By the year 2050, Earth will likely host an estimate of more than 9 billion people. According to the UN, that amount of population growth means our current rate of food production will need to double. This is easier said than done: land is scarce, oceans are overfished, and there are nearly 1 billion chronically hungry people living in the world, today.
So what does this have to do with booze (and crickets)?
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, edible insects are the future of food and feed security, because they’re a healthy source of protein that require a fraction of the land, water and feed as livestock. An estimated two billion people already consume insects as part of their diet, yet the critters still inspire an ‘ick factor’ in many cultures.
Enter Critter Bitters, the brainchild of Julia Plevin and Lucy Knops, two NYC-based designers who want cocktails to be your gateway drug to insect consumption. After years of toiling away, they’ve concocted a cricket-based cocktail bitter which combines toasted crickets with various spices to create a sweet, nutty product. Pelvin and Knops have launched a Kickstarter to expand production, motivated by the foundational idea that people are more willing to try new things if they come in a cocktail.
Plus, insects in booze are nothing new, and they lend a unique flavor profile for adventurous mixologists. Drinking cocktails won’t save the world, but eating insects might — so why not start by drinking insect cocktails?