Before setting up Grub, the edible insect company, I used to work for an international charity where I was lucky enough to travel the world and see the relationship different cultures had with their food.
This was, in fact, when I first tried insects. It was Malawi, where the beginning of the rainy season sees termites leave their mound and fly for the skies. Not all of them get very far as the kids in the village I was staying were catching them with improvised nets. I thought it was just a fun game until later that day when I was presented with a plate of fried termites seasoned with chilli and lime. Nutty and prawn-like, I genuinely thought they were delicious.
When you delve a little further into the benefits of eating insects – there is a lot out there – it is not hard to see why 80% of the world’s nations eat insects. That’s 2 billion people worldwide. Someone, somewhere, right now is chowing down on a delicious insect meal. That’s because, as well as being tasty, insects are nutritious and sustainable. High in protein, minerals like iron and calcium and containing essential amino acids like Omega 3 and 6 – insects really should be described as a ‘superhero’ food. They are enjoyed in countries where access to high protein and nutrient rich food can be expensive or hard to come by. Insects are an easy and abundant solution. They have even been hailed as the food of the future as we try and find more sustainable sources of protein that can feed our growing population. One things is clear: our climate cannot survive our current eating habits for long.
Read the rest of Shami Radia’s article on Jamie’s Food Revolution website here