Tastebugs: Helping Children Accept the Consumption of Climate Friendly Insects

Insect variety plate – Image from kittymowmow.com – click

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Tastebugs is a UK initiative to habituate children to the idea of preparing climate friendly insect protein for human consumption.

3D Printed Tastebugs Challenge Children to Eat Insects

by Hanna Watkin

Tastebugs is a 3D printed modular kitchen utensil to teach children about the benefits of eating insects. We may squirm now, but it’s likely that bugs will make it to our plates very soon. 

Would you feed your children bugs? With consumers becoming more conscious of the impact of eating unsustainable food, it’s believed that we’ll soon begin turning to insects.

However, there is still a long way to go in terms of normalizing eating bugs. But one student from Northumbria University in the UK is using 3D printing to get the next generation on side.

Each component has a specific use for preparing bugs. For example, Cockrell designed dicer and mill to cut the insects, a funnel to get them in position, a compactor to make bug bars, and an infuser to create insect stock.

Components can all be detached or attached, making it possible to dice your bugs then turn them into a bar. Or funnel them into position before milling them down.

Read more: https://all3dp.com/3d-printed-tastebugs-insects/

The competition which produced this masterpiece was sponsored by 3dHubs, which appears to be a large consortium of 3D printing services.

25% of graduates of the UK education system struggle to read a bus timetable, but thanks to initiatives like Tastebugs, they will all have the insect protein preparation skills they will need for when the United Nations bans beef consumption.

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114 thoughts on “Tastebugs: Helping Children Accept the Consumption of Climate Friendly Insects

  1. They may make it to your plate, not mine. I don’t even like lobster, because it’s a bug.

  2. “…it’s believed people we’ll soon begin to turn to insects” . Another fantasy belief which wholly ignores cultural practices. But I look forward to the U.K.’s eco loons munching their way through platefuls of cockroaches to save the planet. Good luck with that.

    • I’ll gladly pay a carbon tax just to watch them.
      What was that Japanese game show? “Endurance”? Much missed.

      • The one with the 15-foot long sushi roll eating contests? With a surprise wasabi section? :]

  3. Kids in the U.S. don’t get a say in cafeteria decisions anyway such as portion reduction for health benefit so go right ahead. Just don’t forget the indoctrination classes that go along with the plan.

    • It’s a good thing Michelle Obama wasn’t aware of this when she was First Lady. She would’ve insisted public school cafeterias put MORE cockroaches in their meals.

  4. I’ll never forget a National Geographic special from decades ago where they visited a half-naked African tribe who snacked on live cockroaches. While they ate, someone kept shooing the treats back into the bowl.
    That was the ultimate in sustainable living, but oddly enough I’ve never seen Hollywood or Green activists serving giant hissing cockroach horsderves at Oscar or Grammy parties or revolutionary rallies…or anywhere else for that matter. They must really hate Mother Earth. 😱

  5. If I’m going to eat bugs, it’ll be because they taste good and because they’re a healthy menu item (Paleo friendly!). It will NOT be because of any virtue signaling “climate” BS.

  6. Has anyone polled the bugs to determine what they think ?
    I dread the thought of the march they could put on, if they all got together.

    • as I understand it protein rich cricket powder is being used now…tasty taco filling and crunchy, coconut-oil fried, fritters to be enjoyed by adding this powder…ground beyond all resemblance to bug legs and shell bits, right? To my reasoning, what with global population growth soaring and cost of cow meat and real foods, fresh fruits, etc it is very possible this WILL BE the protein of choice. The problem for now is SEEING the bugs in bug form. Years ago, for my ad agency work I read several types of consumer marketing journals, one in the food industry talked about all the BLEACHED dark chicken meat to fool picky eaters, as most Americans won’t choose anything but white meat,[where do millions of white meat chicken nuggets come from?] and then there was finely minced real chicken meat made into “fun shapes” like stars and moons-again for picky kids too spoiled to be grateful.
      Right now teeny eco-groovy health food companies are being snapped up by the mega-big-food-corps without original ideas so they know how to position themselves for future customer demands. check out “Crik Nutrition: https://criknutrition.com/pages/why-cricket-protein-powder

  7. My father in law (RIP) always recommended putting a little celery in egg salad just in case you did crunch on something, he would claim it was the celery. Same with a little black pepper in the mashed potatoes just in case you saw some little dark spots in there . No worries, just eat.

