MIGHTi is a collaborative research project designed to address the multifaceted and systematic factors that contribute to food insecurity in Southern Africa, while simultaneously joining a global effort to re-envision food systems in a changing climate. Our focus is edible insects and edible insect farming. MIGHTi is spearheaded by doctoral students Valerie Stull and Rachel Bergmans at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. We are supported by a diverse set of academic experts, research assistants, industry leaders, and international development professionals. In 2014, MIGHTi won a US Agriculture Innovation Prize, and in 2015 we were awarded first place in the University of Wisconsin Climate Quest competition. Currently, one team member is conducting field research in Zambia, while the other is working on laboratory studies at the University of Wisconsin.Current Projects
*considering crickets, mealworms and locusts.
We seek to investigate potential social, health, and environmental impacts of edible insect farming. Some of our first objectives are to identify insects and rearing methods feasible in Zambia, considering climate, social perceptions, nutritional needs, and available resources. In tandem, we are investigating health impacts of edible insect consumption on human immune function and gut microbiota. All of our research is intended to be holistic and context specific.
MIGHTi aims to use robust, multidisciplinary research to investigate ways edible insects can contribute to sustainable food security and improved health and well-being globally. Our vision is to generate applied research on edible insects that has the potential to improve lives and protect our precious environmental resources.
Currently, MIGHTi’s work is limited to the United States and Zambia, but we endeavor to promote fortified food systems that support healthy people and a healthy planet in the face of climate change and a growing population.
In the future, we aim to use our research findings to inform community-driven, participatory projects that utilize edible insect rearing as a means to improve nutrition and health, while also supporting livelihoods particularly for women and women’s groups in developing countries.
Valerie Stull is a PhD candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Rachel Bergmans is a PhD candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.