QMYOU Alumni Magazine Issue 83 - Page 10

Is Scotland ready for edible insects? N EW UNIVERSITY RESEARCH has shown that despite TV shows like ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’, which highlights the consumption of insects, Scotland is just not ready to embrace entomophagy. Entomophagy is the consumption of edible insects. Two billion of the world’s population currently eat insects as part of their daily diet. People in Asia Pacific, Australia and Africa are known to view certain dishes, which include insects, as delicacies, and in places such as Vietnam and Cambodia, children often eat grasshoppers and crickets as snacks during school hours. Despite sweet insect lollipops being sold in top London stores and bags of barbeque flavoured crickets now available in Harvey Nichols in Edinburgh, it appears that the Scots are still hugely resistant to indulging in insect cuisine. Maybe our fear of eating ‘beasties’ is down to the fact that, as a nation, we are just not that used to big creepy crawlies. The swarm of midgies is not going to be a meaty enough treat to sustain a strapping Scotsman. However, anything with longer legs than a daddy long legs is maybe just too much for the Scots to swallow. Even though we have got our heads around haggis, and all that it constitutes, our chefs, and even real foodies, are still not brave enough to go beyond their comfort zone. Adam Roe, former Student Vice President at QMU, conducted the study of entomophagy for his final year dissertation. Adam, who is a graduate of QMU’s International Hospitality and Tourism Management degree explored the perceptions of Edinburgh-based chefs with regards to using insects as part of their culinary offering. Adam explained: “During my travels to Thailand, I was fascinated to see the incredible range of street food on offer in Bangkok. 10 QMYOU / Sustainable Business The locals ate a wide range of insect based snacks such as water bugs, scorpions and grasshoppers. It was interesting to learn about their food culture and I was intrigued to see workers, dressed in business suits, picking up bags of deep fried insects to munch on their way home from work.” Adam was keen to explore the acceptance of insect consumption with chefs in Edinburgh. He said: “Earlier research has identified Western consumer perceptions as a current barrier, but I wanted to find out whether chefs had an appetite to include insect cuisine on their menus. “I discovered that chefs in high end restaurants were nervous about the damage to their restaurant’s reputation and didn’t feel that there was a consumer demand for edible insects in Scotland. Ironically, Noma in Copenhagen, known to be one of the world’s finest restaurants, serves live insects, such as ants, from time to time.” Adam continued: “Chefs also felt that they were not educated and experienced enough to safely prepare and serve insects. However, one French chef in particular, was more enthusiastic about embracing insect cuisine, and showed his willingness to offer an edible insect tasting experience.” Grasshoppers, which were deep fried and served with fish sauce and seasoning, became one of Adam’s favourite insect dishes when he was touring Thailand. However, the same cannot be said for scorpion, which he disliked intensely. Adam said: “It has a creamy sour taste which was rather off putting, but I persisted in trying different insects. When I returned to Scotland I continued to experiment with various ingredients and dishes. I’ve incorporated mealworms into chocolate brownies – that was a big ]8$]^HYY]]YX[ܛH\Y&]™ۈ[]^H[\Y\˸'BY[HۘYY8'[YHX^HY[[\X\XX][[YK^H\X\][\\۸&]XYH܂Yۈ]\ˈ]8&\ݙ\XH][X]HYܙX]HB[ܙH]\XH[XYHو[X[\Y][[[HY] 'B\YH]Z[[[܈X\\[[\][ۘ[][]H[\\HX[Y[Y[]SUKYY8'Y[H\ۙXYH\[][š[Y[H[Y[H]\H\˜\[H]HۛYHو[[ \™[[\H\\\H]H][™YH܈\Y8$[[]XH][x'BY[HH\[YH[[و\œYN8&[^ܘ][ۈوH\\[ۜقYY\[[[YH[ZX[[[]H]\Y\]\[8$\BYHوY[\8&\[\Y&H][[܈][]HX[Y[Y[YX][ۂۙ\[H]H[]\]Hو[\[X^B M8d