For years eating insects have been an essential part of some peoples lives, so much that edible insects have been billed as the next sustainable food revolution. Tiziana Di Costanzo, the co-founder of Horizon, a small-scale edible insect farm in London, said, “mealworms are very versatile. They have a nutty taste.” Di Costanzo and her family farm mealworms. They sell live mealworms and dried crickets to customers in the UK.
“For us, everything we do is with the view of preserving the natural environment,” she says. “Our utopian view was that other people would do the same as us and we would have lots of little urban insect farms like Horizon. But that hasn’t really been catching on very well.”
Compared with traditional livestock such as beef and lamb, insects require far fewer resources and produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
“Insects can be raised on a fraction of the water, feed and space require by traditional livestock,” says MacKenzie Wade, a PhD student studying perceptions of edible insects at the University of California, Santa Barabara.
The great thing about insects is they can be reared almost anywhere. Mealworms and crickets can also be eaten whole too.
“We are a circular business,” she explains. “We take surplus vegetables from a couple of our local food shops and we use that feed for the insects. We also take the frass, which is the excrement, and sell that as well.”
A poll carried out in 2019 found that nearly one-third of people in the UK believed that edible insects would become part of their diets.
Will insects become an important part of your diet? Would you try some?