Part of Abokado’s spring menu, insects claimed to be healthy and sustainable food source
— It brings a whole new meaning to grabbing some grub for lunch. Roasted crickets are to go on sale this week at outlets of a London snack brand – the first time in the UK edible insects will appear on the regular daily menu at a takeaway food chain.
The crunchy whole crickets, from Eat Grub, will be available in Abokado shops across London from Tuesday as part of the chain’s new spring menu. The sweet chilli and lime-flavoured snack will join its customisable range of toppings for fresh salads, poke bowls and hotpots, and also be available as bagged snacks alongside nuts, edamame and popcorn.
Environmental experts have long recommended insects as a sustainable food source that could help cut food poverty and reduce the damaging impact of meat production. Insects are also nutritious, containing essential proteins, fats, minerals and amino acids.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization says at least 2 billion people regularly consume insects, and they could help meet the food needs of the world’s growing population.
Abokado’s managing director, Kara Alderin, said: “Abokado is all about customisation and offering our customers variety of different options to enhance their meals. We currently have a dozen unique toppings and dressings on offer, and this is an exciting addition to the range.” He said the roasted crickets were “quirky, but packed with flavour and protein they are the way forward in healthy, sustainable snacking”.
To win over prospective new shoppers who might balk at bugs for lunch, Abokado will be offering Eat Grub samplings in its 23 stores and as part of local street marketing.
Insect products from Eat Grub, a London-based food startup, can now be found in more than 700 outlets across Europe. Sainsbury’s, which was the first UK supermarket to start selling edible insects last November, stocks its Smoky BBQ flavoured crickets. In a report to be published this week, the supermarket is expected to highlight insect protein as a key food of the future.
In the UK, food choices are becoming increasingly important in the debate about climate change, reflected in the rise of “flexitarianism”, whereby a largely vegetable-based diet is supplemented occasionally with meat.
In the UK, edible insects have so far been predominantly limited to unusual pop-ups or online outlets and feature on a few restaurant menus. For consumers seeking an easier way into insect consumption, pasta, protein bars and granola bars made from insect flour went on sale in Selfridges in January.
Eat Grub’s co-founder Shami Radia said: “It’s great to have Abokado supporting us in spreading the grub love; the fun way they approach food and innovation is exactly what we need to make eating insects more mainstream.”
by Rebecca Smithers | The Guardian