We’ve joined forces with Chef Mario Melgarejo in Mexico, as he’s been working relentlessly for several years now to spread the message of entomofagia and has a vision for improving the viability of the edible insects industry in his country.

Mexico is a unique country in that it has the most recorded types of edible insects (549 different species as of 2017), but nearly all of them are collected from the wild. Additionally, only about a dozen are known and regularly used in comida prehispanica, for locals or tourists.

The industry is growing within the country just as it is worldwide, but along with that growth is a notable danger: since most insects are harvested from the wild, and harvesting practices are based on “collect as much as we can to make money today“, prices for edible insects in Mexico are between 10x and 40x the price of a kg of the same insect in Asia.

And numbers are dwindling from year to year, according to prominent entomologists who have been studying the issue for the past few years.

Our goal in partnering with Mario and his associacion, Fundacion Mexicana de Criaderos de Insectos Comestibles is to further his work in education of sustainable harvesting practices, supporting rural insect farmers, and training chefs on how to innovate with insectos comestibles.

Mario’s brand Melbugs and the non-profit organization FUMECIC (Fundacion Mexicana de Criaderos de Insectos Comestibles A.C.) was created to:

  • generate employment and to empower social entrepreneurship
  • to provide education for taking care of the environment
  • for breeding insects and preserving those that are in danger of disappearing
  • assisting vulnerable populations of people to feed on insects to fight against malnutrition

Today in Mexico FUMECIC breeds the Madagascar cockroach, crickets, tarantulas, scorpions, fruit fly larvae, and mealworms. We also work to preserve species through the reforestation of plants and trees in damaged areas.

Additionally the organization is focused on working closely with municipalities and schools to teach children about the importance of caring for the environment.

Kids are growing up in areas where the natural landscape is disappearing quickly, taking with it various species of edible insects which have been both a means of monetary gain and nutritional benefit.

Through educational programs, FUMECIC aims to stem the tide of loss and reverse the effects, bringing back both natural landscapes and more sustainable insect collection methods.

Within various municipalities we have begun to give talks and cooking workshops based upon pre-Hispanic roots, where insects are cooked but also people are taught how to farm them.

In this manner people will have food and nourishment, but at the same time become more aware that care of the environment is highly important for maintaining healthy seasonal edible insect populations.

People are given simple, understandable information related to the insects which can be eaten, as well as recognizing when they are edible, and how to prepare them.

FUMECIC also partners with other organizations to provide exhibitions of birds of prey, mangrove tours, how to use arachnids and butterflies in artisan handicrafts, and recycling programs aimed at taking better care of the environment to create insect breeding sites with items that can be recycled.