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Insects food of the future, says Plymouth entomologist

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: August 16, 2013

Peter Smithers

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A Westcountry entomologist says the time has come to take bugs away from the "bushtucker trials" and into our daily diets.

Peter Smithers insists insects are no longer a novelty food stuff and could actually be used to feed the world.

In May this year, the United Nations' Food and Agricultural Organisation published a report which provided the first comprehensive assessment of insects' current and potential uses food for humans and livestock.

"Insects have been regarded as a novel food for some time in the west, an exotic treat or daring delicacy eaten for fun and entertainment," the Plymouth University said.

"However, this light-hearted take on insects as food is a peculiarity of Western cultures and in the rest of the world insects are a regular part of human diets that are enjoyed and anticipated."

Mr Smithers has teamed up with Devon-based Michelin starred chef Peter Gorton to produce insect-based dishes, and will be doing so again at an event next month.

The pair will be hosting an evening of entomological delights, crunchy cuisine and tasty tales at Gortons in Tavistock on Thursday, August 22. It will include a four-course meal interspersed with talks about the cuisine being consumed which Mr Smithers hopes could spark a sea-change among eating habits of those attending.

"Insects are more efficient at converting their food into edible protein than the vertebrates that we rear today," he said.

"So as the human population grows, insects will become more popular and necessary as part of our diets. Now is a great time to step forward and embrace the food of the future."

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  • PennyAtkinson  |  December 03 2013, 10:47AM

    Very interesting article - I am a strong believer that insects will indeed be making their way into our diets in the future and will become one of the more sustainable food sources. According to a new JG Environmental infographic there are 1.4 billions insects - that's more than enough to feed the world! But apparently we are already eating Cochineal beetles and Shellac bugs! http://tinyurl.com/oow2pgp

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