People in Lincolnshire roundly rejected the potential idea of eating insects after it was revealed a new industrial venture could be on its way this week.
Lincolnshire County Council’s economy and environment portfolio holder Councillor Colin Davie said on Tuesday that there’s strong interest in producing insect protein-based foods in Lincolnshire.
This included protein sourced from insects fed on waste products, with an announcement potentially due to be made in the near future.
Insect farms are seen to be more sustainable than meat and fish, with a minimal environmental footprint.
Many see it as a potential replacement for meat and other protein sources as the population grows and food production is limited.
As well as being a source of protein, many edible insects also include a number of vitamins, iron, omega and amino acids.
Internationally, bugs have been on the menu in many countries and cultures for hundreds of thousands years.
According to reports there are nearly 30 edible insect businesses in the UK, including cricket farms, restaurants, product manufacturers and retailers.
Horizon Edible Insects in London for instance, lists mealworms used for “bug burgers”, cricket powder which can be used as a protein supplement in shakes and incorporated into baked goods, and edible locusts.
The company also offers lessons on how to cook insects and provide guides and resources to start up your own colonies.
Residents were asked on social media if they would eat bugs as a replacement for things like brussel sprouts.
Richard Lemin said: “That’s just not cricket!”
Benjamin McLoughlin said: “If, by alternative to Brussel Sprouts, you mean, another food that I’d rather chew my own foot off than eat, then yes.”
Christine Eileen Wilson said: “They won’t be on my food menu, thank you very much.”
Tamyka Otter said: “Not a chance mate! You would never catch me eating stuff like that.”
Steven Grayson joked: “I heard it was getting shut down, as there were no bugs in kitchen.”
“Bug off,” said Cara Wiseman.
Some were more supportive, with Geoff Adams commenting: “I’ve heard that certain types of insects can be ground down to make a very healthy substitute for wheat flour to make an alternative to bread.
“A healthy protein rich slice to spread your butter and marmalade on in the morning”
Mark Finlay asked: “Aren’t they just land prawns?”
A short survey of staff in the Lincolnite office found a majority voting “no”.
However, one colleague said they might try it if it was “tempura battered and dipped in katsu sauce… or in sushi”.
Another eats them regularly and described them as a “great source of protein”.