Posts Tagged ‘insects’

Make you Fink on Friday

Creepy crawlies

Creepy crawlies

There have been suggestions recently that we may have to look for other food sources like insect and creepy crawlies.

The idea doesn’t appeal to me one little bit.

But, the Chinese and other Asian countries do.

Grub’s up: maggots and crickets on menu at Britain’s first ‘pestaurant’

Rentokil crawls into street food arena with cheesy worms, insect lollipops and pigeon burgers, specially farmed for intrepid diners

An insect pick’n’mix bag at Rentokil’s Pestaurant, in London. Photograph: Jonathan Hordle/Rex

David Cross started out studying the behaviour of the American cockroach, moved on to managing the population of the great spruce bark beetle, before finally settling on a career exterminating flies, cockroaches, spiders, wasps, ants, moths, fleas and woodworm. Ask him his least favourite pest and he looks blank.

He’ll admit, however, to a particular affection for the flour beetle (“it’s something that you develop a bit of respect for”), and “rats and mice will always be posing some interesting and quite complex challenge for you”.

Everything has its limits though, and for the head of Rentokil’s technical training academy, the plain roasted buffalo worms were proving a step too far. “Yeah, I’m not so keen on them. If you are just eating the dry insects you can get a bit of exoskeleton stuck in the back of the throat. You need a drink of water after that.”

Lunchtime in the City, and a pop-up with a difference: Pestaurant, run by Britain’s best-known extermination brand, which aims to interpret the popularity of street food in its most literal sense. On the menu: salt & vinegar crickets, plain roasted locusts, crispy BBQ mealworms and something called an “early bird breakfast pie”, featuring six sausages, eight rashers of smoky bacon and “30g bamboo or buffalo worms”.

A Pestaurant chef shows off their sweet chilli pigeon burgers, garnished with cheddar cheese mealworms. Photograph: Jonathan Hordle/Rex

The stall may have been temporary, but several of the key ingredients, it turned out, are Rentokil regulars. Mealworms, favourites of pet reptiles and fish, can also cause serious infestation problems for flour mills and grain producers, and even for those unfortunate homes that already have a bird population. Crickets can also be a domestic problem, though happily, said Cross, only certain types will occupy a building in numbers.

The company also finds itself regularly engaged in a battle against pigeons which, minced in a burger with venison, bacon and sweet chilli, were proving a particularly hot draw at the city centre stall. (One of the weapons open to pest controllers, if nets and spikes prove ineffective, is to coat surfaces with a “chilli-based gel” which sticks to their feet, and sounds barely less appealing than any number of local chicken takeaways.)

But the dishes on offer were “absolutely not” the fruits of the company’s labours, said Cross quickly — the burgers were of finest wood pigeon, while the bugs had all been farmed specifically for human consumption.

By 1pm, a small crowd of lunch-hour diners was hovering, some giggling nervously, some ostentatiously picking fingerfuls of tiny bugs with the texture of puffed rice and gulping them down, many simply heading for the free pigeon burgers, which didn’t sound too scary, surely?

“Mmm, how nice does that look?” said Alex Campbell, picking up a plain roasted cricket, just big enough for its legs and wings to be clearly discernible. Did he think so? “No, it looks absolutely disgusting.” He gulped it down confidently. The verdict? “Tastes like nuts to be honest.”

Insect lollipops at Pestaurant. Photograph: Jonathan Hordle/Rex

“I like the buffalo worms,” said Peter Hannah, judging them “kind of crispy, a little salty, not a lot of flavour”

Source: TheGuardian Read more


Thanks, but no thanks.

Monday Moaning

Bean horsemeatThe world is collapsing.

Very soon we are really going to have to look at alternative food sources.

Just recently the English speaking world got a shock; horse meat! Not that the horse meat was the problem, the problem is that it was found where it wasn’t supposed to be – in beef products.

