I’m Umberto Diecinove, I am a documentary photographer and a filmmaker. And – for a while now – I’ve been investigating the potential role of insects in the solution of some of the global environmental and social challenges.

To do this, I’ve been traveling around the world, taking photographs and talking to world experts, visionary entrepreneurs, activists and people working in the field.

On GET THE BUG you will listen to the conversations I recorded during my journey.

Farming insects could reduce the agriculture need for land and overfishing in the oceans, but also lower greenhouse emissions and help smallholder farmers to depend less on expensive imported feed. So… what if insects are the next game changers?

This podcast, and the photobook I’m working on, aim to be a worldwide overview with a special focus on the people who are working on this change and those who will benefit from it.

GTB Special Episode

A podcast that explores the question: what if insects are the next game changers?

Featuring Jeffery Tomberlin, Marcel Dicke, Karol Barragán Fonseca, MacKenzie Wade, Arnold Van Huis, Dennis Oonincx.

Episode 01

Featuring Jeffery Tomberlin: professor in the Department of Entomology at Texas A&M University and worlwide recognized expert.

We talked about the Black Soldier Fly, one of the most efficient bioconverters in the insect world, but also about learning from nature, circular economy, industry, the CEIF, and future generations.

Episode 02

Featuring Marcel Dicke: professor of Entomology and Director of the laboratory of entomology at Wageningen University in The Netherlands, one of the best universities worldwide in the field of Life Sciences.

Marcel and I talked about biological control, pioneering entomology, insect-plant interaction, Colombian former combatants farming insects and much more.

Episode 03

Featuring Karol Barragán Fonseca:  assistant professor at the Universidad Nacional De Colombia, and coordinator of Insects For Peace / Insectos por la Paz

Insects for Peace helps small farmers who used to be members of the FARC- EP, women who have lost their husbands and children in the conflict and indigenous training and supporting them in the production of insects as feed.

(También en español)

Episode 03 (en español)

Con la participación de Karol Barragán Fonseca: profesora en la Universidad Nacional de Colombia y fundadora y coordinadora de la iniciativa “Insectos por la Paz” (Insects For Peace)

“Insectos por la Paz” es una iniciativa que implementa la producción de insectos en comunidades rurales de firmantes de paz y comunidades que han sido afectadas por el conflicto armado en Colombia.Promoviendo en esta manera la soberanía alimentaria y la agricultura circular.

Episode 04

No doubt we have an aversion to insects, but why? And is there any sense behind it?

Featuring MacKenzie Wade from the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. MacKenzie is a cultural anthropologist and she developed a course on food system education through edible insects.

Episode 05

Featuring Arnold Van Huis: emeritus professor of Wageningen Agriculture University, pioneer in studying edible insects, and author of “Edible insects: future prospects for food and feed security’”, the book on the topic.

We talked about eye openers, pioneering entomology, edible insects, NOMA, “bibles” and game changers.

Episode 06

Featuring Dennis Oonincx: researcher for the Animal Nutrition Group at the Department of Animal Science of Wageningen University.

Wageningen University is one of the best universities worldwide in the field of Life Sciences, and with Dennis we talked about nutritional value of insects, mealworm farming, vitamin D, outputs, inputs, ammonia, bacon and crickets.

Episode 07

Featuring Micheal Place, Chapul Farms CTO.

“It was amazing when Black Soldier Fly kind of presented themselves as a vehicle to finally put my money where my mouth was, and try and do something other than just understand things for myself, or maybe my family and friends: it’s an opportunity to create a better and more resilient food system.”

With Micheal we talked about insect agriculture, broken systems, biomimicry, aquaculture, dancing with the devil and a personal journey around nutrition that ends up with clarity of thinking.

Episode 08

From the CEIF Spring Meeting 2023, ft. Jeffrey Tomberlin (Texas A&M University), Christine Picard (The Indiana University and Purdue University Indianapolis), Heather Jordan (Mississippi State University), Patrick Crowley (Chapul Farms), Christopher Warburton (Entosystem), Cheyrl Preyer, (CEIF industry liason officer). 

“Universities are often looking further out and they dive deeper. Industries have to be more short sighted in terms of where the research is going. In the case of insect agriculture we’re in the dark ages, just jumping into applied research would be a shallow way to develop a body of knowledge.”

We talked about the insect frontier today, dark ages, highest priorities, aquaponics, fast food, microbs, revalorizing food waste, bubbles and counteropinions.

