Devon LivingIssue #07

Crunch time

Dispelling the ‘yuck’ factor from edible insects, GreenBee Entomology founder, Heather, offers their delicious treats to HRH Prince Charles.

For many, the thought of eating an insect or a bug is one that leaves them feeling squeamish, however, despite politely declining the tempting offer from the team at GreenBee Entomology, HRH Prince Charles was impressed and, dare we say it, even a little tempted!

The chocolate covered crickets were pretty good, a bit like chocolate crispies”

Greenbee Founder, Heather Gibbard, tells us: “He was a little taken aback when told there were whole crickets in the flapjacks. We think he’s been watching too much I’m a Celebrity!”

Heather explains that edible insects are given an undeservedly negative image, but that they are packed with protein, vitamins and minerals. Heather’s thriving ‘bug’ farm in Devon offers customers access to British grown insects, which can be enjoyed in delicious treats or as ingredients to experiment with at home.

Heather discovered entomophagy – the use of insects as food – when she tried her first edible insect seven years ago. “The chocolate covered crickets were pretty good, a bit like chocolate crispies. I went on to try chapulines (Mexican grasshoppers) in a taco and they tasted amazing, so I immediately ordered another one!”

With a projected global population of nine billion in just a few short years, there is a definite need to start looking at traditional animal protein sources. “Our YumBugs range of products allows us to expand our protein sources and give access to delicious food that our ancestors and other cultures around the world have been enjoying for years.”

According to the team at Greenbee, eating insects is also great for children, and their YumBug products have been developed with kids in mind, giving them a nutritious alternative to high sugar snacks. Heather adds: “In our trials, even fussy children and adults were able to over-ride the ‘yuck’ factor.”

Even though the royal couple declined to try them on camera, Heather gave them some Pirate Island Flapjacks and some Rhubarb and Ginger Bread Butterflies. “Perhaps they tried them off camera in their helicopter home.” She continues: “Meeting them in person was a pleasure. They were warm and lovely to talk to, and we hope they enjoyed their hamper of local treats!”

Having built a cyclic farming system that minimises waste and ensures sustainable products, Heather and co’s bug barn is highly energy efficient, feeding the insects on ‘wonky’ veg and off cut stalks, and will soon incorporate solar panels to make production even more green! “To round it all off, we only use compostable packaging to deliver your YumBug goodies!”

"The chocolate covered crickets were pretty good, a bit like chocolate crispies"