Tefal Investigates: I’m A Celebrity Special – The Truth About Eating Bugs

by Tefal Team on 06 November 2020
  • In a year of cancelled TV shows, we couldn’t be more excited about the return of I’m a Celebrity. And it’s in Wales! Does that mean bush tucker trials with twrch coed (Welsh for tree hog, as in woodlouse) and Siâni flewog (furry Jenny – caterpillar) we wonder? 

    Let’s face it, you can’t think of I’m a Celeb without going straight to bug eating. But it begs the question  are the celebrities ahead of the game by tucking into crickets and worms? We reveal the truth about eating insects, as well as how to try them now. 

  • Just… why?

    First off, humans have been eating creepy crawlies for thousands of years and in many cultures it’s a very normal thing to do. A delicacy even. So it’s not that weird at all really. 

    With worldwide food demand predicted to grow more than 50% by 2050, attention is turning to entomophagy (insect eating) to help meet this need in a more sustainable way. 

    The fact is bug farming is far better for the planet. It uses fewer resources (land, water and feed) than traditional livestock farming and produces much less greenhouse gases.  

  • OK, so what insects can humans eat?

    There are a whopping variety of edible insects, over 1900 as identified by the Food and Agriculture Organization in fact. The most common are beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, ants, butterflies, moths, termites and cicadas.   

    Once you get your head around the idea of munching on bugs, they’re meant to taste pretty good. Nutty, earthy or with a hint of fish depending on what you eat and how it’s prepared.  

  • But is it safe?

    Insect farming for human consumption is a regulated industry so the same food safety rules apply as for any other livestock.  

    A word of caution: those with an allergy to seafood, crustaceans and dust mites will most likely also be intolerant to insects. It’s also worth checking what the insects are fed (wheat, cereals, soy) in case this could cause a problem for you. 

  • And is it actually good for you?

    Insects have pretty impressive health and nutrition creds. They’re low in calories, high in calcium, vitamin B12 and omegas, and contain all nine amino acids. They’re also good for the gut thanks to something called chitin 

    Bugs are also a great source of protein. Buffalo worms and mealworms are usually between 54% and 56% protein, while dried crickets can be up to 64% protein (three times higher than beef!). Food for thought, surely?  

  • Can I try it now?

    Insects are already on the menu in some UK restaurantsYou can also buy products made with insects such as cricket flour and pasta, bug granolalollies and protein bars – all just a click away on the web.   

    A step up from that is to source fresh or dried insects from online retailers to make dishes from scratch at home. You can even grow your own edible bugs with an all-you-need kit. 

    Once you have your supply, kick things off with a mealworm burger. When all the ingredients are mixed together and grilled, it just looks like a tasty burger. And check out these simple mealworm tacos 

    This buggy banana bread looks so good, you’d never know it was made with buffalo worms. Disguised with sultanas and a colourful fruit topping, cricket granola could be your new breakfast go-to. 

    Tempted to find out for more? Then pop an insect cookbook on your Christmas list. Hop to it! 

OptiGrill Elite

Our most advanced grill ever

Find out more
Recommended reading
  • Send Teatime Into Orbit This World Space Week
    Even the fussiest of eaters won’t be able to resist these out-of-this-world food ideas for World Space Week. Rocket sandwiches or galaxy cupcakes, anyone?
    03 October 2018
  • Is Pub Grub Becoming Too Chefy?
    Pub grub favourites like the ploughman’s lunch and bangers and mash are disappearing from menus and being replaced with carrot fluff, edible sand and fish foam, whatever that is.
    07 September 2018
  • It’s Not Rocket Science – It’s Food
    To celebrate British Science Week, get experimental in your kitchen/lab and cook up some of your own science that you can eat! Suitable for kids aged 3 to 103.
    08 March 2018
  • In Season: Everyday Dishes Using Venison
    Lamb isn't the only meat in season during spring; venison is too, and it shouldn't be shied away from. It works brilliantly in hearty stews, pasta sauces and hot, spicy curries.
    16 February 2018
  • How To Cook Your Christmas Tree (Really)
    Did you know that you can make all sorts of dishes, from pesto to shortbread, with the pine needles from your Christmas tree after you've taken it down?
    02 January 2018