Insects as Haute Cuisine

Mealworm Stir-fry

Mealworm Stir-fry

The BBC has an article about insect cuisine in upscale French Restaurants. Chef Elie Daviron specializes in insect snacks arranged for appealing combinations of textures tastes and colors. His high end snacks sell for 8-10 Euros.

Interest in insects as food is driven in part by projections of future protein shortages by mid century due to continued world population growth. Protein from some insects can be produced on one quarter of the amount of feed required by more traditional livestock. Barriers still exist to insects as food on a larger scale. The use of insects to replace substantial amounts of protein in the human diet would require insect rearing on a much larger scale than has currently been tried. In Europe, new foods must be approved by the EU Food Safety Authority, but insects are not yet approved. The money quote:

“Commercialising insects for human consumption is not authorised but tolerated,” said an official at the French agriculture ministry.

Many cultures are resistant to eating insects. Individuals who are not accustomed to eating insects may have difficulty accepting them as legitimate food. One way to improve acceptance is to hide the insects. Insects such as mealworms can be made into a flour and incorporated into any food recipe as a flour replacement. Some sociologists worry that promoting insects as food to help feed the poor of the world will reduce acceptance. Insect cuisine for the wealthy is one way to improve acceptance of insects as food.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is a retired Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in by jjneal, Environment, Food. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Insects as Haute Cuisine

  1. argylesock says:

    Reblogged this on Science on the Land and commented:
    argylesock says… This BBC article is worth more than a nibble. ‘If you prepare them properly, insects are excellent food.’

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