Grasshoppers: It’s what’s for dinner. Or at least it could be, if organizers of a food festival to be held next month in London have their way.
While they’re not commonly eaten in the West, insects are a nutritious and environmentally friendly part of many cultures’ cuisines.
According to the Guardian, Pestival 2013, sponsored by the Wellcome Trust, aims to get insects off of experimental gastronomic menus and on to supermarket shelves. The idea is that, instead of squishing the creepy-crawlies to death, people can enjoy them for their nutritional value — as well as their taste.
According to the Guardian, the festival will feature a pop-up restaurant by the Nordic Food Lab, a non-profit organization established in 2008 by Rene Redzepi. Redzepi, a TIME 100 honoree, is the head chef of the Danish restaurant Noma, which has been named the world’s best restaurant three times in a row.
Last year at London’s Claridge hotel, Noma presented a dish featuring live ants served with crème fraiche in a $306 lunch. According to Bloomberg, the ants were chilled and they tasted like lemongrass when their juice exploded in your mouth.
There has been a global campaign to promote insect cuisines. Since 2011, the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization has been funding the farming of insects in Asia and Africa, where they are widely consumed as an alternative source of proteins.
London is not the only European city to fall in love with insect dishes. According to the Wall Street Journal, three Dutch companies have established special production lines to raise mealworms for human consumption and several restaurants in the Netherlands already have insects on their menus.