Healthier fast food? This is how the new insect burger really tastes

Healthier fast food? This is how the new insect burger really tastes

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A ground beetle burger as an alternative to Big Mac and Co? An attractive business idea for two young entrepreneurs from Osnabrück: They developed the so-called "Bux Burger", which consists of plant components and ground Buffalo worm. What sounds daunting for many fast food fans could be a sensible nutritional option from an expert's perspective. Because eating insects offers many advantages compared to other animal products.

Ground Buffalo worm coating
Whether classic with beef, chicken or a vegan vegetable patty: burgers are becoming increasingly popular in the fast food sector. But can fans of the warm snack also imagine an insect meatball between the halves of the bun? What sounds unbelievable has been implemented by Max Krämer and Baris Özel from Osnabrück in Lower Saxony and now want to bring their so-called "Bux Burger" out across Europe over the next few years. The special thing about it: the burger consists of plant components and ground Buffalo worm, which is the larva of the grain mold beetle. "Tastes like falafel", says young entrepreneur Krämer about "dpa".

Two billion people eat insects every day
Beetles, grasshoppers or moths for lunch? What at first sounds disgusting for many Europeans is quite normal for millions of people in other parts of the world. According to a report by the United Nations World Food Agency (FAO), insects are part of the daily diet of two billion people worldwide, and more than 1,900 species are reported to be used as food. From an expert point of view, there are a number of pro arguments in favor of eating insects. So they are e.g. Ecologically advantageous compared to cattle, pigs or poultry, because, among other things, rearing is significantly less harmful to the climate and the groundwater is less polluted.
In addition, according to the FAO, insects are healthy and nutritious because they are rich in healthy fat, protein, vitamins, fiber and minerals. Last but not least, the taste buds are happy too, because "insects simply taste good," said Max Krämer and Baris Özel in an interview with the news agency. As Kramer reports, he ate insects for the first time on a trip to Thailand. "I wrote about it in my bachelor's thesis and came across a lot of prejudices about insects as food," continues the man from Osnabrück.

Bux Burger so far only available in Brussels
Due to the legal framework, the new burger is currently only sold in a restaurant in the Belgian capital of Brussels. In Germany, the innovative snack must not go over the counter, because as a new type of food it first has to be extensively tested for its safety. In the steakhouse in Brussels' trendy district Ixelles, he is now on the menu next to zebra, kangaroo and reindeer. "The exotic Bux burger goes perfectly with it," says restaurant owner Edit Kiss. It is ordered once or twice a day for a price of 16.50 euros, but there are already regular customers.

No visual differences to familiar products
"We experimented a lot," reports Kiss of the "dpa". Since half of the patties consist of ground Buffalo worms and other vegetable components, it was initially a bit dry. But this has changed since a few pieces of butter have been added to the oven. The larvae are sourced from two breeders in Belgium and the Netherlands. Except for the insect patty, there are no differences to the usual products, because the Bux burger is also between two halves of the bun, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, cheese and barbecue sauce. According to Özel, it is therefore not recognizable from the outside what is hidden in the covering. "It takes away a lot of the disgust effect," explains the young entrepreneur.

The smell and taste are reminiscent of sunflower seeds, according to the “dpa” report. Despite the dominance of the smoky barbecue sauce, the taste of the insect layer is clearly evident. An important point, because according to the FAO, insects are healthy and nutritious, according to Özel it is not enough: "If the taste is not convincing, it will not work."

But especially in this country, the consumption of insects still seems to cause disgust. At least this was the result of a YouGov survey commissioned by the German Press Agency. As reported by them, disgust was the reason for 83 percent of the respondents to prefer to do without the small animals, but only for every tenth the taste speaks against it. Seven percent would consider insects to be unhealthy, and almost as many would generally find it unacceptable to eat animals. (No)

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