After a successful career in corporate finance, Scott Taylor made a very big change. “During those years, I was fascinated with health and nutrition. As an adolescent, I had developed food sensitivities, which sparked an interest is how the food we eat impacts our bodies,” Scott says. “The more I learned, the more I realized how complex our bodies are.”
After the devastating death of his mother from cancer at only 57, Scott took a step back. “I asked myself, ‘What do I want my life to mean, and how can I make her proud?’ I set about exploring the answer, because I knew that I wanted to spend my life doing something I was passionate about.”
He quit his corporate position in September 2015, moved to Columbia, and backpacked in Latin America for 8 months. “It was a time to regroup mentally and look at my life in a fresh way.”
Learning from his own experience of changing his diet to respect his food sensitivities, Scott had discovered that convincing anyone to change their dietary habits was near-to impossible unless they were ready. However, people are always looking for new and fresh products that could put them on a better path.
With that goal in mind, it doesn’t necessarily seem intuitive to recommend eating insects. At least not in the North American food culture. However, in Latin America Scott discovered all their benefits, both nutritionally and environmentally. “At first I was a bit hesitant to try them, but of course I did - crickets, beetles, ants, grasshoppers, they are all traditional delicacies that are prepared in certain ways. And they really do taste good!”
Then Scott came across an in-depth article about food scarcity, and the difficulty that the world will face feeding a population that is projected to increase rapidly over the next 20 to 30 years.
“The energy, time, and money spent to grow the livestock for food in our North American diet is very taxing on our land and water resources. It’s simply not sustainable. I concluded that it will soon become a necessity to use insects to augment our diets. I believe that we will change the mentality that resists this, and using insects in food will become more and more viable and popular.” Scott decided to be join the pioneers of that business.
Scott began to experiment with cricket flour and trying different ingredients that paired well with it. As he developed the recipe for his AVAIL bar, he was focused on flavor, consistency, high-quality premium ingredients, high protein, low sugar, organic, non-GMO – and it had to taste good.
A vital component of Scott’s manufacturing process was obtaining cricket flour that was up to his standards. “Crickets have been raised for animal consumption for 50-60 years, and I was very fortunate to find a very impressive cricket farm that is FDA-compliant and provides me with organic, gluten free, non-GMO cricket flour. Crickets literally are what they eat, so these are fed organic, gluten-free food. While the cricket flour contributes a nuttiness to the flavor of the bars, it can’t be tasted separately.”
Raised to value hard work, self-confidence, curiosity, and open-mindedness, Scott credits his family with the foundation he has built on in his business. “I want to make people and the world a healthier place. I want to feel proud of what I do and make my family proud. That’s what gets me up in the morning. Everything is worth it for me, when I feel that I’m doing something that I firmly believe in.”