Share our similarities, celebrate our differences.

On differences, food security and a tour through West-Africa

I am in my hometown Munich and I just bought fried crickets.

I am in my hometown Munich and I just bought fried crickets to bring to Africa.

Is this weird ?

Am I weird ?

Insects are one of the most promising, climate-friendly innovations to replace meat as a protein source and start-ups like mongrillon cupcakes in Paris or Entocycle in London are up and coming across Europe to commercialize insects in our diets.

These insects are mostly bred on special aquaponics farms, which are still rare in Europe and thus mainly imported from Thailand or Mexico, where insects are a more common thing on peoples’ plates.

In Africa, there are hundreds of different edible insects (470 kinds) and many countries have a tradition of consuming them.

However, with regards to food security, they have only recently been identified as the incredible opportunity to cure malnutrition and boost food sufficiency on the household and market level. Entrepreneurs like Sidiki Sow from Mali have recognized the huge opportunity to commercialize insect-based products (he is soon launching a crowdfunding campaign), so things are moving, but until today, such start-ups are still hard to find across the continent.

Why am I telling you this apart from trying to justify the slightly odd introductory words ?

Because these are the sort of stories we launched a global food security mobilization for, and this is also why I am leaving to Dakar tomorrow morning to work for 5 months on food security innovation with the West-African MakeSense team.

Check out this short video to find out what the Food Sense Tour West Africa is all about :

So, one element of our Food Sense Tour is inspired by the conviction that there is so much we can learn by creating platforms for exchange and collaboration on issues that will in the end concern all of us.

Like often in life difference is a huge opportunity to learn and to unite. This is the movement we are trying to launch over the coming months : Discovering different entrepreneurs, uniting totally different stakeholders and citizens around these different projects, and to come up with totally different solutions, different methodologies and communities for food security in West Africa, and potentially anywhere else.

For those that prefer it with a German accent, in this video I explain our key objectives:

Throughout this article I have tried to sell you that it is not weird to bring fried crickets to Africa: They will serve as a demonstration for students on our local university program, as well as the entrepreneurs we meet, that one oftentimes does not have to reinvent the wheel for food security. Cliché, but true, solutions are often right at our doorstep.

To leave you with a quote I like by Swami Vivekananda:

Lets explore differences together!

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