How would you like to sample a meatball made of *shudder* mealworms?
Yep, you read that right. Those aren't meat bits. Just good ol' worms.
You might be seeing them in IKEA cafeterias soon, as the Swedish homeware giant is experimenting with making food out of – you guessed it – worms. First up on the menu: ‘Neatballs’.
Using ingredients like mealworms, carrots, parsnip, and beetroot, the alternative to the iconic Swedish meatballs come in two versions – one made entirely of mealworm beetle's larvae, while the other is made of root vegetables.
Writer's note: It's not as bad as it sounds. Though some people say mealworms taste like nuts, I personally feel they taste like fries. :P
The project was started in response to a UN statement predicting that the planet’s demand for food would increase by 70% over the next 32 years, hence 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 – the lab behind IKEA’s research ideas.
He added that 1,000 species are eaten in 80% of nations today.
In addition, IKEA is also working on 'greener' meals such as Bug Burgers with patties made of beetroot, parsnips, carrots, potatoes, and mealworms...
... And Dogless Hotdogs, in which the hotdog and bun are replaced with baby carrots and algae respectively
Visitors can end their meal with a scoop of 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”.
The food is currently still being tested so you probably won't see it on IKEA’s menus just yet.
Would you try these wormy treats when it's finally on the IKEA menu? Let us know in the comments section below!