Muzzatti points out that food security is a major concern for the future, and our current agricultural model is not positioned to feed our growing population. “Insects are a sustainable and nutritious alternative protein source, and a potential solution to this problem.”

“I am interested in biological mechanisms behind variation in body size, and how external factors such as diet and pests can influence body size in a mass rearing environment,” explained Muzzatti. “I am currently investigating the key dietary nutrient requirements to maximize growth of Gryllodes sigillatus.

Muzzatti’s interest in this research piqued during the summer of 2017 while organizing an entomology-themed community event during his master’s degree at the University of Guelph called Guelph Bug Day.

“Through this event, I connected with Entomo Farms and Crickstart, two cricket-protein companies, and they donated a ton of free samples to give out,” said Muzzatti. “This really sparked my interest in insects as food and feed, and it was an area of research that I wanted to contribute to.”