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Swiss Food Chains Set To Introduce Insect-Based Foods

Wanna try this new diet?

Essento Mealworm Burgers - Photo: Essento / Tina Sturzenegger

I have to apologize in advance for this bit of information that I’m about to share with you; for those of you who are supportive of this environmental movement, then I apologize for any offense that the beginning of this sentence may have brought you.

Burgers are tasty. They’re juicy, hot, oozing with melted cheese, paired with a side of crispy fries and maybe even a dill pickle. Sounds like what we’re all used to, right?

Switzerland, however, is much more sensitive to the environment than many of us meat eaters are. So, Switzerland’s second-largest grocery store chain Coop is introducing food made with bugs to all of their stores.

The Swiss government revised the country’s food safety laws back in May to allow the selling of food products made with insects including but not limited to: crickets, grasshoppers, and mealworms (which are the larval form of mealworm beetles–not that you wanted to know that anyway).

Partnering up with a Swiss startup company called Essento, Coop is going to produce a new range of very healthy, insect-based products. Essento seems to be the perfect accomplice for the country’s new project because they are known for promoting insect-based foods via cookbooks, insect-eating events, as well as their own personal edible bug sales.

(Polenta-Mealworm Roulade – Photo: Essento / Tina Sturzenegger)

Some of the food items that the bug duo are going to release to market are mealworm burger patties (also made with celery, leeks, oregano, and chili) and insect balls (I’m surprised you’re still reading this article), which are made out of mealworms, onions, chickpeas, garlic, and additional spices. And if you’re interested, the patties and meatball packs will hit stores on August 21 and retail for 8.95 francs, which equates to about $9.24.

Now, before you turn completely away, adopting an insect-based diet may not necessarily be the worst thing for you. According to a Belgian study in 2016, when compared to meat burgers, insect burgers totally beat out meat burgers on the basis of protein and environmental benefit. Participants in the study even favored the insect burgers after learning about the benefits of insect-based food.

“These products are perfectly suited for those who want to learn about the culinary diversity of insects,” – Coop Procurement Manager

The UN even concurs with this, revealing in a report that “domesticating and rearing insects can help sustain insect populations while also helping counter nutritional insecurity and improve livelihoods”. Though the UN is a credited organization, I doubt I’ll be riding this wave. But all that means is that there’s more for you.

(Fried Teriyaki Grasshoppers – Photo: Essento / Tina Sturzenegger)

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the end. You obviously like to eat bugs. Time to move onto the next level: An Epic Flying Mission to McDonald’s.

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