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Grubs for Gains: Would You Eat Bugs for a Protein Fix?

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Did you know, 2 billion people regularly eat insects as part of their diet, and that there are more than 1,900 species to munch on? Edible insects might not be particularly popular here in the UK – but as a high-protein food source, species such as mealworm and cricket could be about to go mainstream.

Why? Mainly the fact that they really deliver a protein punch. To hit a 30g protein target, you’d need to eat 150g of chicken, when just 127g of mealworms could do the job. And while 200g of tofu contains 30g of protein, you’ll find 41g worth in the same measure of crickets.

Not convinced yet? You might be the odd one out soon as a survey we recently conducted showed that the British public don’t need much in the way of convincing to try adding critters into their diets…

More than a third (35%) of people said they’d be willing to give bugs a go.

Edible insects were most popular with gymgoers, with 47% of people who exercise daily saying they were ready to try their very own bush tucker trial. The survey also found that:

  • 72% of people stated they didn’t understand the benefits to their health and the environment that came with eating bugs
  • Only 4% had stated they had tried edible insects in the past

In an effort to see just what bugs taste like, we decided to recruit three of our bravest gym managers to do a blind taste test of some high-protein critters.

We partnered with Eat Grub, who provided us with three tantalizing recipes for our volunteers to sample, all of which feature some form of edible insect. We then enlisted the help of Farang London and its head chef, edible bug specialist Seb Holmes to prepare three meals for the volunteers.

 

Watch our gym managers reactions when they put their taste buds to test with some high-protein critters

Our three enthusiastic PureGym gym managers, Luke, Lucy and Kris were told they’d be sampling meals with impressive levels of protein. What we didn’t tell them is where that protein came from. Once they were done, we revealed all.

The three seemed to quite enjoy the cricket flour protein shake, even though Luke thought it was a little crunchy. When it came to guessing the secret ingredient, Lucy thought it might be fig, while Luke guessed it was plain old beef. When the cricket flour dough pizza arrived, which had 72g of protein in it, Luke was unable to explain how so much protein could be hiding in a seriously thin-crust pizza.

Then came the reveal. After an initial moment of disgust from the three, they couldn’t deny how delicious the dishes were and seemed won over by bug-based eating, saying it was

‘definitely a great way to increase protein intake and hit your macros without overloading on too much food’.

So, it was a thumbs up from our Guinea Pigs, but would you try eating bugs for a protein fix? If you are game, you can try the specially-created recipes the gym managers tried, and share your best culinary creations with us on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.

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