WITH I’m A Celebrity back on the screens it’s time for the North-East to switch from beefsteak to crunchy crickets, says a food waste and recycling company. 

The UK is a nation of meat-eaters with much the population regularly eating meat such as beef, pork and chicken. But what if the meat you ate was a bit smaller and had a few more legs?

BusinessWaste.co.uk, which has offices in North-East but covers the whole of the country, says bugs such as ants, crickets and beetles will soon be on the menu and on supermarkets shelves. 

The commercial waste company says while this would be a pivot away from meats currently dominating British diets, it would help in the fight against climate change. 

Company spokesperson Mark Hall said: “Agriculture is leading cause of the destruction of biodiversity around the world, as natural environments are destroyed to make way for endless farms.

“The beef farming industry is particularly bad; cows create a lot of CO2 from production and transporting the meat, plus they need an awful lot of land."

BusinessWaste.co.uk argues bugs would take up less space to produce than the likes of cows and pigs, suggesting less destruction and allowing for healthier environments, fewer CO2 emissions and more biodiversity.

Mr Hall said: “Basically, farming bugs for food takes up a lot less space and is greener for the environment than regular meat production. With evidence like that, bring on the beetle Bolognese.

“Insects could become a leading source of protein in our diets in the next decade, they are a great source of energy and could help to solve the global food shortage.

"There are definitely plenty of bugs to go around, but attitudes need to change, and people need to stop thinking that eating them is only stuff of bush-tucker trials."

While coming face-to-face with creepy-crawlies makes for popular TV in the likes of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!, bugs have long made a popular diet with more than 1,900 edible insect species.

Since 2003, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation has been working on topics around edible insects in countries around the world. 

The organisation says edible insects contain high-quality protein, vitamins and amino acids for humans while insects also have a high food conversion rate.

For example, crickets need six times less feed than cattle, four times less than sheep and twice less than pigs and broiler chickens to produce the same amount of protein. 

Mr Hall added: "I’ll be the first to admit that eating spiders and worms doesn’t sound very appetising, but maybe instead of eating them whole, we need to find a way to sneak them into the food we already eat.

“Why not try using ground-up bugs as flour for bread, or using mealworms in spaghetti or burgers - if you can’t see a whole bug lurking on your plate you’re more likely to give it a go.”