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The Bug Man


Imagine a world where you could only eat small grasshoppers or black beetles? Well this is the vision for Dutch-New Zealand naturalist and entomologist, Ruud Kleinpaste.

The host of the Animal Planet series ‘Buggin with Ruud,’ educated students about various topics relating to insects as he believed that “we can all study and learn so much from all bugs.” Kleinpaste explained that in some ways, the creepy crawlies around us serve a significant purpose of inspiring new generations of technology design and more sustainable ways of living. Through biomimicry, insects such as cockroaches, were able to inspire the construction of a space rover structure used by NASA in Mars. Similarly, the idea of developing an ‘all bug diet’ by 2040 as an efficient alternative was provoked by Kleinpaste, as he explained that insect protein contains no cholesterol and all the right fats; so really, this is a no brainer!

The presentation was fascinating for the students to engage with and grasp a deeper knowledge of the specialised processes insects undergo in order for us to live. Although we sometimes undermine what these googly-eyed creatures are really capable of, Kleinpaste strongly encouraged students to reframe this mindset, and instead “respect their job and enhance their (the bugs) potential; work with them rather than against them.”

Francesca Adams