Robert Nathan Allen Shepherds Little Herds

May 19th, 2017 | By | Category: guest bio, the show
Robert Nathan Allen, founder of Little Herds, with a container of toasted crickets. Photo © Cecilia Nasti.

Robert Nathan Allen, founder of Little Herds, with a container of toasted crickets. Photo © Cecilia Nasti.

Robert Nathan Allen, or RNA as he’s known to friends, is founder of Little Herds, a non-profit charity dedicated to educating people about eating insects. He never imagined eating insects could be anything beyond a fear-factor stunt, until his mother sent him a video (as a joke) about their nutritional and environmental benefits, stating “you’ll never get me to try this.”

He took it seriously and started researching entomophagy and was amazed to find out that people all over the world eat them, and for good reason: they’re healthy, sustainable, and tasty! Working with other ento-enthusiasts around the world, and with local supporters who thought the idea was a perfect fit to “Keep Austin Weird,” the idea grew.

Two years after the video was sent, RNA found himself feeding insects to everybody who will try them, teaching kids about edible insects, working with locals to try out the bugs, and he’s even convinced Mom to try them, and she loves them!

Based in Austin, Texas, Little Herds is sharing this exciting new culinary world with the next generation, working with schools, museums, and family friendly events, allowing children to learn about edible insects in fun and engaging ways.

Little Herds also works with the general public, collaborating with restaurants, farmers markets, and other local partners to provide insects in familiar and approachable ways to encourage people to look past their preconceived notions.

With so many edible species available (19-hundred last count), Little Herds is also encouraging a revolution in the cooking world, introducing intrepid chefs to a whole new array of flavor profiles with which to experiment.

RNA says his long-term goal is to change the way North Americans and Europeans view this alternative protein, and to promote healthy sustainable food that is easily accessible by anybody, anywhere in the world.

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