It’s not cricket, surely? Sains­bury’s to sell bug grub

Wales On Sunday - - NEWS -

ROASTED crick­ets are now on the menu at Sains­bury’s as it be­comes the first UK su­per­mar­ket to stock ed­i­ble in­sects.

The bar­be­cued flavoured bugs will be sold in 250 stores across the coun­try from Novem­ber 18.

Pack­ets of Eat Grub’s smoky BBQ crunchy roasted crick­ets, de­scribed as “crunchy in tex­ture with a rich smoky flavour”, will cost £1.50.

Sains­bury’s said the novel prod­uct could be eaten as a snack or used to gar­nish dishes such as tacos, noo­dles and sal­ads.

The su­per­mar­ket claims this is the first time that shop­pers will be able to buy Eat Grub’s con­sum­able in­sect prod­ucts from a ma­jor gro­cer.

Eat Grub was launched in 2014 by co-founders Shami Ra­dia and Neil Whippey with the aim to in­tro­duce in­sects to western food cul­ture.

The pair pre­vi­ously teamed up with chef Sebby Holmes to open an in­sect-themed pop-up restau­rant in east Lon­don.

Mr Ra­dia said: “Cur­rently, in­sects are eaten and en­joyed by two bil­lion peo­ple world­wide.

“We’re on a mis­sion to show the west that as well as hav­ing very strong sus­tain­abil­ity and en­vi­ron­men­tal cre­den­tials, they are also se­ri­ously tasty and shouldn’t be over­looked as a great snack or recipe in­gre­di­ent.”

A sur­vey com­mis­sioned by Sains­bury’s and EatGrub sug­gested 10% of Bri­tish peo­ple have tried ed­i­ble in­sects, of which more than half said they en­joyed them.

About two in five (42%) shop­pers were open to try­ing ed­i­ble bugs, with 7% even pre­pared to add them to a weekly shop.

Ed­i­ble in­sects al­ready form part of di­ets around the world, with the global mar­ket es­ti­mated to ex­ceed 522 mil­lion US dol­lars (£406m) by 2023.

Eat Grub says that gram for gram its dried crick­ets con­tain more pro­tein than beef, chicken and pork – with 100g con­tain­ing 68g of pro­tein, com­pared to 31g of pro­tein in beef.

Ed­i­ble in­sects are also con­sid­ered a sus­tain­able food source, re­quir­ing less re­sources to farm than cat­tle or other live­stock.

Dun­can Wil­liamson, a global food sys­tem ex­pert and food pol­icy man­ager at WWF UK, said ed­i­ble in­sects could help re­duce shop­pers’ car­bon foot­print.

“As the pop­u­la­tion in­creases, we ur­gently need to look at al­ter­na­tive pro­tein sources to make the most of land avail­able for food pro­duc­tion,” he said.

Rachel Eyre, head of fu­ture brands at Sains­bury’s, said: “In­sect snacks should no longer be seen as a gim­mick or some­thing for a dare, and it’s clear that con­sumers are in­creas­ingly keen to ex­plore this new sus­tain­able pro­tein source.”

Eat Grub’s smoky BBQ crunchy roasted crick­ets will launch in 250 Sains­bury’s stores from to­day for £1.50.

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