SNACKS WITH ADDED HOP: UK supermarket to start selling insect nibbles

London – VIJAY SHAH via Sky News

If you are tired of the same old potato crisps, peanuts and trail mix for your snacking needs, and want to try something radically different, a supermarket in the UK has begun selling an ‘edible insects’ range, where you can now chow on crickets or graze on a grasshopper.

Sainsbury’s, a mid-market retail chain headquartered in London, will be selling various crunchy dried insects as snacks across 250 of its UK stores, retailing in small packs for £1.50 eachSky News reported yesterday. The range, titled ‘Eat Grub’ – a play on the traditional Cockney dialect term for food, ‘grub’ – is made by an external supplier of roast insects of the same name who have approached the supermarket chain to promote their products.


A highlight of the Eat Grub range includes BBQ-smoked crickets which taste-testers have described as being “crunchy in texture with a rich smoky flavour”. Sainsbury’s is not the first to sell the range of creepy-crawly nibbles though. Online upmarket supermarket Ocado, a division of Britain’s Waitrose and Partners retail firm, has been stocking Eat Grub for five months previously, to mixed perceptions among its shoppers. 

One online reviewer wrote on Ocado’s site in reference to the BBQ crickets: “My hubby [husband]… said they didn’t taste at all of BBQ… [all] he could taste was fish sauce? Way too expensive as well.”

Another reviewer however was more upbeat about the snacks. They wrote: “Tried the final flavour in this selection from Eat Grub and LOVED this – much tastier than a bag of crisps without the calories. Couldnt (sic) stop eating them!”

Sainsbury’s advised consumers brave enough to try the edible insects and grubs to eat them straight out of the packet as a quick snack or use them in cooking as a garnish for tacos, noodles and salads.

Insects and arachnids are common as a cheap and protein-rich food source for non-vegetarians/vegans in many parts of the world. In Malawi, people armed with giant nets catch and eat mosquitoes, crickets are roasted as a snack in Thailand, fried scorpions are big business in China, and Cambodians will go to great lengths to lure a species of endemic burrowing tarantula out of their holes to fry them and even sell them to passing tourists.

In the UK and much of the Western world, the idea of eating insects and other arthropods is often met with revulsion, even though crustaceans and molluscs are widely consumed there. However with intensive farming practices of larger livestock such as cows and sheep being increasingly harmful for the environment and animal welfare, experts have encouraged consumers and retailers to look at more sustainable sources of nutrition, with insects being high on that list of new food outlets.

According to the Eat Grub company, founded in 2014 by Shami Radia and Neil Whippey to introduce more people in the West to insect foods, dried crickets contain more protein per gram than beef, chicken or pork – with 68g of protein per 100g, compared to 31g of protein in beef.

Radia said: “Currently, insects are eaten and enjoyed by two billion people worldwide.

“We’re on a mission to show the West that as well as having very strong sustainability and environmental credentials, they are also seriously tasty and shouldn’t be overlooked as a great snack or recipe ingredient.”

According to a survey conducted by Sainsbury’s and Eat Grub, ten per cent of the British public have eaten insect snacks and around half have rated them as delicious.


Shere Singh/Facebook.

“Sainsbury’s launches £1.50 edible insect range in UK supermarket first” – Sky News/Sky UK (17 November 2018)


“Fried Crickets – Chiang Mai Night Bazaar” – Alpha, Flickr (12 March 2009)


BUTTERFLY LIGHT AWARD: Nomination by Don Charisma

On the 10th April, 2014, the Half-Eaten Mind was nominated by Don Charisma ( for what I can describe as our first ever award with moving parts….well virtually speaking.

It is spring here in London, and while I have seen a few daffodils start springing up in ordered rows in the Newham parks near where I live, I have yet to see a butterfly. Plenty of house flies and a handful of bees mind you, but not one bleeding butterfly. No cabbage whites, no monarchs, no British blues, nadda, zilch, shunya, nothing. Nevertheless, Don Charisma has brought in a bit of spring fever all the way from sunny Thailand with this amazing new gift: The Butterfly Light Award.

