Schoolchildren have been tasting edible insects cooked by a top chef as part of regional celebrations to mark National Insect Week 2012 (25 June-1 July).
Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire hosted the tasting with a difference today which involved almost 60 children from St Peter’s Primary School, Harrogate, and Markington Primary School.
The event – one of scores across Yorkshire – also involved the children taking part in a bug hunt in the grounds of Fountains Abbey, a National Trust property and World Heritage site, led by a team of entomologists.
Before being tempted to try the insects, the children heard from Peter Smithers, an entomologist from Plymouth University, who talked about ‘Why eat insects. Who does this and why?’
He was joined by Lionel Strub, chef patron of the Mirabelle restaurant in Harrogate, who cooked some insect dishes for the children involving meal worms and crickets.
National Insect Week is a biennial initiative run by the Royal Entomological Society. This year’s theme is ‘Celebrating Great British Insects’ – drawing on the celebrations around the London Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee of the Society’s Patron, Her Majesty The Queen.
Dr Luke Tilley, National Insect Week co-ordinator, said:
This will be a great event for the children and a novel way for them to learn more about our Great British insects. National Insect Week is all about promoting awareness of the value of a diverse insect world to the environment.
You can follow National Insect Week on Twitter at @insectweek or on www.nationalinsectweek.co.uk