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Eating Bugs in the Name of Science

BLOG POST • September 2, 2012

Process / By Matt Checkowski

One of my deals when it comes to directing, especially documentary work, is to never ask my on-camera talent to do something that I wouldn’t do myself.

While filming the University of California Onward California series, Mark Hoddle (The Indiana Jones of Bugs) shared a couple stories of snacking on exotic insects from all over the world so it was (I thought) a throwaway line when I asked him if he ever tried one of the Gold Spotted Oak Borers.


When he offered up two from the tree stump, all I could think of was to chomp and make sure I killed the thing before sending it down the chute.



Months later, the UN issued a report titled “Edible Insects” that notes that in order to meet the food and nutrition challenges of today and tomorrow, what we eat and how we produce it needs to be re-evaluated. I have spent countless hours with chefs, culinary experts and scientists. I know this, logically, is the next wave and a necessity. It’s already part of the diet in many regions, and—let’s be honest—spotted prawns are bugs of the sea. My act of filmmaking solidarity wasn’t all about cuisine, but it was about exploring new worlds and standing by the documentary’s subject. Which, if we think about it in broader terms, might just be the next best step.


Watch the full series for the University of California here.

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