The team at Planet Bugs is working to create more sustainable systems through the beneficial use of insects - as novel food ingredients (palm oil alternative & a dairy free high protein concentrate), alternative materials for cosmetics and detergents (oils), organic fertilizers, as super decomposers of our trash (e.g. Styrofoam™/polystyrene), and more…
I co-founded Planet Bugs to tackle the challenges facing our physical environment (urban, rural, and natural). As the climate changes, we need to find ways to live more in harmony with nature rather than always trying to control it. We mostly treat insects as pests that spread disease, destroy our crops, or otherwise cause us harm. However, many more bugs already help us in essential and life-giving ways: they pollinate our crops, decompose our waste, till the soil, provide food for lots of critters like wild fish, and much more. How could insects help us keep plastic waste out of our drinking water? Could we eat insects to improve our gut microbiome allowing us to live healthier lives? How could insects help our farms reduce their reliance on toxic chemicals for pesticides and fertilizers? These questions (and many more) feed my curiosity and drive me to look for solutions.
I’ve tackled big problems before. I spent nearly 20 years revolutionizing the financial advisory industry at Financial Engines by giving all Americans access to affordable, high quality financial advice. In the past, you needed a million dollar portfolio just to get the financial help you deserved. Now, everyone, regardless of their income or wealth, can hire an advisor who will put their clients’ interest first and charge a very reasonable fee. Best of all, consumers can choose from so many great companies (e.g., Schwab, Vanguard, Betterment, Personal Capital, and, of course, Edelman Financial Engines).
I co-founded Planet Bugs to pursue my passion for creating sustainable systems, entomophagy, and help combat ever-increasing amounts of waste. Insects have been shown to be a novel answer to solving waste problems. Insects help solve many food system problems and answer the climatic problems we face in our water usage, land usage, and carbon emissions.
As part of my degree from Washington State University, I researched mealworms and their consumption of expanded polystyrene (EPS) for the last four years. I finished my undergraduate in 2020 majoring in Environmental Science and French. For the last two years I have been pursuing my masters and continuing research on mealworms ability to breakdown EPS and use them as a food/feed product and their frass as fertilizer.
The potential for turning EPS into fertilizer, food, and feed is here, now it’s just about scaling up. The future for us is turning more types plastics and food waste into usable animal or human protein and frass into fertilizer