Grubs up: school children in Wales are being served bugs for lunch

School children in Wales are being served bugs for lunch [Photo: Getty]

When it comes to the lunch menu most schools tend to stick to tried-and-tested classics, but some pupils in Wales are being served up bug bolognese for their lunch.

Earlier this week, Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi VA, a school for pupils aged 3-16 on the St David’s Peninsula, saw students tuck into the bug-based meal instead of their usual lunch time foods.

And according to the experts behind the initiative the insects went down really well.

Discussing the introduction of the insect-based lunches on GMB Dr Sarah Benyon and Andy Holcroft from Bug Farm Foods explained that the initiative came about after being charged with tackling childhood obesity by the Welsh Government.

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The bolognese served to the kids was made from VEXo which according to the Bug Farm Foods website is a brand new insect and plant protein.

“VEXo can be used in a similar way to minced meat, whilst reducing saturated fat by 70-80%,” the site explains.

“We have combined the power of plants plus insects to deliver a sustainable, versatile and tasty food that appeals to children and adults alike.

“Over the past two years, we have carried out research with almost 200 Welsh school children and 100% agree that VEXo is delicious!”

Chef Andy Holcroft told hosts Ben Shepherd, Susannah Reid and Kate Garraway that the new bug based school lunches appeal to kids because they are new and exciting.

“It’s about making healthy food exciting,” he said. “Almost 70-80% of kids wanted to learn more about sustainability after having the meal.”

“Its part of a much bigger picture, looking at health, nutrition and the environment,” Dr Benyon added.

Both guests went on to explain that the feedback from the kids has been overwhelmingly positive with many, even fussy eaters, clearing their plates.

After sharing a clip of hosts Ben and Kate trying the insect-based food themselves on Twitter, a debate was sparked about whether school children should be fed bugs for lunch.

Some were all in favour of the idea.

But others weren’t so keen on the idea of children being served grubs at school, with some pointing out that it went against the principles of veganism and vegetarianism. 

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If the school does go ahead and introduce bugs to the menu permanently they certainly wouldn’t be the only ones to see the advantages of insect-based foods.

Last year it was revealed that Sainsbury’s has started selling edible insects.

The smoky barbeque-flavour roasted crickets went on sale in 250 UK Sainsbury’s stores, costing £1.50 a packet.

The insects by specialist food company, Eat Grub, are said to have a “rich smoky flavour” and “crunchy texture” and can be eaten as a snack or used to garnish dishes.

Recent stats suggest that around 2 billion people regularly eat insects as part of their diet. And that figure could increase as according to a Sainsbury’s study some 40 per cent of people say they would be open to eating insects and grubs.

The topic of school lunches are often cause for debate.

Last year a mum turned to the Internet to vent her frustration about the strict lunch box policy at her daughter’s school.

Posting on Mumsnet she detailed how she was called in for a special meeting for including a mini chocolate bar in a packed meal.

And back in 2017 a heated discussion was sparked about whether teachers have the right to police children’s lunch boxes.

The debate came about after a mum went online to ask if she had the right to be annoyed that her child’s school had vetoed the packed lunch choices she’d made.