Episode 09 (en español)

Con la participación de Karol Barragán Fonseca, profesora en la Universidad Nacional de Colombia y fundadora y de “Insects For Peace” y Julieth Rodriguez, Erika Perez, Martha Nelly Castañeda, Juan de la Cruz Vega, Juan Antonio Castro y Alberto Ocampo que viven en el AETCR Jaime Pardo Leal.

“Este es un proceso que puede independizar a las comunidades de la compra de insumos externos y por otro lado, puede fortalecer sus economías locales.” 

“Insects For Peace” es una iniciativa que implementa la producción de insectos en comunidades rurales de firmantes de paz y comunidades que han sido afectadas por el conflicto armado en Colombia. Promoviendo en esta manera la soberanía alimentaria y la agricultura circular.

Episode 10

Featuring RNA (Robert Nathan Allan) executive director of the FUTURE of FOOD event series, cofounder and board member of NACIA, and founder of “Little Herds”.

“We’re really quickly approaching a sort of tipping point where the broader agribusiness community, livestock community, and sustainable food community are recognizing insect agriculture as one of a variety of solutions. And it’s one that really elevates and increases the efficiency of other operations.”

With RNA we talked especially about food, education, frame & reframe, derisk, sushi, gas stations, chapulines overharvesting and a lot of joy.

Episode 11

From the AFFIA Forum 2023, featuring Emilie Devic (AFFIA vice secretary), Martin Zorrilla (General Chair of the IFW2024 Local Organizing Committee) and Ian Jones (Agri House).

We talked about the South Est Asian context, networking and secrecy, the next Insects To Feed the World, which will take place in Singapore, in 2024, and about the role of insect farming in marginalized communities in Cambodia.

Episode 12

Featuring Sergiy Smetana, Head of Food Data Group at the German Institute of Food Technologies.

We talked about the big picture, alternative proteins, environmental impact, tasty ants, upcycling and High-Pressure processing.

Episode 13

Featuring Ian Jones from (among many other things) Agri House, an innovation impact venture working with marginalized communities to overcome food and financial insecurity in Cambodia.

Listen to our conversation to know more about Cambodian cricket farmers of all abilities, inclusive venture and adapting financing.

Agri House is a Khmer women owned and women led registered company. Cricket production represents one of the best alternative livelihoods in Cambodia. As a replacement or complement to rice cultivation, it is a stable production that provides a margin and a regular income.

Episode 14

Featuring Rossita Sahpawi, lecturer and researcher from the Borneo Marine Research Institute in Malaysia – with Rossita we discussed the potential of black soldier fly larvae to serve as an aquaculture feed ingredient in marine species – Chujun Li, entomology post doc at Sun Yat-Se University and R&D manager at Unique Biotechnology in Guangzhou, China, Yodai Okuyama, Study Team Member of the Japan International Cooperation Agency, Attawit Kovitvadhi, Assistant professor at Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand.

Episode 15

Featuring Moritz Gold as IFW24Scientific Committee Chair, and Leo Wein, as IFW24 General Co-Chair.

Where is the cutting edge research going? Which are the new prominent topics? Insect farming will be more about waste management and soil health? What about Singapore on the “insect space” map?

We went through all of these questions with Moritz and Leo, both from the “Insects To Feed The World 2024” Committee: the premier conference for the Insects as Feed and Food sector. 

Episode 16

Recorded at Wageningen University and featuring: Joop J.A. van Loon, Teun Veldkamp, Somaya Naser El Deen, Shaphan Y. Chia ( … and Marcel Dicke).

Wageningen University in The Netherlands is one of the best universities worldwide in the field of Life Sciences.

Which is the relation between insecticides and insect as feed and food? Is industry running ahead of the research? What a flexiterian is? What about Kenya and Black Soldier Fly farming? And (ghost questions): every tomato sauce makes your spaghetti “bolognese?”, what about reducing meat consumption and insects as food?

Episode 17

Featuring Andreas Vilcinskas, director of the Institute for Insect Biotechnology and Insect Biomedicine he is also heading the branch “Bioresources” of the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology, both in Germany.

Andreas Vilcinskas is recognized internationally for his expertise and continues to influence the field through his pioneering research and academic leadership.

We talked about controlled environmental agriculture, yellow biotechnology, the Sustainable Development Goals, palm oil and insects farming, peptides and high added value insect based products.