London's first edible insect farm offers facility tours and cooking classes.
You’ve heard the statistics: Insects can provide three times more protein and 30 times as much vitamin B12 as beef, using a fraction of the arable land and water. Futurists are as tired of saying it as you’re reluctant to take their advice: The human diet of tomorrow should pivot to bugs if we’re to stymie the worst effects of climate change.
If the future of food lies in the insect kingdom, then that future depends, in part, on school science projects and supportive parents. A young Laurence Mohan began working with insect farms for a Duke of Edinburgh Award project. After his mother, Tiziana Di Costanzo, began aiding him in his work, the experiment ballooned. An insect lodge built in the family’s backyard now stands as the first edible insect farm in London.
Horizon Insects harvests mealworms, crickets, and beetles out of their backyard urban farm. The insects are fed leftover vegetables and bran from nearby grocers for the duration of their six-to-eight-week lifespan, before the family dries and packages 25 kilos (55 pounds) of nutrient-rich, crunchy insects monthly.
Monthly tours take visitors through the homemade facilities, where the insects are farmed in space-efficient vertical stacks, after which they can eat a meal comprised of the farm’s products. Dried crickets are available for purchase, a 100-gram bag running at a cool £8.50 (about $11).
If visitors are unsure of what to do with all this wriggling produce, Horizon Insects includes an insect cooking class with each tour. Instructors walk you through how to craft Italian-style bruschetta garnished with crickets, curry-and-coriander mealworm fritters, a mealworm-laced beef burger, and crispy chocolate mealworm cupcakes. The farm-to-table crawlies are said to impart a mild earthy, nutty flavor—a small price to pay for a healthy planet.
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