Would you eat insects? Food shortages could make them a future staple of our diet

I ate a scorpion. And handfuls of grasshoppers. Not to mention worms.

I never thought I could. And that's the real issue with selling insects as food in the UK, a move that has come much closer now that EU rules have changed.

Most of us just can't imagine crunching on the creatures that scuttle across our pavements or in our gardens. It is too far removed from our staple diets.

However, for most of the world, creepy crawlies have long been a food source. Go into a bar in Mexico and you'll be served flavoured grasshoppers as a matter of course, instead of crisps or peanuts.

We are told food shortages will become a reality for us all in many years to come. So we need to widen our horizons.

But it's just, well, the yuckiness of it all! It will take the marketing skills of a genius to get over that hurdle I fear. The good news is that the growing number of insect manufacturers, as it were, are developing ways to disguise the crickets for example they sell - grinding them into flavoured protein bars.

And yes they are quite edible. But I saw first hand during my time on Los Angeles - the HQ of the insect food industry in the West - that the minute people realise that they've consumed crickets in their fruit bars, or protein drinks, they clasp their hands over their mouth and retch!

Many people would balk at the idea of biting into an insect - but some like the taste. Credit: ITV News

I nearly did the same when I watched an insect enthusiast place a large bug into her mouth and crunch down.

So here's the challenge. If the UK does the same as the US, and seriously investigates insect food, it needs to be really clever in how it advertises its wares. Don't put the inspect bit in large print.

For most of us still, insect dining is just that gross thing they do on I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

I've taken the plunge. But I'm not sure how deep I dare go.

  • Nina's full report will be shown in this week's On Assignment, broadcast at 11.15pm on ITV on Monday 21st May