Edible Bug Shop | Celebrating Australian Food and Agribusiness Innovations 2021
Skye Blackburn has always been into bugs — she studied entomology at uni but also completed a food science degree ‘just in case’. Skye started Australia’s first edible insect farm in 2007 and, while working as a food scientist, began sharing her passion, breeding insects for schools to teach kids about the vital role they play in the food chain.
Looking for a way to stand out, Skye developed a range of lollipops made from insects to hand out at an expo and was astounded by the interest. Thinking she might be onto something, she sent samples away for nutritional testing and found insects delivered high levels of protein, iron, amino acids, B12, omega 3s and calcium.
Skye knew she could combine her studies with a passion for sustainable food production to deliver nutrient-dense food alternatives for an everyday diet.
While the range began with ‘novelty’ items, the market has evolved, and Skye now focuses solely on insects as a key nutritional ingredient. Edible Bug Shop sells a range of foods under the Circle Harvest retail brand including cricket corn chips, protein powders, sweet and savoury mealworm and cricket snacks, high-protein cricket-based pasta, granola, cookie mixes, dukkas and seasoning salts.
Edible Bug Shop was part of the Mars Seeds of Change Accelerator, supported by FIAL. Skye says it was invaluable, providing access to a team of experts who understood food production but were also able to take the time needed to fully appreciate how best to help her on her journey.
Skye’s mission is to show how easy it is to incorporate insect protein into an everyday diet, delivering tasty alternatives that offer consumers essential micronutrients, vitamins and fatty acids in a sustainably produced package.