Insects as future food in Australia

Insects as future food in Australia

We love it when edible insects feature on mainstream media. Australia’s public broadcaster ABC TV have produced a series of programs examining the food we eat in Australia and how we can possibly manage the sustainability challenges of population growth and climate change while still maintaining a nutritious, diverse and delicious food supply.  By 2050 we will have another 15 million people to feed in Australia. The first program in the series  ‘Feeding Australia’ was titled Foods of Tomorrow. Among talk of modular farming without soil, barramundi farming and using avocado stem cells to speed up production, talk soon turned to eating bugs. Insects are a protein source that requires much less water, less food, less land and produce less greenhouse gases than beef. Co-host Dr Noby Leong invited a few of his friends around to try a few insect based dishes. Firstly, they tried bread made with cricket flour (check out our recipe for bread on our Recipes page), but they weren’t told there were crickets in it beforehand. They thought it tasted like rye bread and were very surprised to learn it contained crickets. This reinforces our own experiences of secreting insect ingredients into foods and offering it to our friends and family! We agree with Noby that people don’t mind eating insects if they don’t know about it and underlines the fact there is a ‘yuk factor’ in play in Australia. Next on the menu was mealworm tacos. While the flavour was OK, the fact the mealworms were whole was a visual turn off. Next, was a cricket stir fry with whole roasted crickets on the side. This was quite confronting with one of his guests saying “I can’t crunch the legs, the legs are just dancing in my mouth”. Again, this whole scenario matches up with our experience. We believe that in order for insects to become mainstream in Australia, we need to use them as ingredients in commonly eaten foods. This is happening overseas and will happen here too. And we’re here to help.

ABC TV is tackling the challenge of feeding Australia in the future, including insects