Are Mealworms the Meat of the Future?


Smithsonian takes a look at a new study from the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands which finds that the greenhouse gas footprint of a pound of mealworm protein is just 1 percent that of a pound of beef.

Mealworm, potentially the meat of the future, is a cute name for beetle larvae.

Though they’re commonplace in food cultures around the world, and scientists are continually reminding us that raising insects for protein would be an efficient and sustainable move, so far no one’s been able to go mainstream with the idea. Edible insects have a huge marketing problem in the U.S., a protein-obsessed culture that’s mostly repulsed by bugs.

Mealworms, and the brave diners who tasted them, were featured a couple of years ago in Jeff Gordinier’s interesting Times story about insect dinners in Brooklyn. But we’re guessing the American mealworm trend piece is probably still a few years away?

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