The UN has even gone so far as to suggest insects as an alternative. Now if we turn up our noses at horse, imagine insects.

You get to McD’s, “Would you like large locusts with that?”

Now some Asian countries are used to this idea. Some countries, like Moçambique, have sun-dried field mice on a stick; just 30 cents.

The British have been scared silly with this horse meat scandal and have begun to lose faith in processed foods.

Eggs come first as chickens take over our gardens

Fears about food quality and desire to be close to nature fuel a growing backyard industry in Britain

Pet shops and garden centres now stock chicken feed while demand for poultry is rising. Photograph: Angela Hampton pictures/Alamy


They are the planet’s closest living evolutionary link to Tyrannosaurus rex and contribute hugely to our national diet, but now the humble chicken is coming into its own in Britain as the productive pet of choice.

What began several years ago as a trend among town-dwellers with large gardens has now exploded into an entire industry, say experts. Pet shops and garden centres stock chicken feed, while poultry producers are scrambling to keep up with demand for birds. Dozens of manufacturers are churning out hen coops in every shape and size – and for every budget. Prince Charles’s Highgrove online shop stocks a pale-blue timber portable hen house for £3,750.

This weekend the South of England show at Ardingly, West Sussex, the biggest annual agricultural event in the south-east, took poultry as its theme in response to what organisers called “an incredible upsurge in popularity of keeping poultry”.

And it’s not only hens, but ducks, too. “A lot of it is the horsemeat scandal: people just want to be more connected to their food,” said the show’s Paula Seager.

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Yes, people have lost confidence, they want to see where their food comes from.

Your chickens will eat all those vege scraps from the kitchen, fast track composting, chicken shit is good for the garden.

boxmilkA whole generation of people have lost touch with the country, people are beginning to look for their roots. I am always reminded when in Bolivia, I invited a family to visit me on the farm and Abel, eight, was amazed that milk came from cows and not a box in the supermarket. How much more removed are kids in the first world from reality?

The chickens are a start, if you haven’t started, don’t leave it too late. Because we won’t always have a supermarket nearby.



Make you Fink on Friday

Street lights ‘changing ecology on the ground’

The study could have big implications for a shifting of the ecology in urban and suburban areas

The presence of street lights substantially changes the ecology of ground-dwelling invertebrates and insects, research suggests.

Scientists trapped nearly 1,200 of the animals in areas under and between street lights in Helston in Cornwall.

They report in Biology Letters that invertebrate predators and scavengers were more common near the lights, even during the day.

That suggests street lights influence ecology more than previously thought.

Much work in recent years has gone into addressing the effects that street lights can have on local, transient populations of bugs – particularly those that can fly and have significant ranges of exploration.

But the effects of street lights on the vast communities of invertebrates on the ground remained unaddressed.

Source: BBC News Read more


There, just another example of man’s guilt at changing the nature of things.

Everything man does, has an adverse effect on the environment.

Bugs under street light photo time-lapse photography

Now, on the surface, we may not think that altering the habitats of ‘bugs’ is that important. But what if a particular ‘bug’ was required to prey on another particular ‘bug’ and one was and the other wasn’t attracted to light. Then the ‘bug’ that was controlled is now free of predators to swarm and multiply so that it becomes a noxious pest, possibly to the detriment of mankind.

There exist also possibilities of street lights being the cause of extinction. Fireflies, for example, prefer street lights to sex, because the street lights are brighter than the signal light for sex from their own species.

Nature Ramble

A small collection of coloured insects…

How many of these have you seen?

Calotropis gigantea

Chilean King Cricket (Cratomelus sp.)

Four-lined plant bug (Poecilocapsus lineatus)

Iphiclides podalirius

Jewel beetle (Sternocera aequisignata)

England’s Milkweedbug (Oncopeltus fasciatus)

Real Red Jewel Beetle (Torynorrhina flammea)

Zygaena fausta Moth

You want to see more? Then visit here

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