The idea of worms in your food might be hard to digest... but it could solve a global problem.
The world is getting crazier. Sometimes, you might even feel that you've had enough Internet for the day. Especially when you read about IKEA worm meatballs.
Yup. You read that right.
IKEA is experimenting with making its meatballs and other dishes out of... worms.
The Swedish company plans on using ingredients like mealworms, carrots, parsnip, and beetroot. IKEA plans on offering two alternatives for its iconic meatballs - one made entirely of mealworm beetle's larvae, while the other is made of root vegetables.
It would be called "Crispy Bug Balls".
(Can you just imagine walking up to the counter to ask for a plate of 15 Crispy Bug Balls?)
IKEA started this project as a response to a United Nations statement predicting that the planet’s demand for food would increase by 70% over the next 32 years, affecting meat supply worldwide.
“Our meat production is impacting global warming significantly. Insects generally contain more protein and are lower in fat,” said Simon Caspersen, co-founder of Space10. Space10 is Ikea's innovation research lab in Copenhagen, Denmark.
He said that 1,000 species are eaten in 80% of nations today.
Thus, IKEA hopes to bring 'greener' meals to tables around the world, such as Bug Burgers with patties made of beetroot, parsnips, carrots, potatoes, and mealworms.
Another meal under experimentation is Dogless Hotdogs, in which the hotdog and bun are replaced with baby carrots and algae respectively.
We don't know how we feel about mealworms and algae...
But we could get behind a scoop of their work-in-progress microgreen ice-cream – made up of fennel, coriander, basil and mint.
“We are working to come up with dishes that look good, taste good, and are good for the planet,” said food designer Sebastian Dragelykke. The goal for him is to “inspire people to be more open-minded about new ingredients”.
You might find the idea of dishes with insects a little hard to digest but this is not a new concept.
Restaurants around the world, including a ramen shop in Tokyo and a fine-dining restaurant in Bangkok (and not to mention the countless street food stalls selling fried bugs), have been serving insects for quite a while now.
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), insects are a good alternative protein and can be a rich source of fat, protein, vitamins, fibre and minerals.
It has been called the "food of the future", as it addresses the issue of food security as the world population is expected to reach nine billion by 2050. Food production struggles to meet the demand due scarce land for livestock farming, overfishing, climate change and water shortages.
In fact, around two billion people around the world eat insects as part of their daily diets.
What do you think of the IKEA worm meatballs? Would you dare to try it? Let us know in the comments.
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