Mealworm burgers are now on sale in Switzerland – why you might be eating insects soon too

Insects are high in protein, low in fat and a sustainable food source, but would that make you want to start sprinkling them on salads or putting them in a sandwich?

Well, you might be in the future. Insect burgers go on sale in Coop supermarkets in Switzerland today.

The burgers, made by insect food company Essento, contain mealworms as well as rice, vegetables – including carrot, celery and leek – as well as oregano and chilli.

Insect burgers (Coop/Essento/PA)

Would you know these burgers are made of insects? (Coop/Essento/PA)

Seven of the supermarkets across Switzerland are also selling ‘insect balls’, also with mealworms, mixed with chickpeas, onions, garlic, coriander and parsley. Apparently they’re great in a pitta with a yoghurt dip.

Silvio Baselgia, head of category management and procurement freshness at Coop, describes the new products as having a “balanced flavour” and the perfect way to show off the “culinary diversity that insects have to offer”.

We’ll have to take his word for it about the taste, but when it comes to being eco-friendly, there’s no doubt insects are a green choice.

Insect balls (Coop/Essentro/PA)

Insect balls in pita bread (Coop/Essento/PA)

The ecological footprint of insects is much, much smaller than that of cows. Insects emit far fewer greenhouse gases than livestock and need less water.

Christian Bärtsch, co-founder of Essento, says: “In terms of food, insects are an excellent choice for a number of reasons. They have a high culinary potential, their production saves resources and their nutritional profile is high-quality. Insects are the perfect complement to a modern diet.”

The products being sold in Swiss supermarkets from today (Coop/Essento/PA)

The products being sold in Swiss supermarkets from today (Coop/Essento/PA)

The rest of the world is following, whether you like it or not.

The Australian online store The Edible Bug Shop has some surprising delights for you to browse, including dehydrated ants, satay crickets and insect protein powder. British company Eat Grub make insect energy bars and the website has loads of recipes, from grasshopper stir fry to mealworm flapjacks.

So who knows? Insect products could be on the shelves of your local supermarkets any day now.

More in this Section

A student impersonated their professor and tried to cancel an exam, inspiring Twitter

Earthquake stops play at Port Talbot

South Wales experienced a minor earthquake – but the Welsh were pretty underwhelmed

This text exchange between father and son may persuade you to take disagreements off social media


Today's Stories

Truck driver’s lucky escape on icy road

Juveniles committed 45% of sex offences in 2016

Ireland 2040: Government defend plan branded a ‘marketing exercise’

1916 medals awarded to Defence Forces sold on Ebay

Lifestyle

The biggest cancer killer will take your breath away

Hopefully she had an idea...

Power of the press: Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks discuss 'The Post'

More From The Irish Examiner