Feeding the World With Grasshopper Protein

Lizzy Schultz

When Dror Tamir founded Hargol Food Tech, he named it after the Hebrew word for grasshopper, and that isn’t a coincidence. The company, which develops solutions to combat global malnutrition and food insecurity, is pioneering the production and processing of grasshopper-based protein sources. Tamir sat down with our Jamie Johansen during ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference to discuss his unique approach to achieving global food security and highlight the presentation he gave during the event as part of his involvement with the Pearse Lyons Accelerator Program.

Tamir explained that the vision for Hargol came to life upon learning that the global demand for protein is increasing rapidly, with estimates that the demand could double by 2050. Grasshoppers, he believes, can help meet the growing demand without the environmental and nutritional limitations facing the animal and plant-based protein sources that are common in traditional western diets.

“There is very high demand for alternative protein and grasshoppers are best suited to meet that demand,” said Tamir. “They provide an amazing nutritional profile with over 72% protein, a complete profile of essential amino acids, and no saturated fats.”

Finding a way to pitch grasshopper protein as an acceptable idea to skeptical western populations has been a major part of the company’s development. His solution only requires some simple food processing: Tamir plans to market a milled grasshopper protein powder. Grasshoppers are neutral in taste and flavor, allowing food companies to easily use the milled grasshopper protein as an additive to products like protein shakes, energy bars, pasta sauce, and even baked goods.

“This isn’t a new development by any means, this is a concept humans have utilized throughout history, and it is a concept that should resonate with supporters of the paleo diet,” said Tamir. “About half of the current world population consumes insects as part of their diet and grasshoppers are the most widely eaten insect in the world. They are in very high demand in South America, the Middle East, and Asia, what we are doing is pioneering the ability to grow them commercially.”

Listen to Jamie’s full interview with Dror here:
Interview with Dror Tamir, Hargol Food Tech

Download photos from the event here:
Alltech ONE17 Photo Album

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