‘I think we’ll find our squeamishness about eating bugs is misplaced,’ celebrity chef says
Writing in The Daily Telegraph, the restaurateur described insects as a “great hope for cheap protein“ across the globe.
“I think we’ll find our squeamishness about eating bugs is misplaced,” Leith said.
The 79-year-old recalled her childhood in Johannesburg where she remembers other people eating insects.
“[They] used to catch and eat hatching termites as they flew out of the cracks in the bark of the jacaranda tree.”
On one occasion, Leith said she tried a hatching termite for herself but spat it out when she could feel its wings fluttering in her mouth.
The Great British Bake Off judge added that she has also eaten mopane worms and deep-fried crickets.
“Anything crisp and deep fried is good, is it not? The truth is, we are not going to be able to afford our cultural prejudices,” the celebrity chef said.
“To feed the world, we need to find alternatives. Insects, especially crickets and mealworms, are already used in flours, biscuits and animal feed.”
In an October 2018 report regarding an investigation into promoting insect-based food, Professor Sebastian Berger, of the University of Bern in Switzerland, said insects have “numerous health benefits as a source of protein".
They also "dramatically outperform convntional meats in terms of greenhouse emissions”.
“Therefore, insect-based food might help in the fight against climate change,” the professor added.
The study concluded that marketing campaigns should aim to depict insect-based food as appetising in order to influence consumer eating habits.