From Cringe to Crave… My Ignite Night Presentation 10/8 at The High Noon

I’ve been selected as  a speaker at Ignite Madison at the High Noon Saloon on Wednesday, Oct. 8th, 8-10pm (ignitemadison.org​). Ignite events are held nationwide and are like short Ted Talks, but in a bar. There are 10 speakers, limited to 5 minutes and 20 slides. Each night has a theme. The theme of the Oct. 8 event is Attainable Sustainable: Acting Today for a Better Tomorrow, which features “people who are passionate about reusing, repurposing and making the most of our natural, social and economic resources — be it through business practices, food choices, making (or remaking) things, home dwelling decisions and much more.”

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My talk—“From Cringe to Crave: How I Got Over My Disgust for Eating Insects”—came out of a group project for my Evening MBA marketing class. Edible insects are a highly sustainable, nutritious and easily-produced food source that could become increasingly relied upon as the global population grows. Even though most of the world incorporates bugs in its diet, this does not happen in United States. But taste is a culture construct and a construct can change. (See the history of lobster.) Our MBA project showed how changing this construct is a marketing problem and a compelling business opportunity.

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I was encouraged by this class project and am now developing a business plan around edible insects. But in order to create a business around convincing others to eat insects, I first needed to overcome my own aversion to bug-eating (i.e., entomophagy). I am going to use my Ignite presentation to talk through how I went from instinctually cringing at the prospect of eating a cricket, to craving its nutty crunch. The presentation will feature images of the bug foods I’ve eaten, the bug-cooking I’ve attempted, and the bug-food events I’ve hosted.

This is a philanthropic event. Tickets are $9 in advance and $14 at the door with all proceeds going to Sustain Dane. Sustain Dane is a 501(c)3 non-profit that connects world trends to local needs and interests to create innovative new projects. Come on out, support a cool event, learn some new things, and connect with a diverse community of sustainability champions.

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