November 5, 2018 |
Imagine a succulent and tasty burger in front of you. Imagine the smell and the taste of the first bite that you are going to take. Now imagine I tell you the main ingredient of this meaty goodness is not actually meat but worms. What ?
Your facial expression now would probably be the same as anyone who has his first encounter with insect-based food: A mix between fear and disgust, not able to understand why on earth someone would do something like this to a classic culinary icon like a burger. Well here’s the story of Bugfoundation and their journey of gaining acceptance for insect-based food in the western world.
Founded in the city of Osnabruck, Germany in 2014 by entrepreneurs Baris Ozel and Max Kramer, Bugfoundation was set up to produce the first insect-based burger patty in Germany. The main ingredient for their burger are nutty flavoured buffalo worms (alphitobius diapernius) mixed with selected vegetarian ingredients and no artificial additives. The two founders came up with their idea while looking at the fact that already now roughly 30% of the world’s population is eating insects as part of their normal diet, as they are high in natural protein, vitamins and minerals. So why should it not also work in Western Europe ?
Looking at it from a socio-economic point of view, insect-based products have a clear advantage as well, because efficient breeding and production methods and the minimal space used are guaranteeing a more sustainable supply chain, with roughly 100 times less greenhouse gas emissions and 10 times less feeding requirements than the production of beef.
Next to their native market of Germany, Bugfoundation has successfully started to sell their products in Belgium and the Netherlands throughout supermarkets, restaurants and catering businesses while educating consumers step by step about the nutritious advantages of insect-based diets along the way. The company is one of many new players in the world of food production, which are investing heavily into seeking alternatives to animal proteins because of their great impact on a person’s health and the environment.
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