This is your warning that you may not want to be eating when you read this post. The Associated Press reports that the new rage in Switzerland is eating insects. The reason? To fight global warming, of course:
Swallow deeply, pinch the nose and repeat the mantra: “Tastes like beef, tastes likes beef.” Then bite into the burger of rice, chopped vegetables, spices and mealworm larvae.
The Swiss supermarket chain Coop, to a bit of domestic hoopla, has begun selling burgers and balls made from insects. It’s being billed as a legal first in Europe, a continent more accustomed to steak, sausage, poultry and fish as a source of protein.
The goal is to convince leery consumers to try a nutritious, if unusual food that “preserves the planet’s resources,” Coop says.
About one-third of the burger is mealworm larvae. A burger weighing 100 grams (3.5 ounces) has about 10 grams of protein in it — about the same amount found in a child’s-size beef burger.
. . . .
The U.N.’s Food and Agricultural Organization has promoted insects as a source of human food, saying they are healthy and high in protein and minerals. The agency says many types of insects produce less greenhouse gases and ammonia than most livestock — such as methane-spewing cattle — and require less land and money to cultivate.
The people who made this recommendation should be force-fed mealworms at their next meeting.
I’d pay to watch that.
According to the article, a law was passed in Switzerland in May to authorize the sale as fool of “mealworm larvae, house crickets and migratory locusts.” Apparently the new bug burgers and insect balls are very popular. And how could they not be, with a description like this?
The burger itself has little white specks of rice inside with traces of carrot, paprika, chili powder and pepper. After a hesitant bite, the main flavors that come out are the spices. The texture is curious, a bit like a meaty falafel with a crunch. An aftertaste lingered — but maybe that was just my subconscious playing tricks.
The insect burgers, like the meat variety, can be accompanied by buns, tomatoes and lettuce. The insect balls — a mixture of mealworms with cilantro, onions and chickpeas — seem to fit best in pita bread, perhaps with a spoonful of yogurt.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go have a big, thick, juicy, environment-destroying burger.
… a real one. Made from a cow.