Can you remember back to the days when sushi wasn’t on the menu? You couldn’t get it on a revolving conveyor belt, at an all-you-can-eat Asian buffet and certainly not in the chilled section of the supermarket. How times have changed!
Following behind sushi is another Asian delicacy making inroads into the Western diet and palate. Bugs, or “edible insects” if you’re a little posh, are the latest foreign food to make waves in the food world.
Bugs To Solve The Food Crisis
Last year we ran into Shami and Neil who started Grub and brought their Eat Grub bar to market. More recently we came across Josh and Harry from Mophagy who launched a wholesale range of insect products back in January this year. Seems everyone is jumping on the bug bandwagon.
Why all this interest in bugs and insects as food?
Because they’re a great source of protein and nutrition, as well as being a wonderfully sustainable food source. Insects take just a fraction of the feed and water input required to grow vs traditional livestock such as beef or poultry, and take very little land, unlike other plants farmed for protein such as soy. Insects also produce almost no methane gas – a huge benefit when you consider farmed livestock are currently responsible for more methane pollution than all global transport combined according to the FAO.
With a growing population, an increasing awareness of the environmental impacts of livestock and a need to produce even more food from our limited resources, insects provide a very real solution for future generations.
Trying Your First Bug
If you’ve never tasted bugs you’ll soon have every opportunity to give them a go. Mophagy are launching their new range of insect products for the home pantry on May 1st. The range includes cricket and mealworm flour as well as whole roasted crickets and mealworms for the more adventurous.
The founders at Mophagy really believe that bugs will be the food of the future. Josh thinks that the flavour will win people over:
There are many who feel uneasy about eating insects for the first time, but logic and curiosity usually get people past the first taste. That’s when the ingredients’ ace is played – the taste and versatility. They describe the flavours of the cricket lines as being ‘mellow and nutty’ and the mealworms as ‘mellow and chocolatey’, helped by the roasting process they undergo when drying.
If you’re not ready to eat bugs in their natural form, you can opt for the flour products which can be added to almost anything, Harry explains:
Our finely milled flour allows people to experience all the benefits without ever actually having to look at an insect. You can add it to your Nutribullet, sprinkle over breakfast or enrich normal flour to bake nutrient rich, flavourful breads and cakes.
Top Chefs Cooking With Bugs
Not satisfied with just selling bug products, the guys at Mophagy are also partnering up with some top chefs to push the flavour angle even further. Nomad in Birmingham are leading the charge by getting involved with the insects as food revolution.
It will certainly be interesting to watch to see if bugs creep onto any mainstream restaurant menus. Josh has confirmed that Mophagy are currently working on some pop-up restaurant ideas with some of the partnering chefs. We’ll report back as soon as we know more.