January 5, 2012 by staff
Insect Cuisine, Australia’s Aborigines have eaten bugs for centuries but now an insect breeder is encouraging everyone to try nibbling on creepy crawly cuisine.
Entomologist Skye Blackburn breeds edible bugs and sells them as novelty gifts.
The businesswoman puts crickets and mealworms into lollipops or covers them with chocolate as a ‘tasty’ treat.
‘Eating insects is a fairly new concept,’ she told Sky News.
‘It is a little bit unique and most people wouldn’t expect to get a gift like this but they have been really popular this Christmas.
‘We try to put the bugs in an edible form which people would recognise.’
Ms Blackburn grinds up roasted mealworms and uses the flour-like powder to make other foodstuffs like banana bread and biscuits.
While some people may find them hard to swallow, she says she has regular customers including doctors and university professors.
They buy the bugs in frozen form to mix them into curries and stews.
‘They use it in their everyday diet,’ she said.
‘They are really aware of the nutritional value of the bugs compared to some of the meat products people get.’
Ms Blackburn, who breeds them at an insect farm near Sydney, says she prepares the bugs in a way which meets Australia’s strict food hygiene laws.
She said: ‘We kill them ethically, we freeze them which puts them to sleep so they don’t feel any kind of pain.
‘We keep them in a very sterile environment feeding them organic grains and vegetables which increases the flavour of the bugs themselves.
‘Some people will never quite understand but they are entitled to their opinion, most people though are quite receptive.’
The chewy creatures, which have a crunchy, biscuity taste, have proved so popular that Ms Blackburn says she is planning to expand her menu in the new year.
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