Save the planet: Swap your steak for bugs and worms

Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:42am EST
 
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By Ivana Sekularac

WAGENINGEN, Netherlands (Reuters Life!) - All you need to do to save the rainforest, improve your diet, better your health, cut global carbon emissions and slash your food budget is eat bugs.

Mealworm quiche, grasshopper springrolls and cuisine made from other creepy crawlies is the answer to the global food crisis, shrinking land and water resources and climate-changing carbon emissions, Dutch scientist Arnold van Huis says.

The professor at Wageningen University in the Netherlands said insects have more protein than cattle per bite, cost less to raise, consume less water and don't have much of a carbon footprint. He even has plans for a cookbook to make bug food a more appetising prospect for mature palates.

"Children don't have a problem with eating insects, but adults with developed eating habits do, and only tasting and experience can make them change their minds," Van Huis said.

"The problem is psychological."

Van Huis has organized lectures, food tastings, and cookery classes with a master chef who demonstrates how to prepare a range of recipes using bugs, worms and grasshoppers, all bred -- or raised -- at a Dutch insect farm for consumption.

To attract more insect-eaters, Van Huis and his team of scientists at Wageningen have worked with a local cooking school to produce a cookbook and suitable recipes.

Chef Henk van Gurp, who created recipes for mealworm quiche and chocolate pralines with buffalo worms, sees no reason to disguise the ingredients, and sprinkles mealworms on top of the quiche filling and onto the chocolate buffalo worms as protein.   Continued...

 
<p>People try an insect snack during a break in the lecture given by Professor Arnold van Huis at the University of Wageningen January 12, 2011. REUTERS/Jerry Lampen</p>