Food trends come and go, but who would have predicted the rise in popularity of eating bugs. Buggin’ Out, a new online series documents Don Peavy (ChefPV) his obsession with turning insect delicacies into the norm.
Chef PV with Honeyworm Couscous – Photo by Rafael Pinheiro/ONErpmStudios
Buggin’ Out debuted on Facebook and YouTube, the series focuses on entomophagy (the practice of eating insects) for the sake of sustainability, nutrition, and as a solution to hunger issues globally. Inspired by the highly praised 2013 book Edible Insects: Future Prospects for Food and Feed Security, which was commissioned by the United Nations, ChefPV has become passionate about entomophagy as a vehicle for worldwide food sustainability.
David Gracer, Marcio Cruz, ChefPV, Emmanuel Zunz, Justin Noto. Photo courtesy of Rafael Pineros/ONErpm Studios
The zany and informative series, developed by ChefPV along with Justin Noto and ONErpm Studios, introduces the concept of insects as food in a entertaining and educational way. The series is set in a Brooklyn kitchen along with co-host Mosquito, a bearded magic dragon, with expert guests making appearances such as renowned entomophagy advocate David Gracer, Founder & Director of Little Herds Robert Nathan Allen and Critter Bitters founders Lucy Knops and Julia Plevin. During the series, ChefPV has had to face, and conquer, a deep-seated fear of insects that many Americans share.
Buggin’ Out follows ChefPV’s adventures as he forages for insects in the wild, artfully prepares them as cuisine, and learns more about the many benefits of eating bugs. While 80% of the world’s population already eats bugs, the practice in the US has been slow to catch on despite its benefits and the high nutritional value of insects. Compared to the environmentally threatening traditional livestock farming which Americans are so dependent on, entomophagy is lauded for its minimal impact on our carbon footprint. “The standard American diet, heavily funded and promoted globally, has become highly desirable, especially in developing nations,” said ChefPV. “In terms of food sustainability, however, studies have shown that insects require significantly fewer finite resources to farm while creating more nutritional bang for the buck compared to traditional meats. Unfortunately, many Americans are highly averse to eating bugs, but with Buggin’Out, we are looking to change that.”
The Buggin’ Out creators hope that presenting entomophagy in an accessible format will inspire viewers to consider bugs a real, healthy and viable food source and the practice will have a positive impact on our food system in the future. The first episode launched on October 26th. All episodes can be found on the Buggin’ Out YouTube Channel.
Slated guests on the series include:
David Gracer – Writer, Naturalist & renowned advocate of Entomophagy
David George Gordon – “The Bug Chef”, author of Eat-a-Bug Cookbook and 18 other titles
Robert Nathan Allen – Founder, Director @ Little Herds
Lucy Knops & Julia Plevin – Founders @ Critter Bitters
Leah Polans – Head Fabricator @ The Evolution Store in SoHo
Baron Ambrosia – NY Emmy Award Winner & Culinary Ambassador of The Bronx
Katharina Unger & Julia Kaisinger – Founder & Partner @ LIVIN Farms Hive *World’s first desktop hive for edible insects
Jakub Dzamba – Founder @ Third Millennium Farming & Cricket Reactor Creator.
Chirpcho Canapé (Yield 12 Chirpchos)
For Sriracha-Yogurt Sauce
1/4 cup Greek Yogurt
1 teaspoon Horseradish
1 teaspoon Sriracha
For Everythang Else
1 small bag Chirps Chips
12 Grape Tomatoes
Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (spray bottle)
1 Red Fresno Pepper
3 tablespoons Thyme Leaves
1. Preheat oven to 450°F
2. Mix Sriracha-Yogurt Sauce ingredients together with a fork/whisk and set aside in refrigerator
3. Put Grape Tomatoes on an oven-safe sheet tray and drench with Liquid Aminos and place in preheated oven for 10 minutes
4. Meanwhile, medium-dice avocado and squeeze on some lime juice and set aside in fridge until ready to use
5. Small-dice Red Fresno Peppers and set aside
6. Remove Tomatoes from oven, drench in more Liquid Aminos and sprinkle lots of Smoked Paprika on Tomatoes and return to oven for 5 minutes more
7. Remove Tomatoes from oven and let cool
8. Set-up an assembly line with Yogurt Sauce, Thyme Leaves, Avocado, Tomatoes and Peppers
9. Lay out 12 Chirps
10. Center a dollop of Yogurt Sauce on Chirps followed by a layer of Thyme Leaves then diced Avocadoes, the Grape Tomatoes, a dot of Yogurt Sauce on Tomato and Red Fresno Pepper finish
Hophattan (YIELD 1 Delicious Cocktail)
3/4 cup Bourbon
1/4 cup Critter Bitters (Bitters made with Crickets)
1 tablespoon Kaffir Lime juice
1 teaspoon Kaffir Lime zest
1. In a Cocktail Shaker with ice add Bourbon, Critter Bitters, Kaffir juice & zest
2. Shake what cha mama gave ya
3. Strain into a glass with attitude and garnish with Chapulines soaked in Critter Bitters overnight
Culinary thought leader Don Peavy-also known professionally as “Chef PV”-is transforming what we eat and what we think about what we eat. His is a platform of sustainability, entomophagy (the consumption of insects), and social and political awareness. As a full-spectrum chef, and progressive voice in the food industry, Peavy is making profound change more digestible and delicious for everyone.
“Food is political. It’s a lifestyle, it’s medicine, and it feeds the soul,” says the Brooklyn-based Peavy. “My work is not just about preparing that perfect filet mignon, it’s about exposing people to new ideas. For me, opening people’s minds to their diet and what’s possible is a window into opening up their viewpoints in other parts of their life.”
Amanda Voetsch, Nicole Keller, Cinzia Clementi, ChefPV, Christian Alcantara. Photo courtesy of Rafael Pineros/ONErpm Studios
“Food is political. It’s a lifestyle, it’s medicine, and it feeds the soul” – ChefPV
Peavy’s food career has rocketed skyward since his emergence on the scene back in 2004. He began his professional career in the vegan and raw vegan world, first as a baker at a Williamsburg café, and, later, as a cook in the popular New York raw food kitchen Rockin’ Raw. Peavy’s career gained traction during his eight-year tenure as an event chef for the New York City-based elite caterer, Great Performances. It was here he learned the art of plate design and polished his people skills as a private chef. During this exciting time, Peavy also completed a program at the Culinary Education Center in Asbury Park, NJ. By the end of 2014, he had cooked for celebrities and billionaires alike, including Michael Bloomberg, Spike Lee, Madonna and President Obama, and he appeared on the popular Jamie Oliver reality TV-show, Chef Race: UK vs. US.
Peavy is known for his edgy eats. His palette of inspiration pulls from all edibles, including insects. He’s trained in special diets such as gluten free and vegan cuisine. And, although he’s not a practicing vegan currently, Peavy is aligned with vegan values on reducing animal intake and sustainability issues.
“If we can increase people’s appetite for insects, we can decrease the demand for traditional meat” ChefPV
“People can be disconnected from their food. They sometimes don’t realize the health of people and the planet go hand in hand,” Peavy says. “I’m into opening minds.” One way Peavy is furthering this agenda is through developing zero-waste hubs. Another way is through promoting meat alternatives through his passion for entomophagy.
“If we can increase people’s appetite for insects, we can decrease the demand for traditional meat,” reveals Peavy. “A lot of people feel a meal is not a real meal unless it’s meat based. But they’re not taking into account the carbon footprint of meat, the conditions these animals suffer in, and the alternative foods out there that are just as tasty.”
All photos courtesy of Rafael Pineros/ONErpm Studios
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