Bugs: A Gastronomic Adventure with Nordic Food Lab
Insects as food is a hot topic. Particularly over the last few years, since the UN recommended edible insects as a resource to combat world hunger, they have been heralded for their taste by cooks and gastronomes, for their low ecological impact by environmentalists and for their nutritional content by public health scientists. It would seem that insects are the new superfood that will fix all our problems of global food security.
For the past three years a team from Copenhagen-based Nordic Food Lab, made up of chefs and researchers Josh Evans, Ben Reade and Roberto Flore, has been travelling the world to learn what some of the two billion people who already eat insects have to say. In BUGS, film director Andreas Johnsen follows them as they forage, farm, cook and taste insects with communities in Europe, Australia, Mexico, Kenya, Japan and beyond. During their journey they encounter everything from revered termite queens and desert-delicacy honey ants to venomous giant hornets and long-horned grasshoppers trapped using powerful floodlights, that sometimes cause their catchers temporary blindness.
Throughout the team’s experiences and conversations in the field, at the lab, at farm visits and international conferences, some hard questions start to emerge. If industrially produced insects become the norm, will they be as delicious and as beneficial as the ones in diverse, resilient ecosystems and cuisines around the world? And who will actually benefit as insects are scaled up? Are insects a mirror that reflects our broken food systems, or the silver bullet that will fix them?
About the Director
Andreas Johnsen(born 1974) is a Danish documentary director, producer, cinematographer. He is best known for the film Ai Weiwei The Fake Case(2013), about the Chinese artist and activist's life and battle against charges placed against him by the Chinese government. Johnsen's films often look at social issues in many different parts of the world, including Kidd Life (da)(2012), about the Danish rapper and YouTube star Nicholas Westwood Kidd, and Man Ooman(2008), which looks at sex and gender relations in Jamaica through dancehall culture. In 2014, the Danish Film Critics Association granted him the Bodil Award for Best Documentary.