Seeking sustainability

Updated: Mar 25

HOP spoke with Woven members to discuss businesses providing edible insect products to sustain future generations.


The food industry is being revolutionised with unique products which both introduce and normalise edible insects.


In a recent study conducted in 17 countries by YouGov, it was found that one in five Britons will be willing to eat edible insects and with many individuals switching to a more sustainable diet of vegetarianism and veganism, it is this new wave of entomophage which is transforming the way we not only consume edible insects but also, how we introduce it.


Respondents to a test from the FSA “reported willingness to try any of the alternative proteins .... Environmental or sustainability reasons were the most common reason for being willing to try lab grown meat (40%) and edible insects (31%).” To further highlight the inclination of consumers to try edible insects, the FSA also found that “Willingness to try edible insects ground into food for added protein (e.g. bread, burgers, falafel balls etc) was highest, with nearly 2 in 5 (37%) willing to try them in this form.”



In order to further inspire the wider public, HOP spoke with Woven members and companies within the edible insect market to share awareness in how they are adapting and promoting their businesses to meet consumers' needs.


When HOP asked Woven members the reason for developing a business within the edible insect industry, the unanimous response was sustainability.


YumBug co-founder, Aaron Thomas, told HOP that the business was established due to “...personal struggles when trying to explore insects as food…. Both Leo and I found that insect ingredients were hard to come by and expensive….. We realised the potential for insects to improve sustainability and health of our diets and this helped us propel towards making a business.”


The numerous benefits of edible insects are also in constant discussion, with Aaron highlighting that “edible insects are a fantastic source of nutrients at a very low cost to the environment….the UK industry is a leader in the EU and arguably globally for the methods at which it is innovating new food products and incorporating insects into foods. The rapid growth of this sector needs to be nurtured if we are to reach the UK's sustainability goals.


In a recent blog posted by YumBug, they discussed if edible insects are safe to eat.

YumBug stated in their blog "According to European Food Standards Agency, the following insects are safe for human consumption: dried Tenebrio molitor larvae (mealworms), frozen, dried, and powdered migratory locust (Locusta migratoria), frozen, dried, and powdered house cricket (Acheta domesticus)."


For our #BringBACKCrickets campaign, Nick Rousseau from the Woven Network told HOP that in the months ahead “I want to see a whole range of creative ways to promote edible insects being developed and harness the collective strengths of the 20 or more companies we are working with to enable consumers to have delicious food choices containing insects at breakfast, lunch, dinner and when relaxing or exercising.”


With awareness spreading, the edible insect community is amplifying its voice and as more companies continue to invest in alternative protein sources, the success will only continue to grow.


To find out more about how HOP is broadening the voice in the edible insect community, visit www.hopbar.co.uk/blog


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