    • Interesting you say that…it is estimated that we have been eating insects and their eggs in dozens of foods we eat every day. In fresh food and in processed food. Bread and flour products have a lot of insects in them because it impossible to clean the grain in bulk to a high degree. Eating insects, especially after being cooked is no different in protein than any other source. It is estimated that tens of thousands of tons of insects are already in our food chain and you will probably be eating them in tonights meal. Bon Appetit!

      • I’m suddenly reminded of the scene in “The Pacific” when the soldiers are getting their chow on some Pacific island, the cook slaps a clump of rice into somebody’s mess tin, and there are maggots in it. The soldier grabs one and looks up at the cook, who says, “Think of it as meat.” 😛

  8. I don’t want to be a nit picker so ‘Please, eat my share’.
    I’m having venison chops with mushrooms on the side. A pinot noir should pair nicely…

  9. Ever so many years ago I saw Good Morning America’s Bryant Gumbel eating a fried grub while visiting Australia. To this day, the event still sickens me. I have since stopped watching all news, especially the morning shows, on TV. All they do is clog the brain with fake news and shorten one’s attention span.

  10. What makes anyone think that insects are a more sustainable food supply than what we currently eat? If they are, why aren’t they being taken advantage of in Venezuela, North Korea, and other food deprived locations right now?

  11. Some societies have been eating bugs for years, but I’ve never heard about the tastiness of a species of insect, or insect dishes. Another thought — babies stick just about anything in their mouths, but I’ve never recall a baby sticking a bug in their mouth. BTW, if someone offered me a bug product to eat, I’d be curious enough to taste it anyway. My wife is Korean, and during one of our visits to Korea, I had sauteed silkworm larva — I didn’t think they were that tasty, but my wife said they tasted like they were “past their expiration date.” The mulberry wine they produced from the trees the silkworms feed on was much better. And on the label, they had a drawing of a grinning silkworm point at a bottle of wine.

  12. Isn’t there a biological reason for our instinct that bugs are not to be eaten? I would liken it to our inherent fear of snakes…

    • No. It is cultural. It’s little bit sad to read this thread as it just shows how limited many of the commenters are. Either they just hate insects, which is lame, or they hate also cultures where some insects are consumed, which is worse.
      Eric Worrall has done this before, and my judgement on the WUWT crowd on this topic is very low. Even the usual warmists don’t have soul to come in and tell how good grasshoppers can be. So what can I say?
      If you just don’t like raw fish, it doesn’t mean you’re civilized. If you make a number on what you don’t eat, you’re lame. Safety of food is number one. After that, refusing to eat something is not something to brag on.

      • Agree gnomish. These people who won’t eat people either just hate people, or they hate cultures where people are killed and eaten – which is worse, muchhh worse! /sarc. One despairs for the future of logical thinking when something like Hugs turns up.

      • Gnomish, I see you have a problem. We need to work with your taboos a little bit, if you think eating insects somehow strongly associates with cannibalism. I mean, to find such a slippery slope argument requires an intelligent mind and motivated reasoning. For real.
        I could counteract you by telling cannibalism is bad for your health, but then, the primary reason most cultures don’t accept cannibalism is not only derivable from that.

      • i’m just poking back, hugs; nothing serious.
        you said: ‘If you just don’t like raw fish, it doesn’t mean you’re civilized.’ which invites some comical examples for a reductio ad absurdum. for example, suppose we imagine that indiscriminate eating anything at all earns a merit badge for sophistication?
        what if a person whose metaphysical category for bugs is ‘Vermin unless proven otherwise’ instead of ‘oh god- can i stuff that in my bug hole?’ which must, of course, be considered most fashionable?
        and on the other hand, what if coprophagia were to become a protected activity and people who crassly and coprophobically condemn it are nasties?
        food stuff is probably the root of a million superstitions and taboos.
        what is a definite symptom of civilization, though, is the surfeit of choice- and that kind of means that denouncing the choice is the truly degenerate outlook.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUcR-_uqcmk

    • That’s the truly comical part of this – if humans were to run with this and start eating “bugs” in a big way (I won’t say insects, because there’s other stuff too – spiders and their kin, for example, are not insects), the next thing you would hear is how we’re screwing up some ecological balance and threatening the Earth in a whole new way. “Oh god! You’ve eaten too many grasshoppers! Now we’ll be overrun with [fill in the blank]!”

  13. With advocacy in the lead again, we will find out what the health safety issues are after the fact. That’s like the self driving car and the pedestrian victim count while regulators watch from the sidelines.

  14. And next up will be the real life creation of soylent green ref. the Charlton Heston movie using the same rationale.

  15. Seems almost a yummy as Michelle Obama’s school lunch menus. I do remember a comment that some Indian vegetarians had deficiency diseases after moving to the UK, as their grain-based diet no longer had the insect content it had in India.

  16. Oh no! Bugs are probably healthier for children, and the planet, than Easter eggs.
    Chocolate’s carbon footprint, cows, and farming GHG emissions.
    ———————————–
    Is your Easter egg bad for the environment?
    With Easter fast approaching, the thought of chocolate is probably on all our minds, but could the UK’s love of chocolate be having a damaging effect on the environment?
    https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-03/uom-iye032918.php

    • How will the health department know what to do?
      Inspector: You’ve got roaches in your kitchen
      Chef: Those are ingredients for tonight’s menu
      Inspector: What about the silverfish?
      Chef: Ingredients.
      Inspector: The maggots, too?
      Chef: Yep, ingredients
      Inspector: Okay, I’ll need to go find some rat feces
      Chef: Uh, okay, don’t look behind the fryer, okay?

  17. I have never knowingly eaten bugs, but a friend had to eat fried locusts and honey during Royal Marine desert survival training and says that is very tasty.

    • Sad I don’t like so much honey. I’m sure though the idea there is to submit people rather than let them try new tastes. I understand the taboo preventing to eat locusts is often stronger than eating horse or reindeer – which I like a lot. A strong taboo means submission is strong as well, so clearly something sadists would like to make people do.

  18. I promise to eat any bug that my EXTERMINATOR missed ((read: none)) … sorry … I am a civilized human … and I REJECT your notion that my diet is “unsustainable”. What utter rubbish. Next, you will tell me my diet is a rich, white, man’s “privilege”. That my children got a balanced, healthy, Omnivore, diet … which gave them an advantage in school, and in their jobs. Yeah, they did … because we are intelligent, compassionate parents who would NEVER subject our children to this disgusting 3rd world, living-in-the-dirt diet.

  19. Our ancestors learned to cook food thoroughly because they realized they were healthier when they did so. We know now that cooking food kills harmful bacteria and parasites, as well as making the food more easily digestible. It seems progressively retrograde to deliberately advocate eating parasites now….

  20. If even Vegans won’t eat them then neither will I. Looking at the longevity of species it is more likely that insects will be feasting on humans rather than the other way around.

  21. I really think the liberals and progressives of the world are having a slow cerebral aneurysm since Brexit and Trump came to be the reality. This is just one of the symptoms.

  22. Where is the proof that eating bugs is eco friendly?
    Bugs are animals too, and they fart methane as well, (termites do, anyway)
    These people have the stamp that says “eco-friendly” and use it as they please.

  23. “Progressives” will not be happy until we are living in mud huts, eating bugs, and drinking recycled pee.

    • Considering the fairly regular, high-profile calls for up to 90% human population reduction, I think you can remove ‘living’ from your list entirely.

    • I think progressives will not be happy, and no ‘until’ is needed.
      That’s the difference between conservatives and ‘progressives’. Conservatives are happy with realistic improvements. ‘Progressives’ want progress so desperately anything goes and nothing helps.
      It is, in a sense, amusing to listen to a progressive who has managed to progress well and realises how hard her life is with the progressive ideas implemented. With some luck, she’ll stop being so progressive. It is sometimes something that time cures.

      • Best way to torture so-called progressives: Give them what they want, and lock the door behind them.

  24. Hell, if they can con people into this, my dog’s left a plateful of tasty morsels in the backyard that they can eat.
    They can even call it recycling.

    • Well, some people eat haggis. Never heard anyone say yumm. I don’t know why, because I like it.

  25. Not only will I NOT “help children accept the consumption of . . . insects,” I won’t eat them myself. If the UN thinks it’s such a hot idea, those clowns can lead the way.
    And the ” United Nations [can] ban[] beef consumption” all they want to; the Useless Nitwits don’t tell me what to do.

    • If they want us to eat bugs, then the United Nations must oblige the cafeteria of the UN building in NY to propose anything but bugs in their lunch time meals.
      Otherwise they are hypocrites, as they were usually since they exist.

  26. Just saw fried cicadas, scorpions, spiders and other unidentified bugs on sale in street markets in Vietnam and Cambodia just like in the photo above. Didn’t ask for the price or the recipe.

  27. “It takes a healthy ecosystem to support a wolf”. When we start eating down the food chain it is an admission of our failure to manage our environment. For those who have to eat bugs because they have no choice, remember people have an amazing capacity to get used to anything. Are you also willing to get used to Soylent Green? Meanwhile, I will keep an eye out for that fat elk out in the back forty. Pity me that I will not live long enough to develop a taste for cockroaches.

  28. I recently read that IKEA had been urged (by the Norwegian Gubbment?) to make some new recipes using bugs, to augment their famous Swedish meatballs. They aren’t going on sale over the counter at your local IKEA store………..yet. But be on the lookout.
    This whole posting reminds me of several scenes from “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”. Bugs everywhere, bugs for dinner. Yum (NOT!).

  29. I suspect that in the West they will have a better time convincing people to eat and tastily prepare tofu or seitan, but I think there’s someone out there who has a really deep emotional commitment to the idea of ranching and eating insects.

  30. Obviously somebody has never tried to add variety to the diet of a two year old … it is impossible to get them to eat anything that is good for them that they haven’t already tasted!

  31. OK, so the “fad” or requirement to eating bugs catches on. How much energy will it take to produce enough bugs to feed the population? How much CO2 will modern bug productions produce?

    • Actually, not as much as you think. I may go back to raising hissing cockroaches if this catches on. A large aquarium or trash can, scraps of food of varying types, and you can raise a very hefty batch of the 3 inch bugs. Processing may take some energy, but no that much. Of course, I’m not eating them, but who am I to deny others?

      • How many hissing cockroaches are equivalent to a pound of cow, pig or fish? A larger percentage of an insect is chitin. Humans don’t really digest chitin all that well. We, or at least some of us, do have chitinase supposedly to help fight various intestinal parasites.

    • You just know that if they ever became popular, then they would be factory farmed in large volume, fed with nutrients derived from cheap fossil fuel sources. The complaining would not stop. It will never stop.

    • thats the plan to enable them to feed food waste for profit..what they arent already reprocessing inc potato wash water etc . once the food waste went to farm animals now it goes to pharmas and reprocessors then to animals if theres anything left of worth..and that would be damn all except flavoured fibrous material.

  32. Not content with burning all of the forests for their Utopian misadventure, they now want to eat all of the insects too. What will happen if the insects go the way of the dodo as a consequence, what about the imbalances caused in the ecosystem ?
    “”If insects were to disappear, the world would fall apart — there’s no two ways about it,” said Goggy Davidowitz, a professor in the departments of entomology and ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona.”
    https://www.livescience.com/52752-what-if-all-insects-died.html

  33. Out of sheer curiousity, I tasted locusts once, slightly fired, salted, then preserved — they eat them in Turkmenistan, along the mountanious Iranian border (though they are shy about this habit, knowing that Russians react to it with revulsion). Edible, vaguely like some generic seafood or crabmeat, but drier. I didn’t like it much, to be honest. Certainly not a substitute for a good beef steak, in any way or form.

  34. Well, actually, I tasted a variety of bugs and worse at my (Australian) University’s OpenDay thingy in the mid-80s, well before any global warming apocalypsists had appeared. Chap from the Entomology Department had a table out: “try bugs! try insects!”, with a big grin on his face. Various plates and bowls and suchlike. Only one bowl had visible insects in — he was well aware of the societal revulsion — the rest were pates and spreads and suchlike.
    I gave it a verrrrrry cautious try.
    Gotta say — bloody delicious. All of them. In particular, his own particular recommendation, the mealworm spread. Delish. Despite how vile I regard mealworms (et al) in their visible form.
    So regarding palatability — no problems.
    Regarding efficiency of earth’s resources in producing vast quantities of protein etc — outstanding.
    Regarding usefulness for human nutrition in the larger and longer-term sense — hmmm.
    There are many foods which present well on the tongue when you’re already well-fed, which will actually lead to you dying if you rely on them/eat only them for that component of your diet. You’re essentially relying on existing body-stores to be able to appreciate this new food. Once you run out, you’re stuffed.
    Rabbit is a well known one. Tastes great. But standard caution in the north of England last century (where they often had to eat it due to poverty) was that there’s something wrong with rabbit, you can’t eat too much of it or you’ll get weak, sick, or even eventually die.
    For the same reason: venison (deer, dunno about moose etc), horse, and kangaroo. The last, by the way, is an OUTSTANDING meat nutrition-wise, but as with all of these you NEED to supplement it with other substances or you will go backwards. (Classic case: Crimean War, French cavalry troop cut off by winter descending (all war/movement stops, impossible), ran out of food, starting killing+eating their horses, they all starved to death, the regimental diaries recording in their final weeks they were eating 1.5kg (~3lbs) of horsemeat a day.)
    The missing nutrient there is an easy one. Humans need fat to digest meat. These animals have essentially no fat. You must eat separate fat at the same time to survive on it long-term.
    But what else might be missing in insects?
    And that’s ignoring all the “small” micronutrients and minerals we gain so much energy from, over and above simply existing, from red meat.
    We do not naturally eat insects nor do we feel any inclination to eat them even when hungry, unlike most animals/fish, so I strongly suspect that they do not provide these small but key nutrients, likewise that they do not have enough major nutrients to live on in the absence of other red/white meats. Like vegetables, they taste nice, they can add value, but they are not necessarily sufficient for us in the larger and longer term. (The longest lived native-diet group on the planet = Eskimo. Diet=70% fat, 30% meat (mostly red, surprisingly), and 1-2 weeks of berries each year in the very brief summertime.) (Fruit-focussed native groups all died disturbingly young, eg South Pacific) (The renownedly vegetarian Chinese monks all had dedicated abattoirs attached to their temples.)

  35. Rex Murphy: Cheers for the meat-eating hero who took on ‘privileged’ vegan bullies
    It wasn’t a nice picture. Sallow faces pressed against the window pane, eyes sharp as daggers from a fresh binge of carrot munching, staring at him
    To set the scene, let’s go with the first paragraph (slightly) edited from a National Post story with the fetching headline “Toronto chef butchers, eats deer leg in front of animal rights protesters outside his restaurant.”
    “A Toronto chef … exasperated at an animal rights protest outside his restaurant … carried a leg of raw venison to the front windows facing the sidewalk. As the protesters watched, he took a knife and began separating the meat from the bone.” Deliciously, the story continues with the account of how an hour later, the chef returned to those same front-facing windows, plonked down his plate and tucked into a seared steak with great relish and gusto, on full display to his dismal tormentors.
    Story continues, here:
    http://nationalpost.com/opinion/rex-murphy-cheers-for-the-meat-eating-hero-who-took-on-privileged-vegan-bullies

  36. In 9th grade biology class, the teacher brought in fried grasshoppers and chocolate covered ants. In the spirit of “hold my beer and watch this” and also to make the girls go “ewwww” I ate some. I can say honestly then that once was enough. Ok for when you are starving but…no thanks.

  37. Long, long ago, when I was stationed at NAS Pensacola, FL, there large cockroaches humorously referred to as palmetto beetles. Hey, a roach is a roach, period.
    If i want to eat bugs, I’d have been born a spider.
    Unsustainable food??? Where do these loons get this stuff? There is nothing unsustainable about a half acre of garden full of vegetables to prep for the freezer or canning process. Every freaking year – so just how is it unsustainable?
    The more I see of this nonsense being foisted on the public, the more convinced I become that they are either bull goose looneys let out of their safe space too early, or they are Twig Space Aliens who got here from Zenophobacia.
    They’re nuts.

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