Episode 1 – Insects

8.30pm, RTÉ One, Monday 14th November 2022

Insects - BYDV - Katriona and Louise McNamara 1PGC_4529

As the global population rises, questions are being asked as to how we can continue to feed the planet with more sustainable food products and behaviours. Could the answer be the humble insect? Insects have a high protein content and carbon-friendly breeding methods, and with three types of insects already in use in the EU, Jonathan checks out the latest Irish research into edible insects and does some taste testing at the National Ploughing Championships to see if members of the public might be open to adding crickets to their cornflakes!

Unfortunately, not all insects are helpful to the food chain. Grain aphids carrying Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus (BYDV) can devastate cereal crops, reduce the yield by on average 30%, but can be as high as 80% in optimal conditions. With EU regulations limiting the amount of insecticide that farmers can use and aphids evolving to become resistant to it, Kathriona meets the Irish researchers looking to further understand these creatures and help farmers to combat BYDV.

And in his returning segment “Curious Chronicles”, Fergus Mc Auliffe champions the war-time medical marvel: the humble maggot…



If you missed the episode, catch up here on the RTE Player

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