Are worms beetles

Insects, worms and the like as new sources of protein

Status: 03.08.2018 12:10 pm | archive
by Daniela Remus, NDR Info
In other countries quite normal, for us it took some getting used to: fried grasshoppers.

Food culture is a mirror of society and is now developing as rapidly as fashion, art or music. A new trend are worms, beetles, grasshoppers and maggots as sources of protein. They are often on the menu, especially in tropical countries. Around two billion people eat insects there. With us, however, the disgust threshold is quite high. Are insects suitable as food and how do they even taste?

"It looks like sesame crackers, but there are such little worms here. If you pay attention to them, it is strange at first." There is an energy bar on the table in front of Simon Remus. "Bug Break", in German about beetle break, consists of sesame, almonds, caramel and ten percent roasted buffalo worms. On the whole, it looks like a grain bar and tastes similar: "It tastes delicious, doesn't taste like anything else."

Hardly any taste of its own and can be used in many ways in the kitchen

Insects are also suitable for desserts - here they are mountains of chocolate with mealworms.

You can only buy the energy bar in selected shops or online, such as Folke Dammann. He offers crickets, buffalo worms, mealworms and grasshoppers. All are bred and suitable for consumption in Europe. "You can deep-fry, roast, bake, season - actually there is hardly any limit. The basic taste is relatively unspectacular, mealworms taste a bit like paper towels or rice cakes, Buffalo worms slightly nutty. Crickets have the most intense taste of their own, as is grasshoppers how you prepare it is crucial. "

That is why Folke Dammann is constantly developing new recipes in his test kitchen in Witzeeze in Schleswig-Holstein. He has published a selection of these in an insect cookbook, for example fried grasshoppers with chilli or crickets with sesame and honey. Because more and more people are interested in this nutritional alternative. "In the beginning it was more like a jungle camp, now it is the nutrition of the future, the image has improved," says Dammann.

Insects are nutritious with up to 70 percent protein

And with good reason: insects and algae are extremely nutritious, says food researcher Alexander Mathys, assistant professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. "We have a raw material supplier here who can have up to 70.77 percent protein in the dry matter - that's enormous. Algae can do that too, but with insects we also have a fat content of up to 33 percent and a high content of unsaturated fatty acids, and they are associated with health benefits. "

Environmentally friendly alternative to meat

Food researcher Alexander Mathys believes that a higher proportion of insects in the daily diet could reduce the high meat consumption in industrialized countries and the resulting environmental problems: "I would say that we have a raw product here that can compete with meat, we have an energy value that is similar like with meat. But the main advantage with insects, especially for Europe and Germany, is that we can represent and develop a much more sustainable value chain here than with meat production. "

No factory farming, better environmental balance, healthy and protein-rich - this is what the future of nutrition could look like when more insects end up on our plates soon.

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NDR Info | 08/06/2018 | 06:55 am