Watch shoppers sample insect mince pies in London

People in Borough Market challenged their preconceptions by tucking into some festive insect-based treats

Neela Debnath
Wednesday 26 November 2014 16:07 GMT

Could we be eating mince flies with cream at Christmas in the future?

It's a question television presenter and "Gastronaut" Stefan Gates has posed to shoppers at Borough Market in London today.

Armed with a tray of mince pies made from mealworm beetle larvae and locusts, mixed with traditional dried fruit and spices, he offered up the festive treats to people.

Pupils from Graveney School and Harris Academy in London also helped Gates dish out the pies.

Many shoppers did try the "mince flies" and one man described a locust tasting "like a Garibaldi biscuit".

Gates is working with the organisation The Big Bang Fair, which promotes science, technology, engineering and maths among young people. Today's food challenge is aimed at getting people to reconsider their food choices and the importance of sustainable food.

Contrary to the insect yuck factor perpetuated by I’m A Celebrity, eating insects is nothing new for many across the globe. For two billion people, over a third of the world's population, it’s a staple part of their diet.

While in places like Thailand, there are already 20,000 small scale insect farms rearing over 7,500 tonnes of grasshoppers, crickets and other edible insects a year.

Closer to home, Belgium has become the first EU member state to be allowed to sell insect-based produce last year.

Only last month a university canteen in Brussels became the first commercial kitchen in Europe to serve up insect food, including buffalo worm burgers and worm nuggets.

The rapid rate of population growth has put increased pressure on the Earth resources and eating insects could be the sustainable way forward.

Insects provide a good source of protein and are a good source of protein and "are healthy, nutritious alternatives to mainstream staples such as chicken, pork, beef and even fish," according to a UN report.

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