Insects are predicted by many to be the superfood of tomorrow and are already popular in fine dining or as a novelty among more adventurous consumers, according to market researcher Canadean. But will they be able to move beyond a foodie fad and be embraced by the average consumer?
The European Union thinks so: it has offered member states US $3 million to research the use of insects in cooking, the company points out. Similarly, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation has published a list of almost 2000 edible insect species. With 40 tonnes of insects for every human on earth, insects are an abundant, sustainable food source that is rich in protein, iron and calcium and low in fat and cholesterol. However, they may prove a hard sell among more squeamish consumers. According to Canadean’s survey, 65% of consumers say that they would not be willing to try foods made from processed insects.