The idea may sound disgusting, but that burger actually looks good, doesn't it? Selling insect-based products may soon become a supermarket trend.
Switzerland's The Local reports that a recent law has been passed to allow stores to sell insect-based proteins. Starting May 1, 2017, any food product, including products containing insects, can be sold commercially as long as it follows food safety regulations.
Swiss supermarket Coop has jumped on this opportunity to provide insect-based products starting in spring 2017. Coop will be working along with Swiss startup Essento, a company that specializes in these types of products, to develop insect-based dishes. These dishes are expected to include burgers and meatballs, and probably more.
As cattle farms are known for wreaking havoc on our environment, it's long been discussed that something new should come along as a replacement. Insects are just as high in protein as meat and fish, and also carry vitamins and amino acids, so why not replace beef with mealworm larvae? Personally, that last sentence is revolting to me, but that's probably because this is so unusual in much of the Western world. I don't believe I'll be (intentionally) trying any insect-based foods, but that doesn't mean they don’t have their positives.
According to Business Insider, Essento isn't the only startup to focus on insect-based proteins. A San Francisco-based company called Tiny Farms is doing the same type of thing. This startup offers open-source farm kits so that people can raise insects for food at home. We're also already hearing about people using crickets and products like cricket flour to cook high-protein meals.
I have to applaud the innovative efforts to find more sustainable protein options, but what's so wrong with working more to expand soy bean options instead? I guess I just can't get my head around the idea of eating "meat" made out of mealworm larvae or cricket protein bars.
At least we know where food trends are heading. Essento's mealworm products will be available in the refrigerated section of Coop supermarkets in the spring. Try them if you're curious!