We’d had a busy morning, including the climb of 268 steps to reach the famous Tian Tan Buddha (or Big Buddha to friends) on Lantau Island.
While the heat and humidity made it tempting to return to the rooftop swimming pool at Hotel Jen, I decided to push on and tick some more items off my growing Hong Kong bucket list. But first I needed a sugar boost to make it through the afternoon.
With my study tour colleague Novella, advertising professor Gayle Kerr, and another QUT student we had met in Hong Kong, Maddie we scaled the Mid-Levels. The Mid-Levels is an upmarket suburb of Hong Kong, right above Central and half way to Victoria Peak. We explored the SoHo district, so named for its location south of Hollywood Road. This district is well known for its boutiques, art galleries, and antique markets along with upmarket bars and restaurants.
Then the sign FREE ICE CREAM caught our eyes – time for my sugar boost.
But The Economist giving away free ice-cream? We were swarmed by a promotional team for The Economist encouraging people to try their revolutionary new flavours of ice-cream.
There must be catch I thought, and yes what an unexpected catch this was. Say what? Sustainable and Protein Rich Bugs and Ice-cream they said.
I should have guessed nothing in life is free.
The average looking line suggested ice-cream and insects wasn’t something for everyone, but for me it was a chance to face my fears and simply chow into a new experience. I thought “Bug-ger it, when in Rome…or in this case… in Hong Kong.”
I was offered the following four choices – Scurry Berry, Choc Hopper, Strawberries and Swirls and Nutritious Neapolitan. The choices overwhelmed me but did the choice really matter? Each option is a foreign object that I was about to put into my mouth, and as a typical westerner growing up I was always told frighteningly “Don’t put that in your mouth!”, but here goes….sorry Mum!
So, how was it?
Chewy? For sure.
Visually disgusting? Yep!
But it was also exhilarating, exciting and even satisfying.
What I really got a kick out of was comparing this Asian promo campaign to what we typically see in Australia. It definitely made me feel that we are worlds apart.
Our so-called new frozen yogurt flavours are no match for this one. However, after seeing a recent MasterChef mystery box challenge, to cook with Honey Ants, perhaps the idea of putting bugs in our food is not so foreign after all.
What are your thoughts?
Why eating insects makes sense- according to The Economist
- Insects are easy to farm. They need a lot less water, land mass and eat almost anything, lowering greenhouse gases.
- There are nearly 2000 kinds of editable insects which can easily be added to today’s everyday dishes.
- Insects are packed with protein, calcium, fibre, iron and zinc, and known to be healthier than meat. A small serving of grasshoppers can contain the same amount of protein as a similar sized portion of beef with less fat and calories.
- Raising insects can save money, being very cheap to produce allowing opportunity to increase livelihoods to many poor countries.
- With a population projected to reach 11 billion by end of the century impacting climate change and agriculture, it could become a very real and sustainable future alternative to today’s ideals.