UK company says eating insects is healthy and good for planet

International

(CNN) — For many, it’s the stuff of nightmares… But keep an open mind: this could be your dinner tonight.

Jo Wise is the Managing Director at Monkfield, where they’ve been growing crickets as live pet feed for years. Now, they’re expanding; becoming the first in Britain to produce insects for human consumption at an industrial scale.

Wise says the average steak has 25 grams of protein. At Monkfield, each bin of crickets equals up to more than 40 steaks. So Wise hopes people will look at the nutritional value instead of looking away.

Eating insects comes with another benefit.

Emissions-wise, insects are as eco-friendly as it gets — as they take up very little space and grow really fast. They’re also ready for harvest four weeks after they hatch.

Upon harvesting, Monkfield freezes the insects, washes them thoroughly, puts them in a microwave where they are heated to boiling temperatures that kills any bacteria, and then they’re good to go.

“This is never going to look as appetizing as say, a steak, but what we need now is some really good chefs and food scientists to get behind the product and make some really tasty dishes.”

Jo Wise, Monkfield Managing Director

Chef Martha Ortiz has been slowly introducing insect dishes into the menu at Ella Canta, her upmarket Mexican restaurant in London. The guacamole Nacionalista is decorated with a golden grasshopper.

Ortiz says her customers love the dish and they ask for more.

A good chef can make anything taste delicious. But the big question is: With insects on sale in the UK, are people in the West ready to eat them?

For now, insects might just be for the most daring. But finite resources and a growing population might make eating these a global necessity, rather than a choice.

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