Ready to chow down on bugs?

Insects for dinner more likely to appeal to sushi lovers

Fried spider with garlic, anyone?

Fried spider with garlic, anyone?


Fried spiders and crickets could be on a menu near you very soon.


WOULD you try crickets for tea? 

Insects could be on the menu in the near future thanks to their high protein content - though many people haven't warmed to the idea of creepy-crawlies on the tongue. 

But new research has found if you like sushi, chances are a side of deep-fried crickets won't bug you too much.

"Until relatively recently, the idea of trying sushi - let alone having it become a mainstream menu item - was often thought of with disgust in many societies," said Matthew Ruby, the study's co-author from La Trobe University.

"It appears the more open you are to exotic foods, the more willing you'll be to taste test a grasshopper, or an ant, or even a spider."

Dr Ruby said sushi could be a gateway to insects in western diets. "Just like sushi, eating insects will take some getting used to."

But if the thought of crunching into a whole bug really turns you off, there could be other ways to reap the benefits, without the ick factor.

"Insect flour can be found as a protein-rich substitute for some standard grain flours in products like crackers, biscuits and protein bars," said Professor Paul Rozin, the study's co-author from America's University of Pennsylvania.

Insects have been eaten world-wide for centuries, though are not common in Western diets.

There are more than 2000 edible species of insects throughout the world. Many are non-toxic and can serve as a source of high-quality protein and micro-nutrients. 

Raising insects for food is much more environmentally sustainable than many commonly consumed animals because they use less water, farming space and produce less greenhouse gas emissions.