Christmas is less than a month away and we’ll soon be storming the supermarkets to pick up our essentials – but sadly, there’s no doubt we tend to overindulge over the festive season.

The Big Bang Fair challenged top food science personality Stefan Gates to put a spin on our traditional Christmas dinner and explore new sustainable festive treats.

Teamed with students from Harris Academy and Graveney School, Stefan cooked up some mince pies, but these were no ordinary mince pies…

Their Christmas treats were crawling with mealworm beetle larvae and locusts as well as the traditional dried fruit and spices, and the team took to London’s Borough Market to hand their unusual delicacies out to the peckish public.

(The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair/Mike Buck)
(The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair/Mike Buck)

 

Mince flies
(The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair/Mike Buck)

 

The Big Bang Fair wanted to inspire people to explore the option of sustainability this holiday season because with world population is expected to hit 9 billion by 2050, a growing pressure is hitting the world’s finite resources – it’s estimated our global agriculture output needs to increase by 70% to be able to feed our growing population.

While traditional meat production arouses multiple issues, including large greenhouse gas emissions, there is always an alternative – insects.

Mince flies
(The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair/Mike Buck)

 

Mince flies
(The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair/Mike Buck)

 

There are nearly 2,000 known edible insects species we could nibble on that are laden with essential fatty acids, calcium, zinc, iron – over 2 billion people around the world (that’s around 33% of the world population) already feast on insects and Stefan Gates thinks we should all follow in suit and snack on the creepy crawlies ourselves.

“One of the simplest ways of tackling the sustainability of our food supply is by exploring alternative sources of protein,” Stefan said.

Mince pies
(The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair/Mike Buck)

 

Mince pies
(The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair/Mike Buck)

 

“If we want to be able to feed a growing population, even at Christmas people need to be open to new food adventures and look beyond traditional favourites such as turkey, goose or gammon.

“Trust me, these Mince Flies really are delicious and we hope they will get people thinking about what their traditional Christmas dinner might look like in the future.”