Grub Kitchen UK Promotes Sustainable Food Alternative: Bug Burritos, Cricket Crepes and Bamboo Worm Pad Thai, Anyone?

Nov 19, 2015 12:12 PM EST | By A. M.

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Mixed reactions flew around when the UK's first insect-only restaurant, Grub Kitchen, was launched.  A number of feedback were of incredulity and disbelief, after all, stories of bug-eating experiences have been more widely associated with the two leading insect snacking advocates: China and Thailand. Grub Kitchen however, is not unique and insect consumption is hardly new. The term entomophagy, or insect eating, comes from the Greek term éntomos, or éntomon, which means insect and phăgein, which means to eat. Africa, Australia, Netherlands and Colombia are among the many countries that have been involved in entomophagy as part of their subsistence.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has been working since 2003 to promote the benefits of insect consumption. So Grub Kitchen's proposed stand toward sustainability is quite smart.

"Grub Kitchen was inspired by the need to change our views on where our protein comes from," says head chef Andy Holcroft.

"And the need to encourage the public to look at alternative protein sources, particularly insects. We are not saying not to eat meat, but eat meat less. We do not need meat with every meal, every day. This is putting a huge strain on our already oversubscribed agricultural industry."

The need for alternative food sources is an ongoing and growing concern and the UN has been actively advocating the use of insects for this purpose. According to the UN 2013 report: "Insects are everywhere, and they reproduce quickly. They have high growth and feed conversion rates and a low environmental footprint."

Insects, anyone? It's  not exactly uncommon for people to eat insects like these in some parts of the world.
(Photo : Getty Images) Insects, anyone? It's not exactly uncommon for people to eat insects like these in some parts of the world.

Public reception to Grub Kitchen is quite positive and people seem to be warming up to Grub Kitchen's insect burger selection. Particular favourite flavours are sweet chilli and coriander, wild mushroom or blue cheese and peppercorn. Also part of Grub Kitchen's offerings are bug burritos, cricket crepes, cricket falafels and bamboo worm pad Thai.

Outside of Grub Kitchen, such stores as Eat Grub and Bug Grub are among the shops in the UK that offer packed snacks and goodies made of insects. Hultz Prize-winner Aspire, which has presence in the USA, Mexico and Ghana, has been working toward promoting food security through insect farming.

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