Santa Barbara Bugs

Connecting the Santa Barbara community to edible insects. 

Normalizing edible insects can help create a more sustainable, healthy, and just food system. Santa Barbara Bugs is a local, collaborative effort to create dialogue about food and the future through edible insects. Join us in learning, teaching and sharing stories about edible insects and food in our community.  

The Research Team

Santa Barbara Bugs is growing! We have a team of students and community members who advocate for edible insects and share information with others in our local area.  Some have even started insect farms!  Contact us to find out how to get involved.

MacKenzie Wade

I am an Anthropology Graduate Student Researcher at UC Santa Barbara. I began farming mealworms in 2014 and have since been immersed in discussions about the future of food.  My research considers cultural food perceptions (why do we eat what we eat?) and issues of sustainability, justice, and food sovereignty. 

Learn More

1. Watch this intro to edible insects video.

2. Stay up-to-date on local edible insect events or organize your own. 

3. Find edible insects in our local area to create your own taste experience. 

4. Ask us a question to find out more!  

Connect with us on Instagram:
Find Bugs

Santa Barbara

1. Ralphs: Chirps Chips

2. Mercado El Rey: Chapulines

Goleta/Isla Vista

3. Old Town Coffee: Exo Crickets

4. The Arbor: Exo Crickets

5. IV Co-op: Chirps Chips


6. 8 Regiones Comida Oaxaqueña: Chapulines

7. Oaxaco: Chapulines




MacKenzie Wade

Office: HSSB 2075,

UC Santa Barbara


Upcoming Events

Check out These Local & Online options for learning more

Edible insect lecture

"That anthro podcast" Episode

The Future of Food
@ SXSW, Austin

Share your thoughts and photos

Santa Barbara Bugs relies on community collaboration! Think local restaurants should serve bugs? Have a recipe to post? Just want to share your thoughts? We want to hear from you! Add a message below or share a photo with us on Instagram!

Thank you!