In the spring of 2013, terrifying swarms of almost a million locusts descended upon Israel and Egypt, turning the sky black, attacking the green crops and devouring everything in their paths.
One small grasshopper flew further north than most and landed on the doorstep of Israeli entrepreneur Dror Tamir. Two years on, together with two other founders and a team of experts, Tamir has turned the humble insect into a fully fledged start up—Steak TzarTzar—which grows grasshoppers for human consumption. One of the ways that the start up intends to use this food source is to tackle the problem of malnutrition and hunger in parts of the developing world.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO) estimates that approximately 805 million people suffered from chronic undernourishment in 2012-2014—the equivalent of every ninth person on the planet. One of the most prevalent causes of malnutrition is a basic lack of calories and protein, which often leads to stunted growth, higher susceptibility to disease, wasting away and death. But Steak TzarTzar founders say their grasshoppers offer a way to provide more protein to populations at risk.