Process tweak yields a superior cricket protein, developer says

By Hank Schultz, 12-Feb-2014

Biochemist Aaron Dossey has built a company around a new way to create a protein powder ingredient from crickets. The process yields a superior ingredient with less inputs in the form of heat and time, he said.

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Local business makes protein powder from bugs

Dr. Aaron T. Dossey

Dr. Aaron T. Dossey – All Things Bugs
Aaron T. Dossey, a biochemist and molecular biologist who created All Things Bugs, poses for a portrait holding a sample of his whole cricket powder in Athens, Ga., on Monday, Feb. 17, 2014. Dossey performs much of his research and development for eco-friendly technologies from insects, including his protein-rich, whole cricket powder, at his home in Athens. (PHOTO: © 2014 Randy Schafer,

The ingredients for a protein bar can include the following: peanuts, fruit, soy and now — bugs.

Aaron Dossey, founder and sole employee of Athens-based All Things Bugs, is seeking to change the protein game with his patent-pending process that turns insects into a healthy powder ingredient.

Bugs are a good source of protein, higher than other animal products, and are more sustainable than larger animals. So, the idea of eating bugs, although foreign to Americans, could soon catch on, and Dossey wants to lead the way.

“This is a healthy product, starts as a clean product and it’s sustainable,” he said.

Dossey said his product came about from a passion for entomology, the study of insects, a fascination that he has held since he was a boy.

“I would say I’ve always been kind of the kid of the outfield in tee ball looking at flowers and bees and stuff,” Dossey said. “I always learned about plants and things and it particularly really caught on in high school when I had to do insect collection for honors zoology and biology.”

Dossey continued his education in biochemistry at Oklahoma State University and received his PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Florida. After what seemed like an eternity of postdoctoral research that was leading to nothing, he found an opportunity to enter the protein field with his obsession of bugs that remained present throughout his college years.

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Why Insects Should Be in Your Diet

Because of their high protein and fat content and their reproductive efficiency, insects hold great promise for thwarting an impending global food crisis.

Insects as food

Image credit: Dusan Petricic

As the human population grows, it is ever more important to temper our levels of consumption of the Earth’s dwindling resources. Humans currently consume at least 40 percent of potential terrestrial productivity, and some 30 percent of the land on Earth is used to pasture and feed livestock. Food reserves are the lowest they’ve been in 40 years, thanks to an expanding population that the United Nations (UN) expects to grow to more than 9 billion by 2050 the demand for food will increase dramatically over the coming decades. Climate change, reduced productivity of agricultural lands, overfishing, dwindling freshwater resources, pollution from fertilizers and pesticides, and a host of other factors mean that this population increase will place a disproportionate burden on Earth’s ecosphere. Something has to change.

One possible solution exists literally right under our noses, as well as below our feet and all around us: insects. Though most Westerners often turn up their noses at the idea of eating the small six-legged creatures, these animals have numerous attributes that make them attractive sources of highly nutritious and sustainable food. In fact, two of the UN’s eight Millennium Development Goals eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, and reducing child mortality rates can be directly addressed by expanding consumption of edible insects.

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