Insect diet trial sets The FoodTalk Show all a-buzz
Many experts in sustainable food believe that insects are the future for humankind, but what’s it really like to live on a diet of creepy-crawlies?
The FoodTalk Radio Show will be finding out next week when team member Harry Wall spends five days dining on bush tucker as his main source of protein. From hot meals to snack bars, Harry will be trying out recipes and products that make the most of crickets, grasshoppers, mealworms and more – will he be jumping for joy or hopping mad?
There are no flies on Harry Wall – but there might be some on his plate when The FoodTalk Show team member gets stuck into a week of ‘weevilly’ good insect-based dishes.
Starting on Monday 24 April, the intrepid foodie will be dining on bugs and creepy-crawlies as his main source of protein. Whether chowing down on dried crickets, grasshoppers and worms as a snack, stirring them into a selection of appetising dishes or chomping energy bars made from cricket flour, Harry will spend five days discovering what some experts are hailing as the food of the future.
Listeners to The FoodTalk Radio Show – which broadcasts live online at 4pm every Thursday www.eatgrub.co.uk www.foodtalk.co.uk www.eatgrub.co.ukwww.eatgrub.co.uk— will hear how Harry is enjoying his unusual menu. He’ll be sharing daily updates via social media, along with live cookery videos every evening while preparing a hot meal. Harry will also be taking measurements, such as weight, at the start and end of the trial to see if he sheds or gains pounds in the process. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter @foodtalkshow and check out the hashtag #HarryEatsHoppers to stay up-to-date with his entomological experience.
This is no gimmicky fad, though – two billion people around the world already tuck into insects on a regular basis. Those in the know are calling on the West, in particular, to overcome cultural prejudices and embrace these tasty critters as the way forward for human dining. The global debate on food sustainability has been leaning towards insects as a realistic long-term option, but it might take some persuading for Brits to fall in love with creepy-crawly cuisine.
“That’s one of the reasons I’m doing the insect diet – to see what it’s really like to live on insects and insect-based products, and maybe dispel a few myths,” Harry (left) said.
“My job is to run The FoodTalk Show’s social media and I’ve seen firsthand how much of a buzz – excuse the pun! – is happening around insects in the food world.”
“So, I thought it was time I stepped up and found out what it really entails. I’m a bit nervous about the taste and texture of the bugs, but I’m also excited to give it a try.”
During his five-day challenge, Harry will be filling up on a variety of cooked dishes – such as grasshopper fajitas and mealworm risotto – along with snack bars made from cricket flour. He’ll be cooking up a storm with ingredients and insect protein bars supplied by Jimini’s (www.jiminis.co.uk) along with additional snacks from Eat Grub (www.eatgrub.co.uk).
Jimini’s co-founder Clément Scellier emphasised the health benefits of eating insects, along with the environmental advantages of choosing bug protein over meat.
“We’re thrilled to participate in this great challenge along with The FoodTalk Show,” Clément said.
“In fact, we really believe insects are part of our future alimentation. That’s why we work daily to make insects a mouth-watering experience. Eating insects for a week is a positive way to highlight the environmental benefits. Plus, on a nutritional level, grasshoppers, mealworms and crickets are high in proteins and iron. They contain Vitamin B12 and the eight essential amino acids, and can perfectly replace a more traditional source of protein.”
“In addition, insect farming produces 99% less greenhouse gases than traditional cattle farming. Last but not least, insects can be enjoyed in a variety of ways – made into flour to produce pasta, added into energy bars or included in cooking – and are extremely tasty. We wish Harry an excell-ant gastronomic adventure!”
Harry will be giving frank and honest reviews of the products’ taste, texture and ease of use, so #HarryEatsHoppers will provide a fascinating glimpse of what life on an insect diet is really like. So, if you’re interested in food, health, nutrition or are just curious about what a grasshopper fajita tastes like, tune into The FoodTalk Show at 4pm on Thursday 27 April and follow @foodtalkshow on Twitter and The FoodTalk Show’s Facebook page for all the gourmet gossip!