(c) original designer via Don Charisma

The Butterfly Light Award (BLA) is a blogging award meant for those beautiful bloggers who have spread light into other people’s lives. Now while I am usually disseminating hard news stories, some of which can be quite depressing, I also make an effort to write blogposts and articles that are useful, fun and bring happiness and the light of knowledge to readers’ lives. Just like the BLA I make a big deal of colour, movement and joy on my blog, because at the end of the day, when there is so much strife and unhappiness in the world, I do want to make a difference, even a small one to someone’s life and goings-on.

DC features the BLA prominently on his blog. The colourful award with its butterfly behind rippling frosted glass and rays of sunshine is a majestic sight to behold – as far as award badges go. It has even earned a nickname from the Don himself; the Disco Flutterby Award.

DC received the award from Belinda from the ‘idiotwriting’ blog. I am not sure if Ms. Belinda created the BLA herself but she had asked the Don to release her offering into general circulation and the Half-Eaten Mind is privileged to be the first listed nominee for it. The back story goes that DC helped Belinda with an incessant malware problem, on account of Charisma’s expertise with technology repair. The problem was fixed expertly, and Belinda rewarded the Don with this sumptuous thank you gift now rippling just above these paragraphs.

DC’s flutterby nickname for the BLA comes from the fact that “partly because I can’t read, and partly because when I first saw it I wasn’t thinking on anything. What I saw was a disco mirror ball with coloured lights. It became apparent later that it’s actually a butterfly, so jokingly, I’d added the Flutterby, like kids or dyslexics might mis-say.” (DC’s own words). Interestingly I once remembered hearing a nursery rhyme which may have been either an old British or an old American one, where a butterfly is described as a flutterby, but just like a butterfly, it seems to have left my half-eaten brains and fluttered somewhere. I’m sure Google will help you solve the mystery.

Conditions For Accepting The Award

Don Charisma has added a couple of conditions for accepting the award :

1. You must write an acceptance post, making sure you link back to the blogger who awarded you and thank them. You MAY NOT lump this award in with a batch of other awards.

2. You must individually name and re-award to a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 9999999 bloggers. You must let them know either personally with a comment on their blog OR a pingback (I’d suggest their about page)

3. You must link back to Belinda’s blog either to OR

4. You must write a short paragraph (yes only one paragraph – damn this is easy) – Entitled either “How I’m Spreading Light” OR “How I’m A Positive Influence”

5. Display Belinda’s lovely “Butterfly Light Award” badge on your blog.

How I’m A Positive Influence

While I am a journalist, and journalism is very much about detailing the negative as well as the positive, I do try to make a positive impact in my reporting. I try not to offend people and always pay more than lip service to the reporter’s essential values or accuracy, objectivity and telling the truth. My blog is a small ‘window on the world’ and I want to give as clear and unobstructed view as feasibly possible. I often reach out to other bloggers via awards articles like this one, and enjoy bringing a smile to their faces, not just through the awards themselves but also through writing sympathetically and knowledgeably about them. I occasionally write on social issues such as an article on a UK mental health charity published in 2012. On a personal level, my blog has been a source of pride among my family and friends and I have collaborated with my youngest sister Anjali on a few articles. That has helped her gain more confidence and keeps a big smile on her face, while showing her talents which normally otherwise are left understated.


I’m awarding this “The Butterfly Light Award” to :

(awardees chosen from the HEM Bloggers Twitter feed)

1. Vincent (Real Poems)

2. Johanna Bradley (RESTLESSJO)

3. Tanumoy Biswas (The Nomadic Soliloquist)

4. Andrew Ginsburg (Andrew S. Ginsburg)

5. Sage Doyle (SageDoyle ~ Fiction & Poetry)

6. Eduardo Meza-Etienne (Aquamosh’s Blog)

7. Lil Family Adventure (Little Family Adventure)

A big hearty thanks to Don Charisma for including me in his own awardees list  followed by a massive congratulations to all of my selected nominees!! 🙂

…and as we are on the theme of butterflies, here’s a traditional HEM choice animated GIF to go with our latest award.

The Half-Eaten Mind has also been nominated for this same award by Mahesh Nair of “Write Might” on the 11th April 2014.
I would also like to thank Mahesh for once again kindly considering me for this unique award.
(c) midnightgemini via Sodahead
“The Butterfly Light Award … Disco Flutterby Award :)” – Don Charisma, (10 April 2014) LINK
“The Butterfly Light Award … Disco Flutterby Award :)” – Don Charisma, (10 April 2014) LINK
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