Blakenall Heath Junior School
Primary Careers Event presents
“The Bush Tucker Trial 2022”
Dear Parents and Carers
As part of the Primary Careers programme, we are exploring future careers in the Environmental sector with years 5/6. We will be looking at how lives will have changed by 2030 and what careers are likely to be available that don’t currently exist. As part of the event, the issues around global food supplies and potential alternatives will be discussed. This includes information on edible insects. Previous events at other schools have shown children find this great fun and are keen to engage. As such, the organiser of the event would like to send some samples of the edible insects for our children to try in their very own Bush Tucker trial!
We recognise this is an unusual request and activity and would therefore ask you to complete and return this form by Friday 27th May 2022 to indicate if you give permission for your child to take part in the insect tasting. The event is to be held on Tuesday 7th June 2022
Please be aware of the allergy information and let us know if this is unsuitable for your child.
Allergy warning: Whole edible crickets, grasshoppers and meal worms. (Locusts if available).
Contains insects. Not suitable for seafood, crustaceans, molluscs and dust mite allergy sufferers. Insects fed on gluten and soy.
Child’s full name:________________________________________________ Class: _______
Parents / carer details:________________________________________________________
Please indicate: Yes / No
I give permission for my child to take part in the edible insect taster session on the 7th June.
Please indicate Yes / No
I have read the allergy information and confirm my child is not allergic to the ingredients listed above.
Background information on edible insects.
Each year, around 70 million people are added to the world’s population. If growth continues at this rate, by 2030 the population is expected to reach a whopping 8.6 billion. To feed all of those hungry mouths, we will need to produce almost twice as much food as we currently do. But that is going to be no mean feat—we already use 70% of agricultural land to raise livestock, oceans are overfished, environments are becoming polluted and climate change and disease threaten crop production. With almost 1 billion people already chronically hungry, it’s evident we need to buck up our ideas in order to reduce food waste and make food production more efficient. One possible solution? Insects. You might turn your nose up at the idea, however the consumption of insects is a common practice that’s been taking place for tens of thousands of years. Around 2 billion people regularly eat insects as part of their diet, and over 1,900 species are edible such as beetles, caterpillars, bees, wasps and ants. Not all insects are edible – we do not suggest children eat insects they find in their usual environment.
Bugs Are Green.
Consuming insects as opposed to livestock is more environmentally friendly. Insects are cold bloodied and thus require less energy to maintain their internal body temperature. This means they are very efficient at converting feed into edible body mass, unlike cattle. Crickets require around 2 kg of feed to produce 1 kg of meat, and around 80% is edible. Cattle, on the other hand, require 8 kg to produce the same amount of meat, but only 40% of the cow can be consumed. This means that less land needs to be dedicated to growing feed for insects than for livestock, reducing irrigation and pesticide use. Furthermore, the insects could even be used as livestock feed, for example replacing fishmeal. This would have the added advantage of increasing fish supplies available for humans to eat. Insects also require significantly less land and water than traditionally farmed animals and also reproduce much more quickly. They also have shorter life spans and thus can be grown quickly and farmed in large quantities in small areas.
Additionally, insects produce a fraction of greenhouse gases such as methane and ammonia when compared with other livestock, particularly cattle. Furthermore, they can consume animal waste or plants that people and livestock cannot. This means that they don’t compete with the human food supply and can even help reduce environmental contamination. It’s also thought that insects are less likely to transmit zoonotic infections to humans when compared with mammals and birds. Insects might not be for everyone, but they could be a valuable asset to global food security. They’re sustainable, green, and nutritious and could help people out of poverty.
We do not advocate children eating insects they can find in their garden / normal environment. Only certain species are edible and others maybe toxic. When discussing this with your children, please ensure they understand the dangers associated with eating anything they may not know is safe.
K. J. Baker