Jun 22, 2016 | Posted by in 2016, EIFF
EIFF 2016

Andreas Johnsen’s documentary BUGS tackles the question of whether insects are a viable solution to the global food supply problem.

To many the idea of eating insects is a really horrific prospect as they are often considered to be disgusting but a fact of life in the developed world is that we often don’t have any idea what we’re eating. Think of how fast food burgers are made and distributed for example. The origins of that food might also horrify you. That point is touched on in the documentary but isn’t the point of it.

BUGSThe point of it is to explore the viability of eating insects in terms of taste. Researchers at the Nordic Food Lab, Ben Reade -who runs a restaurant in Edinburgh called Edinburgh Food Studio– and Josh Evans travel the world to sample various insects an approach them from the point of view of chefs trying to create a tasty meal. The results are definitely more surprising than you might think.

As they travel from place to place they talk to the people who rely on insects as their food source and know how to prepare them properly. They take that knowledge and apply their own ideas to it in an attempt to create interesting combinations. I’m not ashamed to admit that the results look absolutely delicious. A personal highlight that I would like to try is a fried Queen Termite. There are also some non stinging bees that -judging by the reactions of Ben and Josh- create some of the best tasting honey as well as being tasty themselves.

The documentary is nicely structured with Ben and Josh being interesting people with some really intelligent opinions that they discuss rationally at various points. I like how the documentary shows their enthusiasm starting to dissolve as time goes on when they realise that people aren’t quite ready to start seriously considering their ideas.

I would personally have liked to see more exploration on complex food systems that involve insects and how that could be adapted into something that works for human beings as a practical and appetising food source. This is touched on but no real headway is made on the argument one way or another. It’s a small niggle and I think that the documentary accomplishes what it sets out to do.


A fascinating exploration of the idea of insects as both a practical and flavourful food source for human beings. Seeing it be the norm for other cultures is really eye opening and it certainly made me want to try some of the things they were cooking. Personally I would have liked more exploration on how this could work for humans on a practical level but I would say that the documentary accomplishes everything it needed to.

  • 8.5/10
    BUGS - 8.5/10


Kneel Before…

  • very appetising looking food on display
  • the way the idea is explored
  • intelligent and rationally thought out arguments

Rise Against…

  • a lack of exploration of the practicalities of how this could be implemented globally
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