Primary school children could be fed edible insects to help make UK greener

Locusts and mealworms could be on the menu for children at four primary schools in Wales

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Primary school children could soon be offered insects as part of their school dinners, in order to help the environment.

Four primary schools in Wales will be piloting a scheme educating children on "alternative proteins" from sources such as insects.

Crickets, grasshoppers, silkworms, locusts and mealworms will all be discussed with children in Pembrokeshire, with the view of potentially offering them as an alternative protein.

This is after a 2020 study by the International Platform of Insects for Food and Feed (IPIFF) found nine million European consumers ate insects in 2019.

Bug recipe kits
Bug recipe kits

Study author Verity Jones, of the University of West of England in Bristol said: ‘Everyone eats insects everyday – there’s over 30 parts of bugs in every 100g of chocolate … bread, fruit juices, hops … you name it, you’re eating insects,’ she said.

"All research, for adults and children, indicates whole insects are off-putting, but ground-up insects within foods are very acceptable.

"No one likes the idea of having a crunchy bit of wing or antenna between their teeth.

"But, in fact, children were more likely to choose food containing edible insects over usual meat products on a matter of sustainable credentials if given the option.

"My research indicates, as with adults, that boys are more likely to be up for trying the new foods first – but overall both boys and girls seem to be willing to have a go in equal measure."

Insect farms are believed to emit 75% less carbon than traditional livestock.