Talk about small bites!
One of the latest trends we’re watching in food has to do with… listen carefully… people eating bugs. Yes, intentionally, not just when they open their mouths while riding motorcycles. It seems we’re taking a stab (with a really tiny fork) at insects, coated and fried, boiled and seasoned, even raw and, dare I say, icky.
Insects have been touted as the sustainable substitute for traditional protein, but let’s face it—consumers still balk at the idea of eating them. The Scary Delicious: Wine + Bug Pairing event actually worked on changing some of that by teaching diners how to pair wine with the dehydrated scorpion, ants, mealworms, and crickets, just to name a few. And that’s not all we’re seeing. Here are a few more pieces of evidence from our CultureWaves team that show bugs are, in a sense, growing on people.
An Australian cricket farm belonging to the company Grubs Up recently got government approval to sell the bugs for human consumption. The farm specializes in protein powder, bar snacks, and condiments all created with the insects.
Insect-based foods are showing up in supermarkets such as Coop, one of Europe’s largest supermarkets. We understand they have begun stocking burgers and other foods made with mealworms.
Entocycle is a startup company that uses the larvae of black soldier flies to create an automated system that uses the insects for animal feed. Beyond that, it uses them to dispose of food waste as they literally chew through it at an unprecedented pace during their short lifespans. Trust me, don’t think about this one too long—it’s an endless cycle.
Safeco Field, home of the Seattle Mariners baseball team, introduced a new $4 snack that is so popular they reportedly have trouble keeping it in stock: Toasted grasshoppers tossed in chili-lime salt. The food is a regional staple of Mexican cuisine, and a local Mexican restaurant called Poquitos is providing them in the stadium.
Convinced? Maybe bugs aren’t for you just yet, but you never know. In all seriousness, as the world searches for sustainable protein, this one just may bug you until you give it a try.
You go first.
Want more information on cooking with bugs? Click the article links below!
Insect Ingredients: A Question of Texture