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The weird world of insect bread

If you don’t particularly like the sound of bread made from insects, you’re not alone. Nor do we. But millions of people snack on insects every day, particularly in countries like China where they’re often a delicacy, sold as nutritious, delicious street food.¬†Now comes insect bread, as reported by the Daily Mail. So what’s going on?

Sustainable, packed with protein… shame it has legs!

Billions of people around the planet are living in dreadful poverty. And there’s a critical food shortage in some poor countries. Luckily there are some clever people on the case. Take the Canadian student innovators from Montreal, who have dreamed up a very unusual food source: flour made from insects.

Flour power

The students, from McGill University, want to farm grasshoppers in food-poor regions of countries like Mexico, Thailand and Kenya, and transform the insects into bread flour.

It might sound weird, but grasshopper flour is¬†sustainable, can be harvested at any time of year, and it’s packed with goodness. Plus it’s an innovative business opportunity for local farmers.

Prizewinning stuff

The five Canadian students’ big idea is pretty convincing, so much so that their proposals won the 2013 Hult Prize, attracting a whopping $1 million dollars to kick start the project into reality. And they’re poised to deliver 10 tonnes of the insects to Mexico in March 2014.

How do you make flour from grasshoppers?

Easy. All you do is wash and dry them, bung them in a sealed freezer bag (which apparently kills them humanely), wash them once more, dry them in an oven then grind them up into something that looks almost indistinguishable from regular wheatgerm. Apparently the end result makes delicious breads and cakes, and can also be used to bulk up soups, stews and sauces. Remarkable.