and incorporate insects into their diets, whether that be in the form of a whole insect or in ground insect flour form, they will see enormous health and environmental benefits.
We decided to use fun and humour to communicate the benefits of insects. We don’t want to criticise and make people feel guilty about their meat consumption and their impact on earth. Food has to be associated with pleasure, especially when you are trying to encourage something as unusual as insects. So our game plan has always been to focus on the positives and our fun, colourful branding definitely helps, even our name is a talking point.
Our aim is to be able to offer an alternative source of protein at the same price as meat. But obviously the final goal is to make the eating of insects the norm. It would be fantastic if one day mealworms, crickets and grasshoppers were as popular and as much of a staple as regular meat. If this was achieved, I think that would be mission accomplished!
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