People in Europe can now tuck into burgers made from wriggling mealworms – touted as a cheap, high-protein replacement for beef.
The burgers will go on sale in Coop, Switzerland’s second-largest supermarket chain – made by a Swiss start up called Essento.
They will be on sale from the 21 August in Coop branches in Geneva, Bern and Zurich.
Switzerland’s second-largest supermarket chain will begin selling insect burgers for human consumption after the country’s food safety laws were revised.
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Coop said insect-based produce such as the flour burgers and balls of protein-rich mealworm would go on sale next week.
Last year, researchers at the American Chemical Society examined the health benefits of grasshoppers, crickets, buffalo worms, and mealworms – and found that grasshoppers and crickets are actually a better source of iron than beef.
The iron in crickets was much more easily absorbed by the human body – as were other minerals including calcium, copper and zinc found in the six-legged ‘treats’.
Many scientists believe that human beings will switch to eating more insects – for environmental reasons.
The cheap, high-protein ‘treats’ could solve the world’s food crisis, and help the environment, scientists say.
Dutch supermarket Jumbo is already stocking waxworms – the larvae of a large moth, often fed alive to reptiles – as ‘buggy crisps’, deep fried for a light honeycomb-like texture.
Even posh London retailer Selfridges has previously stocked insects, with bags of Thai Green Curry flavoured crickets, and crunchy silkworms.
London start-up Eat Ento was set up by four Royal College of Art students, who believe that insects could be a regular part of British diets by 2020 – their stall, selling treats such as Insect Pate, is now a regular at food fairs.