Insect Protein : Why There’s A Lot Of Buzz Right Now!

If you’re bothered about consuming bugs, then don’t be, chances are you’ve probably consumed some in one form or another in your lifetime, quite possibly even via a protein shake! There I said it, if you weren’t already aware, Carmine or Cochineal is a perfectly legal additive to some foods and protein shakes alike.

Yup, Carmine or Cochineal has been used as a colourant in make-ups, foodstuffs and some protein shakes. Its use is not so common these days, but in the last decade or so anybody that has consumed a red or pink coloured food or shake may well have consumed Carmine…aka crushed beetle.

This is completely legal, with no known side-effects, but has undoubtedly became less favourable to the consumer thanks to the negative insect connotation, but guess what, insect based protein shakes may well be making a real impact in 2016 onwards…and many consumers like you aren’t bothered anymore! Protein’s protein, right?

Eating ‘bugs’ has become more and more prominent in the public domain thanks to TV hit shows such as I’m a Celebrity get me Out of Here. Ant and Dec’s show famously see’s contestants consume whole cockroaches, grubs or locusts.

Not only are bugs being consumed more frequently in the west, but they are also proving to be a much more financially viable form of protein for both animals and humans. The benefits don’t end there either, check out one of my previous posts on the matter here.

Feeding animals is a big factor these days, we simply struggle to meet demand due to the ever growing population. The UK imports many of their animal feeds in the form of soy based food, but it seems that insect feeds are equally viable AND can stop us from relying heavily on ‘uncontrollable’ importation.

Vegetarians and vegans understandably won’t agree, but feeding animals properly is key to feeding most of us adequately. Furthermore, Professor Peter Gregory, chair of the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP) has recently said that the current EU regulation on novel foods was “perfectly capable” of dealing with any new products containing insect protein.

As is the case with anything though, how the insects are reared and processed is critical to their health benefits. There are many variables to consider when launching an insect based foodstuff, and whether or not these protein shakes will fly off the shelves is yet to be seen.

What is clear is that acceptance appears to be a lot more likely when GAINS are involved! All it’ll take is for Rocky Balboa to guzzle a couple insect based protein shakes and BOOM, everyone will be on it…hey it worked with the raw eggs didn't it?



Nutringredients, (2016). Insect Protein ‘Economically Viable’, scientists claim. Retrieved 1st Feb, 2016, from,NI-BBA-EMEA-SportsNutrition%20mailshot


About the Author

Job Role Qualified Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist Qualifications BSc (Hons) Sports Science | BSc (Hons) Dietetics Tom has always participated in sport both recreationally and competitively which led to an unquenchable thirst for information on anything health, nutrition and fitness. After leaving school Tom went on to play for a football academy during which time he studied Sport and Exercise Science. From here he went on to study a BSc (Hons) Sport Science at UEA followed by his second BSc (Hons) degree, this time at the University of Hertfordshire studying Dietetics. Tom has worked in the fitness, educational and clinical nutrition industry starting out at David Lloyd Health and Leisure Clubs. He then went on to work as a Dietitian (RD) in the NHS, during which time he conducted clinics for healthy eating, weight loss and weight gain, as well as specialised consultations on Diabetes, IBS and Coeliac disease to name a few. He has vast amounts of experience at devising diet plans and supplement regimens, as well as working in the community with schools and competitive athletes. As Head Nutritionist and Supplement expert at Discount Supplements Tom is here to provide current and evidence based health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals!
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