Relative to size, insects may be the most powerful creatures on earth. Bees, for example, are important pollinators and, with around a third of what we eat reliant on pollination, they are vital to our future. Others, like beetles, ants and worms, are decomposers, grinding, tearing and breaking down the earth upon which we depend. But there's another way in which insects can play a central role in our future: on the dinner plate. Increasingly, we're beginning to understand the environmental impact of traditional meat production. Beef, pork and chicken all require vast swathes of land, emit ginormous amounts of greenhouse gases and guzzle way too much water – and produce less protein per kilo than insects. Nevertheless, global meat consumption is soaring, with a recent report in the journal Science predicting "negative effects on the environment." If at least some of that meat is replaced by bugs, the thinking goes, there'll be … [Read more...] about Smoky BBQ crickets hit the supermarket: so how do the insect snacks taste?
Bugs that look like termites
Insects are going to be on the menu as Sainsbury’s becomes the first UK supermarket to stock edible bugs. This week the retailer is exclusively launching Eat Grub’s Smoky BBQ Crunchy Roasted Crickets in 250 stores across the country. The crunchy snacks are meant to be eaten alone as a snack or used to garnish dishes such as tacos, noodles or salads. Rachel Eyre, Head of Future Brands at Sainsbury's, said: “Insect snacks should no longer be seen as a gimmick or something for a dare, and it’s clear that consumers are increasingly keen to explore this new sustainable protein source. We’re always looking to provide our customers with new and exciting products, and with the growing interest in edible insects we’re excited to be the first UK supermarket to make these products easily accessible for shoppers across the country.” The online range from Eat Grub includes whole insects, and encourages consumers to stir-fry grasshoppers and make pizza … [Read more...] about Edible insects hit UK supermarkets as Sainsbury’s stocks bug grub
As an act of faith in my guide, I plunged my hands into a termite’s nest. “It’s excellent mosquito repellent,” Ricardo assured me, as the tiny ant-like creatures swarmed over me. “Now, rub your hands together (I feel mean, squashing them...) – the smell of turpentine they emit will protect you.” Ricardo, one of our naturalist guides, was – like his colleague, Alex – born and raised in the Amazon, and was a repository of jungle wisdom. During this walk through the forest I learnt that I can cure parasites with the sap of the ojé tree, and enrapture any man I choose by gazing at him through the thigh bone of a sand bittern. In this witching hour for creepy crawlies Ricardo spotted a tiny poison frog, scarcely larger than his thumbnail, on the forest floor; an amorphous iguana high on a tree; a lissom red-tailed boa constrictor camouflaged on a branch, and a huge pink-toed tarantula, like a hairy ballerina on points. … [Read more...] about The most luxurious way to see the wonders of the Amazon
“National treasure” doesn’t even begin to do justice to David Attenborough. The natural history presenter is at once the country’s favourite beloved uncle, a lion of broadcasting and a voice in the wilderness warning that our addiction to plastics and other pollutants jeopardises the myriad of lifeforms with which we share the planet. At age 92, Attenborough continues to push boundaries. He returns to the airwaves on Sunday with a landmark new BBC series, Dynasties. Echoing past triumphs beginning with Life on Earth (1979) and leading up to last year’s Blue Planet II, the show is being hailed as a leap forward in natural history television, combining state of the art filmmaking with life-and-death drama straight out of Shakespeare. It undoubtedly promises to be a gripping watch. Having told the story of evolution and of nature’s ability to adapt to the most challenging environments, Attenborough now gives us a ground level view … [Read more...] about How David Attenborough changed television