Switzerland Now Sells Insect Burgers
September 11, 2017
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Swiss supermarket chain Coop announced is now selling an insect burger and insect balls based on protein-rich mealworm in seven Coop branches, including in Geneva, Basel, Bern, Lausanne, Lugano and Zurich. Swiss food safety laws were changed in May to allow for the sale of food items containing three types of insects: crickets, grasshoppers and mealworms, which are the larval form of the mealworm beetle.
These insects, long used in animal feed, must be bred under strict supervision for four generations before they are considered appropriate for human consumption, according to Swiss law. The insects must be raised in accordance with the Swiss requirements at a company submitted to inspections by national food safety authorities.
Insect products “have a high culinary potential, their production saves resources and their nutritional profile is high quality,” said Essento co-founder Christian Bartsch in a statement. “Thus insects are the perfect complement to a modern diet”.
According to one reporter, “the main flavors that come out are the spices. The texture is curious, a bit like a meaty falafel with a crunch.” While 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.
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.