Does the thought of eating insects make your stomach squirm? Entomologist Skye Blackburn tells us why we should get over the ick factor.
For many nations around the world, bugs are already a nutritious and delicious dietary mainstay, and according to entomologist Skye Blackburn from The Edible Bug shop (ediblebugshop.com.au) it's time we follow their lead.
“Edible insects are high in protein, low in saturated fats, high in micro nutrients such as calcium, iron magnesium and contain B12 and Omega 3,” says Skye, who started Edible Bug Shop after completing a degree in Entomology and Food Science.
Australia also has its fare share of grubs that could be served up as grub – and it may not be that long before we find them on our supermarket shelves.
“I believe in the next 5-10 years you will see more products containing edible insects, maybe not as whole insects but in the form of a high protein insect powder,” says Skye who has been breeding edible insects for over seven years, but has seen a sharp increase in sales in the last 24 months.
“20 years ago everyone thought it was strange to eat sushi because it contains raw fish. Now every shopping centre has at least one sushi bar. To the generation that is growing up now, eating insects will be a normal part of their diet.”
Chefs are also cottoning onto the trend, with many – including gastronomic wizard Heston Blumenthal - recognising edible insects as a versatile, flavoursome ingredient.
Like Heston, who is already chowing down on bugs and describes insects like meal worms as ‘fantastically pleasant and delicious’, Skye is already incorporating bugs into her everyday diet.
“At the moment I really like adding roasted mealworms to my muesli in the morning. They have a mild nutty taste and extra protein and nutrients. “
“Bugs are very versatile. You can use them fresh and add them to a stir-fry or curry, roasted as a crunchy snack, or ground up into a powder to use in cookies, banana bread or other bakery items.
For more information on eating bugs or to order them online, visit ediblebugshop.com.au.