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Belgian university sells insect-based food. A glimpse into the future?

Author Damien Wilde
Posted On 7th November 2014

mealworm-dishGenerally speaking the idea that students will eat just about anything that’s edible is true. I remember my student days and when times were tough – or when the shop was just out of reach – we would all make do with whatever stale bits of bread, leftovers and other bargain basement items left in the fridge or freezer that we could find. Some almost saw it as a rite of passage, akin to earning the degree after a couple of years of study.

Well some students in Belgium have taken things to the next level. One academic institution in Brussels has started serving an insect-based menu in its canteen. The decision has seen it become the first commercial kitchen in Belgium to offer such products.

A trip out for lunch could see you choose between such options as buffalo worm burgers or worm nuggets. The latter option was apparently added to the menu boards after the burgers proved to be so popular choice for paying customers.

The thought of eating insects may invoke a squeamish reaction from a number of people, but the idea is gaining traction. Aside from being nutritious, nibbling on some creepy-crawlies has long been seen as a viable solution to conventional meat sources and could be used to help sustain the planet’s growing population.

The United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organization, for example, reports that insects are a good source of protein and “are healthy, nutritious alternatives to mainstream staples.”

And then there are numerous environmental benefits too: Insects release far, far less greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than livestock – cows, we’re looking your way here – and rearing insects would not require large swathes of land being gutted.

But the question is, would you switch to an insect-heavy diet?

After all, maybe we’re just behind the times with this one. Insects such as mealworms can be found in native cuisines the world over. Maybe we need to play catch up? 


By Candorwien [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons