Try not to be sick: Rentokil launches pop-up 'pestaurant' with pigeon, worms and ants on the menu
Heather Saul is a digital reporter for The Independent, currently working on the People desk. She has written news and features across a number of topics, paying particular attention to the activities of Isis and events in Iraq, Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Thursday 15 August 2013
It all got a bit too much for one nine-year old, who had to run off to vomit after devouring 'delicacies'' such as crickets, ants and pigeon burgers.
Pest control service Rentokil has established the world's first "pop-up pestaurant" in the City of London - for one day only.
The company boast 85 years of service and will serve up an array of exotic cuisine, including sweet chilli pigeon burgers, salt and vinegar crickets, BBQ mealworms and chocolate-dipped ants.
The 'food' is free of charge to everyone feeling brave enough to try it.
The menu may not sound appetising, but it is healthy. Insects have been found to be rich in protein, zinc, calcium and iron while also being low in fat.
Edible insects have recently been identified by a number of different bodies, including the UN's Food & Agriculture Organisation, as a potentially valuable source of food for the world's rapidly growing population.
Pigeons are a well-recognised delicacy, and wood pigeon can be found on many Michelin-starred menus across the world.
Nine-year-old Stan Knight showed a bit too much enthusiasm when he scoffed a handful of mealworms and subsequently vomited - but he claims he enjoyed the culinary experience none-the-less.
After putting a handful of the yellow worms in his mouth at once, Stan had to run away from the stall to throw up.
"I don't know. I liked them. They were really nice. I think it was because I had too much of them in one go. They just felt like normal food," he said.
Tim Guest, 40, from London, tucked into the same mealworms that made Stan vomit, but he was able to keep the "slightly slimy" nibbles down.
"They're not exactly very nice to the touch. It feels wrong on a fundamental level," he said.
Adding: "It's like a pocket of air with spice on top. It's like a crisp you'd get in the supermarket really.
"I don't really see why anybody wouldn't eat them. I think it's just the concept really, rather than what they actually taste like. I think they taste fine."
Despite believing that they were just like crisps, he said: "I wouldn't go and grab a handful from the wild and shove them in my mouth."
David Cross, head of technical training academy at Rentokil, said: "The Pestaurant is all about celebrating the hard work that goes into keeping the UK's pests under control.
"Common UK pests like wasps, mice, rats, bed bugs, cockroaches, fleas and pigeons, can become a problem for anyone, and can affect both commercial and residential properties.
"Much like the rest of us, they are focused on looking for food and shelter. Once they find a good supply of food and an environment where they feel safe, then they will happily set up home indefinitely.
Food will be served until the afternoon.
Additional reporting by PA
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