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Bug Mac and Flies

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 07 September 2011

In tonight's Costing The Earth Tom Heap tucks into a portion of locusts and asks if eating insects is good for his diet and better for the planet than a piece of steak.

Bugs such as crickets and caterpillars can convert food into protein at a more efficient rate than livestock, and with valuable agricultural land being overgrazed around the world, we could soon be looking for an alternative food supply. One suggestion is that insects have a role to play in feeding the world. They are easy to raise since farming insects has a low impact on the environment, and once over any cultural taboos we may have as diners, they are nutritionally valuable.

Tom Heap gets stuck in to a locust stir-fry in Bristol before heading off to the Netherlands to witness the latest cutting-edge research into raising insects where he also tries a mealworm cookie: a biscuit that could potentially deliver a day's protein ration in one hit to famine stricken areas of the world.

He then visits a farm of the future where row upon row of crickets and various pupae are being raised. They are currently destined for pet shops to be used as animal food, but could soon be turning up on a supermarket shelf near you.

Beetle burger anyone?

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  1. Image for Costing the Earth

    Costing the Earth

    Man's effect on the environment, questioning accepted truths, challenging those in charge and…

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