When it comes to the lunch menu most schools tend to stick to tried-and-tested classics, but some pupils in Wales are being served up bug bolognese for their lunch.
Earlier this week, Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi VA, a school for pupils aged 3-16 on the St David’s Peninsula, saw students tuck into the bug-based meal instead of their usual lunch time foods.
And according to the experts behind the initiative the insects went down really well.
Discussing the introduction of the insect-based lunches on GMB Dr Sarah Benyon and Andy Holcroft from Bug Farm Foods explained that the initiative came about after being charged with tackling childhood obesity by the Welsh Government.
Exciting menu for dinner today @NonYsgol #VEXo #EXoprotein #foidofthefuture #ediblrinsects #entomology #bugfarmfoods @grubkitchen with @thebugfarm and @wgmin_rural @daviddewisant @StDavidsCath @jessmainITV pic.twitter.com/wan3ZcYLfU
— Dewi Campus ~ Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi VA (@ypd_dewicampus) September 10, 2019
Serving up some delicious, environmentally friendly insect- based VEXo bolognaise from @BugfarmFoods to pupils of @ypd_dewicampus.
Soon @BugfarmFoods produce will be permanently on the menu for these pupils!
(Not sure I have a future as a dinner lady though) 🤣 pic.twitter.com/ErWK3hLvIN
— Lesley Griffiths (@wgmin_rural) September 10, 2019
Great to see our VEXo bolognaise served by @wgmin_rural in @Penrhyndewi on @ITVWales. Amazing response from pupils & @WelshGovernment. Would have been good if @ruthwignall & @JonathanITV had tried the VEXo rather than random brined insects! #foodofthefuture #noveltytonormalcy pic.twitter.com/687TZZWJNQ
— Bug Farm Foods (@bugfarmfoods) September 10, 2019
The bolognese served to the kids was made from VEXo which according to the Bug Farm Foods website is a brand new insect and plant protein.
“VEXo can be used in a similar way to minced meat, whilst reducing saturated fat by 70-80%,” the site explains.
“We have combined the power of plants plus insects to deliver a sustainable, versatile and tasty food that appeals to children and adults alike.
“Over the past two years, we have carried out research with almost 200 Welsh school children and 100% agree that VEXo is delicious!”
Chef Andy Holcroft told hosts Ben Shepherd, Susannah Reid and Kate Garraway that the new bug based school lunches appeal to kids because they are new and exciting.
“It’s about making healthy food exciting,” he said. “Almost 70-80% of kids wanted to learn more about sustainability after having the meal.”
“Its part of a much bigger picture, looking at health, nutrition and the environment,” Dr Benyon added.
Both guests went on to explain that the feedback from the kids has been overwhelmingly positive with many, even fussy eaters, clearing their plates.
Mmm, yummy! Who fancies a bug bolognese? 🐜🐞🕷
School children in Wales are being served insect-based lunches. The bug company claims it’s better for the planet, nutritious and tasty - would you give it a try?@susannareid100 | @benshephard | @kategarraway | #GMB pic.twitter.com/saqBaJuxit
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) September 12, 2019
After sharing a clip of hosts Ben and Kate trying the insect-based food themselves on Twitter, a debate was sparked about whether school children should be fed bugs for lunch.
Some were all in favour of the idea.
We're weird in Wales, it's brilliant 👍😋🐜
— Kath Wilson (@katsitter) September 12, 2019
If you tell the kids they’re doing a bushtucker trial I’d bet they’d all give it a go .... not sure if I would though
— brenda (@brendaanne66) September 12, 2019
So more killing. Why do humans think it's perfectly fine to blend up living creatures? I thought we were finally moving away from cruelty, eating less meat/animals and becoming vegetarian. Plants and pulses are healthy options. Being kind is a great way to help human beings.
— michelle shrimpton (@crazyboutcats8) September 12, 2019
Just go vegan. I eat amazing food,I don’t have to eat bugs🤢🤮made a lasagne from the bosh vegan cook book last night genuinely one of the best things I’ve eaten in my life
— Incy (@wordsmithmofo) September 12, 2019
Just no, poor bugs and why should we feed our children them, there’s more than enough food in this world for everyone without killing bugs too.
— lynnette price (@lynnett19602687) September 12, 2019
If the school does go ahead and introduce bugs to the menu permanently they certainly wouldn’t be the only ones to see the advantages of insect-based foods.
Last year it was revealed that Sainsbury’s has started selling edible insects.
The smoky barbeque-flavour roasted crickets went on sale in 250 UK Sainsbury’s stores, costing £1.50 a packet.
The insects by specialist food company, Eat Grub, are said to have a “rich smoky flavour” and “crunchy texture” and can be eaten as a snack or used to garnish dishes.
Recent stats suggest that around 2 billion people regularly eat insects as part of their diet. And that figure could increase as according to a Sainsbury’s study some 40 per cent of people say they would be open to eating insects and grubs.
The topic of school lunches are often cause for debate.
Posting on Mumsnet she detailed how she was called in for a special meeting for including a mini chocolate bar in a packed meal.
The debate came about after a mum went online to ask if she had the right to be annoyed that her child’s school had vetoed the packed lunch choices she’d made.