Should insects be on the menu?

Sarah Lloyd is Head of Learning at Oxford University Museum of Natural History. The museum is home to more than seven million natural objects including the first scientifically described dinosaur, the last piece of soft tissue of the enigmatic dodo and roughly five million insects. The museum is also an inspiring place for research, teaching and debate.

In this session Sarah discusses insects and the future of food. Insects are one of the most diverse animal groups on the planet. Even in the UK there are more than 25,000 different species. However, insects are in peril, threatened by habitat loss, insecticide use and climate change. Food production is a key part of our impact on British biodiversity. Could insects themselves hold the solution to our biodiversity crisis?

Introduction to the Museum and the Insect Collection

Research task

Look at two of the resources below – try to look at two different opinions. Make notes to summarise the key points of your research, before watching the second video below.

Do you think schools should serve insect-based products in the school canteen?

Here are some viewpoints. Do you agree with any of them or do you have your own?

  1. Insects are a nutritious and sustainable source of protein. We should be encouraging young people to eat them.
  2. We should be focusing on a healthy and sustainable plant based diet.
  3. We should accept that some people will always choose meat over insects. We should focus on how the meat we serve is produced and perhaps source meat from animals that have been fed insect protein.
  4. Food waste is the real problem. We should be making sure that everything we offer in the school canteen is bought and eaten.
  5. Schools should serve insect-based products in the school canteen.

Think whether your answer would be ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to each question and what your reasons are. You can tell us what you think using the Share with us! form.


The Natural History Museum would really appreciate feedback about this session – share your thoughts by following the link here.

This resource was created by Sarah Lloyd, Head of Education at Oxford University Museum of Natural History, for the St John’s Inspire Programme Summer School.

Share with us!

We would love to see any examples of work that you do during your Inspire Summer School. This can be a photo of something you have made, a picture you have drawn, some written work (e.g. the start of a speech, or the answer to a question we asked), or some thoughts you have about what you have learnt! Submit your work to us through this form.

All pupils who share their work with us by August 31 2021 will receive a certificate of participation in the summer school and will be entered into a prize draw! A £10 Amazon voucher will be awarded to each winning entry, selected randomly from all submissions. If you give us permission, your entry may be shared on Inspire Digital and our social media alongside your first name.