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Primary School Children in Wales Could be Offered Menu of Crickets, Mealworms & Other Insects


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Primary school children in the United Kingdom could soon be offered insects as part of their school dinners.

Four Wales primary schools will conduct the pilot program to indoctrinate children on “alternative proteins” from sources like insects.

Crickets, grasshoppers, silkworms, locusts, and mealworms will all be discussed with Pembrokeshire children as ‘eco-friendly meat substitutes.’

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GB News reported:

This is after a 2020 study by the International Platform of Insects for Food and Feed (IPIFF) found nine million European consumers ate insects in 2019.

Study author Verity Jones, of the University of West of England in Bristol said: ‘Everyone eats insects everyday – there’s over 30 parts of bugs in every 100g of chocolate … bread, fruit juices, hops … you name it, you’re eating insects,’ she said.

“All research, for adults and children, indicates whole insects are off-putting, but ground-up insects within foods are very acceptable.

“No one likes the idea of having a crunchy bit of wing or antenna between their teeth.

“But, in fact, children were more likely to choose food containing edible insects over usual meat products on a matter of sustainable credentials if given the option.

“My research indicates, as with adults, that boys are more likely to be up for trying the new foods first – but overall both boys and girls seem to be willing to have a go in equal measure.”

Insect farms are believed to emit 75% less carbon than traditional livestock.

Daily Mail added:

The project, led by academics from Cardiff University and the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), will also involve surveying the primary school children to find out their attitudes to environmental issues and how they translate into views on the food they eat.

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From this they wish to find the best way of educating the younger generation and their families on the environmental and nutritional benefits of edible insects, and in turn cut global meat consumption.

The project, which started last week, uses surveys, workshops, interviews and focus groups to explore young people’s understandings and experiences of alternative proteins.

As part of the research, they hope to offer food products containing crickets and mealworms to try.

This includes a product called VEXo, which combines insect- and plant-based proteins and is designed to look like ‘conventional’ mince, which will be prepared in the style of a bolognese.

The children will also be tasting a range of plant-based products that are already widely available on UK supermarket shelves – such as pea-based and soya-based meat alternatives.

All products offered will have received Novel Foods approval by the Food Standards Agency, and parents will have to give consent for their children to take part.



 

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