Lots of vitamin B12, essential amino acids, important micronutrients, and protein source – this food hype is healthy! While for some, the disgust factor still resonates at the idea of eating insects -startups and the food industry are now focusing on this trend.
In the future, we’ll be eating mealworm burgers instead of burgers with meat patties and snacking locusts instead of chips. Startups, trend researchers, and representatives of the food industry – all agree that insects are becoming increasingly important as food.
Crickets, mealworms, grasshoppers, beetles and more; the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that around 1900 insect species are edible. In some European countries, such as the Netherlands or France, insects are already included as frozen goods in supermarkets. In other countries, the topic is growing significantly. Startups are developing ideas around the crawling animals.
Healthy and sustainable
Insects are strong protein suppliers and contain a very healthy nutrient composition for humans. They are also vital when it comes to the environment and sustainability. The rearing of insects is more environmentally friendly, they require much less feed than farm animals and produce only a fraction of the greenhouse gases produced by conventional meat suppliers. Therefore, insects are seen as a meat substitute and food of the future.
Enterprising with the little insects
At Green Week in Berlin, burger patties made of insects were served under the motto “How does the future taste?” The company Bugfundation presented how the food industry sees the meat alternative for future with patties made from ground beetle larvae and vegetables. The Swiss supermarket chain, Coop, has begun selling mealworm burger patties and meatballs made out of beetle larvae. The retail group Metro is daringly in a test phase to sell pasta made from mealworm flour from the startup Plumentofoods. Other products such as cereals and salad croutons are also in the works.
New food – new safety
Since January 1, 2018, a new European regulation controls which and how edible insects are served on our plates. Each insect species is intensively tested to ensure they are harmless and only then they are approved as foodstuffs.
It is still unusual to include insects in your diet, but there’s a lot going on with insects. Whether protein bread made of insect flour, snacks of insects, or insects used as a crispy topping for salad, pasta, and risotto – we already have insect dishes and insect recipes for you.