They crawl, hop, squirm, wiggle… and they could be creeping onto a menu near you.
Edible insects are touted as the next ‘superfood’ – packed full of protein, nutrients, potassium, magnesium and three times more fatty acids than omega-3 in salmon.
Australian entomologist Skye Blackburn said she believed we could all be tucking into protein-rich crickets, ants, mealworms and scorpions in the future.
The founder of Edible Bug Shop said she believed we could all be tucking into protein-rich crickets, ants, mealworms and scorpions in the future
The protein-rich mealworms can be added to your sweet dishes, including this banoffee pie
Speaking to Daily Mail Australia on World Edible Insect Day, Ms Blackburn likened edible insects to sushi.
‘Twenty years ago in Australia, raw fish was considered strange. Now you’re seeing sushi everywhere you turn,’ Ms Blackburn said.
‘This just shows how Australia has grown their food knowledge and how our palates have changed over time – and the same will happen with edible insects.’
Ms Blackburn who is the founder of Edible Bug Shop said their cricket protein powder has proven popular among Australians.
‘If you add 20 grams scoop of the cricket powder to your food, you’re getting 68 per cent protein, 40 per cent calcium and 30 per cent iron,’ she said.
Breakfast time! Granola with crunchy crickets, natural yoghurt and fresh raspberries. The crickets add extra protein and micronutrients to keep you going all morning!
Protein treats! Dried bugs incorporated into sweet foods, including protein balls and cookies
Edible insects being sold at Sydney’s Carriage Works Farmers Market earlier this year
Cricket powder added to this nutritious smoothie bowl, filled with acai, muesli and coconut
She said cricket powder was a nutritious ingredient to add to protein shakes, smoothies, curries and stir fries.
‘I even use the powder on my muesli or gnocchi to give that extra protein – and it leaves you feeling full for longer.’
She also said the product has become an alternative source of protein to meat – and bakers can even replace a third of their flour with the powder.
‘Eating a whole bug can be hard for people so they can now get them in a cricket powder form – it looks like any other protein powder you’d get,’ she explained.
‘There are different ways you can add the powder to the food you love – you can make vegetarian burgers with them.
‘I even add them to my brownies and cookies – because it’s more nutrient dense than a regular cookie or brownie.’
Flavoured crickets are being sold as a snack – including chilli and garlic flavoured bugs
Ms Blackburn – who has been breeding insects for the past 10 years – said she gets customers from all walks of life ordering products from her online store
Ms Blackburn – who has been breeding insects for the past 10 years – said she gets customers from all walks of life ordering products from her online store.
‘We have mums and dads buying insects to include in their families’ diets,’ she said.
‘We also have professional people who are interested in the environmental side like saving the planet or choosing a more sustainable healthy diet.
‘We also have top chefs who are incorporating edible insects in their dishes.’
Ms Blackburn said edible bugs were once viewed as a novelty – but she has seen more people adding the extra crunch to their diet.
‘We’ve been doing this for 10 years now and we’ve seen a big change in people’s eating habits,’ she said.
‘We want to see more people learn how to include bugs to their diet.’
For more information, visit Edible Bug Shop.