Would you eat bread made from INSECTS? Students turn grasshoppers into flour to feed people in poor countries

With millions of people across the world living in urban slums and an ongoing food shortage in poor countries, students from Montreal have come up with a novel and sustainable food source – flour made from insects.

Dubbed Flour Power, the team from McGill University plan to farm grasshoppers in poor areas of countries including Mexico, Thailand and Kenya and turn them into flour for bread and other foods.

It will provide a sustainable, year-round source of food as well as provide an extra business opportunity for local farmers.

The proposals have now won the 2013 Hult Prize and the five students received $1million to turn the plans into reality.

Out of 10,000 college and universities, six teams reached the final of The Hult Prize; a social-entrepreneurship award for students presented by former US President Bill Clinton.

This year’s challenge was to create a ‘ social enterprise that will secure food for undernourished communities, and particularly for the 200 million people who live in urban slums.’

‘This is our chance to empower the next generation and solve some of the world’s most pressing issues,’ said Ahmad Ashkar, Founder and CEO of the Hult Prize.

‘Almost a billion people go hungry every day and without new solutions, food security issues are likely to get worse.’

The Flour Power project was created by MBA students Mohammed Ashour, Shobhita Soor, Jesse Pearlstein, Zev Thompson and Gabe Mott, who call themselves the Aspire Food Group.

They plan to collect a crop of grasshoppers from infested alfalfa fields and distribute them to farmers in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Each farmer will be given containers that help them harvest the insects, before the bugs are ground into a protein-rich flour.

Around 10 tonnes of grasshoppers are due to be delivered to Mexico by March 2014, and the group plan to extend the initiative to other insects in the future.

Aspire Food Group travelled to Thailand, Kenya and Mexico to learn more about slum conditions and how these regions already farm and eat insects.

According to a report by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, insects are eaten by around 2.5 billion people worldwide.


  •  The insects are caught, washed and drained.
  • They are then dried and placed in a sealed freezer bag to kill them humanely.
  • Each insect is washed again and are dried out in an oven.
  • They can then be ground until they resemble the consistency of wheat germ.
  • Insect flour can be used for bread, in cakes, soups, stews, sauces and more.


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