Updated: May 12
If you are reading this, you are probably interested in entomology. And you’ve probably toyed with the idea of eating insects yourself. But could you incorporate insects into your daily diet?
We challenged Laurence to integrate bugs into his meals for a week, to see whether he could get over the 'yuck factor' and measure whether his health or energy levels were affected by the change to his diet.
Laurence studied Climate Change at UCL, and his passion for sustainability is what sparked his interest in entomology and is ultimately why he’s here today carrying out BeoBia’s 7 Day Insect Challenge.
What does the challenge involve?
We gave Laurence a week’s worth of mealworms and mealworm powder and challenged him to replace his usual source of protein (chicken, fish and red meats) with bugs. Laurence has never eaten insects before, so it will certainly be a challenge. Keep reading to see if he successfully completes the task...
Interested in trying edible insects and taking part in the challenge? Sign up below:
Day one, Laurence tries eating insects for the first time! Want to watch him take the first bite? Check out the full video, here.
Laurence was quite surprised, he was expecting the mealworms to have a nasty flavour, but in reality, "they taste like seeds or nuts". He describes the texture as "crunchy" and thinks it should be “easy to add them into meals”, as they shouldn’t change the flavour too much.
He also tried the BeoBia mealworm powder and decided to add it into his porridge, as an easy way to incorporate the bugs into his normal breakfast:
“The powder has the same consistency as brown sugar. It’s quite hard to eat by itself as it’s dry and grainy, but it works well in the porridge.”
For lunch, Laurence made a spicy tomato pasta dish, but instead of sprinkling parmesan cheese on top, he added mealworms to the dish. Despite it looking a little different to the usual topping, Laurence claims, “it doesn’t take away from the taste at all.”
Following protein porridge for breakfast, Laurence made “Chilli con Critters” for lunch with lots of delicious vegetables:
“I want to try and add as many vegetables as possible to make up for the fact that I’m not having as much protein. Although there's a higher percentage of protein in mealworms, you have to make up for the quantity difference. So, I’ve added kidney beans, mushrooms, peppers, spinach, onion and tomatoes to the chilli—as well as the insects.”
He decided to cook the mealworms this time, rather than adding them into the dish afterwards, and it helped to soften them and it improved the texture. Watch Laurence cook the dish here.
We will be sharing the 'Chilli con Critters' recipe with you all, so keep your eyes peeled on our blog or subscribe to our mailing list to be the first to receive the delicious recipe:
Protein porridge and 'Chilli con Critters' leftovers.
Laurence hosts a dinner party with a twist… he’s serving mealworm fajitas and gooey caramel bug brownies.
The party was divided at first, some were more open to the idea and thought that they “didn’t taste like anything”, whereas others couldn’t get over the “yuck factor”.
But by the time dessert was served, everyone came round to the idea of eating insects, and the gooey bug brownies went down a treat! They agreed that it would be easier to incorporate the mealworm powder in their diets than the whole mealworms.
Sign up here to discover the gooey caramel bug brownie recipe, and find out when the BeoBia mealworm powder is being released.
Protein porridge and fajita leftovers.
For breakfast Laurence had… you guessed it, protein porridge. And then for lunch, he cooked sweet potato fries and vegetables in soy sauce, with a delicious dipping sauce: hummus and mealworms. Check it out!
Post gym, Laurence decided to try the BeoBia protein powder with soy milk. He usually has a vanilla flavoured protein powder, so he was a bit worried about the flavour. And he can confirm that he won’t be having that again… He decided instead to make a smoothie with the mealworm powder, berries, banana, honey and soy milk, and it went down a treat!
Laurence reported high energy levels, “I’ve been trying insects for a week now, and I haven’t felt any tiredness or fatigue, and I’ve been exercising and cycling a lot.”
What’s on the menu for the final day?
Protein porridge for breakfast, followed by pasta with asparagus, broccoli, onion and bugs in a pesto sauce. And for dinner, he’s cooking a green Thai mealworm curry for his girlfriend Amelia, who gave the meal the thumbs up! See how they got on, here.
Laurence made it to the end of the week! He completed the 7-Day insect challenge! But how did he find it? In this video, Laurence reflects on the experience, and checks in with Thomas Constant, Founder and CEO of BeoBia.
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