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Fancy a Bug Mac? UK farm launches WORM burgers in bid to save the planet

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Fancy a Bug Mac? UK farm launches WORM burgers in bid to save the planet – and creator claims they’re tastier than beef

  • The insects provide an environmentally-friendly, sustainable source of protein
  • They are farmed in plastic trays and then relocated to purpose-built outbuildings
  • They are said to  have a ‘nutty to earthy flavour’

If you found a bug in your burger at a restaurant, you would probably send it back.

But one UK farm is serving up juicy snacks made entirely from creepy-crawlies – and claims they’re even tastier than beef.

An urban farm in Ealing, London, is putting insects on your plate, in attempt to promote a more environmentally-friendly, sustainable source of protein.

An ecological and nutritious alternative to meat, edible insects are rich in protein, omega 3 and vitamin B12 – as well as low in calories.

An ecological and nutritious alternative to meat, edible insects are rich in protein, omega 3 and vitamin B12 - as well as low in calories

An ecological and nutritious alternative to meat, edible insects are rich in protein, omega 3 and vitamin B12 – as well as low in calories

Experimental chef Tiziana Di Costanzo is the founder of Horizon Edible Insects, where she farms mealworms and crickets.

She says the insects have a ‘nutty to earthy flavour’.

Tiziana claims that only with bran and vegetable peels she could produce enough insects to feed her family of four.

She said: “Let them crawl into your menu once, and you’ll be hooked!

“Once you get past the ‘yuck effect’, you’ll find that they actually taste really good.

“We are hoping to scale up the operation to a production of 100kg per week in the next 6 months, all of this with zero waste”.

Experimental chef Tiziana Di Costanzo, who farms mealworms and crickets, says the insects have a 'nutty to earthy flavour'

Experimental chef Tiziana Di Costanzo, who farms mealworms and crickets, says the insects have a ‘nutty to earthy flavour’

The insects are farmed in plastic trays and when they outgrow them, they are relocated to a purpose-built wooden outbuilding- and all with zero-waste

The insects are farmed in plastic trays and when they outgrow them, they are relocated to a purpose-built wooden outbuilding- and all with zero-waste

The insects are farmed in plastic trays and when they outgrow them, they are relocated to a purpose-built wooden outbuilding- and all with zero-waste.

Mealworms for example, do not require any water to survive so farming them is a help to the planet’s water crisis.

The farm also uses donated fruits and vegetables that cannot be sold, as feed.

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The farm is also organising a cooking event at the end of the month, where attendants will try and learn how to cook a cornbread bruschetta garnished with crickets, curry and coriander mealworm fritters, a mealworm burger, crispy chocolate mealworm cupcakes and cinnamon and raisin insect biscuits.

Are insects a good source of protein? 

Insects contain more than twice as much protein per 100g as meat and fish, a fascinating graphic that uses data from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations revealed.

The most protein-rich insects are wasps, bees and ants, which contain between 13g and 77g of protein per 100g, the graphic by Western Exterminator shows.

True bugs, such as aphids and pond-skaters, contain between 48g and 74g, while crickets contain between 23g and 65g of protein.

Meanwhile mackerel has a much lower range of protein content per 100g, containing just 16g to 28g, while beef has even less at 19g to 26g.

Chicken contains 23g per 100g – the lowest amount crickets and beetles could contain – while pork has 20g.

Eggs contain the least at 13g.

Even termites, which contain the lowest range of protein content of any insect, still have more protein than any other type of meat, fish or egg.

The range of protein depends on the species and at what life stage you eat the insects at, for example, the pupae or larvae.

There are not only nutritional benefits to insects.

Many scientists have predicted that edible insects could be the answer to the world’s looming food crisis.

Experts have predicted there will be a food shortage as soon as 40 years from now as the population is expected to increase by 30 percent to 9 billion people by mid-century.

That would require a 70 per cent increase in the amount of food produced to meet the demand.

 

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