Is the solution to increasing population and diminishing natural resources found beneath our feet, buzzing in our ears or chewing on our vege patches?   

According to the CSIRO more than 2,100 insect species are currently eaten by two billion people from 130 countries. 1 

If the thought of cricket smoothie or mealworm muesli for breakfast is puzzling, consider the following: Edible insects are nutritional powerhouses, packed with high-quality proteins, high in omega-3, vitamin B12 and iron.  Australian native insects are also said to have a range of flavour profiles and textures from peanut butter, zesty lime, and even scrambled eggs,2 presenting a range of ways they might make their way into our diets. 

Producing less waste and greenhouse gases, and requiring significantly less land, water and feed compared to traditional forms of protein, edible insects may be the sustainable protein of the future.  By incorporating insects into our diets, we can also alleviate pressure on ecosystems, reduce emissions, and promote biodiversity and conservation.  

To put that into context, to produce 200 grams of beef takes approximately 3000 litres of water, but to produce 200 grams of cricket flesh only takes one millilitre of water.

Despite the benefits, embracing edible insects may require a cultural shift, particularly when we spend so much of our time ridding our homes of flying, or crawling 6-legged visitors.

The CSIRO roadmap for a successful industry includes forging new partnerships among researchers, industry, and government, and First Nations Peoples owned and led initiatives, while improving Western perceptions of insect.3  With a rich diversity of species, excellent  farming practices, and a First Nations tradition of insects as a food source, Australia is well-placed to be an international pioneer in this emerging industry.   

As part of the museum’s mission to promote conservation and biodiversity, the AM Shop stocks a range of delicious insect snacks that are not only tasty, healthy lunch box staples but also a protein infusion that can be added into your everyday meals.  By incorporating these nutritious and environmentally friendly snacks into our diets, we can contribute to a more resilient food system and reduce our ecological footprint.   

And if you’re still not sure maybe check out celebrated Sydney chef Kylie Kwong who has featured insects on her menus since 2013.  

There is so much to love about insects. They are super-sustainable to breed and produce very little methane gas. They're incredibly rich in iron and protein and incredibly delicious! The roasted crickets taste like dried shrimps, roasted wood cockroaches are extraordinary in that they smell and taste like chocolate and coffee beans." Kwong said.

Would you like bugs with that?

Visit our range of snacks and informative books and find out for yourself the flavour and power of these tiny powerhouses.