BUGS are on the menu this weekend as Oxford business Minifeasts launch their insect bar snacks with a taster opportunity.

Alex Capel, founder of edible insects company Minifeasts, sees bugs as the future of protein and snacks and is hosting special tasting session today.

He has created a whole selection of dried flavoured mealworms – a type of beetle larvae – including chilli and red pepper, chilli and lime, and unseasoned.

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Mr Capel, who is running the business from the family home in North Hinksey, said: “In our packets the mealworms are very crunchy like a crispy snack, or like a rice crispy, and they take on flavours very well, they add a sweet and savoury nuttiness to the flavours so they are very inoffensive and tasty.”

Currently Minifeasts is marketing small packets of flavoured insects as bar snacks or protein snack packs, but Mr Capel is looking towards making powders, crisps, pasta and flour, showing just how versatile these bugs can be.

Containing 55 per cent protein, Mr Capel said that mealworms are a more environmentally sustainable source of protein than using meat or even peas or seeds.

Oxford Mail:

Cows, for example, require ten times more feed than mealworms and produce 25 times the amount of greenhouse gasses to produce just 1kg of pure protein, he said.

Eating insects may not be everyone’s idea of a delicious meal, but Mr Capel is determined to get Oxford eating bugs.

He said: “I think the look and the first perceptions of insects is maybe that they are something perhaps not for eating, but once you get past the first hurdle of eating them then after that you’ll be completely fine.

"It’s no different from eating prawns, crab or lobster – they’re all pretty strange looking.”

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"Bugs are eaten in 80 per cent of countries around the world including France, with snails, and in food dye as it includes insects in some of those. About two billion people eat them worldwide every day in the far east and in Africa."

Mr Capel is currently farming the bugs from the home he shares with his parents, feeding them with organic and wonky vegetables sourced from local markets across Oxford. The bugs reach full size after eight weeks, ready to be dried and flavoured.

After two years of farming the insects at home Mr Capel wants to get Minifeasts out of his home and into farming the bugs from shipping containers. To do this he has launched a Kickstarter web page to raise money.

In the meantime he will be offering fearless foodies the chance to sample his snacks at the Tap Social Brewery on North Hinksey Industrial Estate from 6.30pm tonight.