Belgians are waffle experts. In fact, they take their waffles so seriously that when it came to potentially replacing butter toppings with a product made from insect fat, researchers decide to tackle studying the transition.
Researchers from Ghent University created three waffle varieties: one that was all butter with no insect fat, one that was 75 percent butter and 25 percent insect fat, and one that was half butter, half insect fat. Surprisingly, they found those taste testers could not tell the difference between the three recipes.
We have talked about insects before as ideal sources of protein for the future. Many countries already incorporate insects into their diets as a nutritious part of a well-rounded diet. Insect fat is not only more sustainable than traditional butter, but it also has lauric acid, which provides positive nutritional attributes and is more easily digestible than butter. Insect fat also has antibacterial, antimicrobial and antimycotic properties so it gives your immune system a boost.
The black soldier fly is an ideal source of fat with 140 grams per kilogram. Insects can also be raised locally, minimizing emissions from transportation. The biggest hurdle when it comes to marketing insects is overcoming people’s fear and disgust about these buggy food sources.
Adding insect fat to traditional recipes is a great solution for introducing people to insects and normalizing entomophagy, the act of eating insects. Products such as cricket flour or protein bars use a similar strategy.
If Belgium can add insects to one of their most prized cultural dishes, why can’t we add them to our daily diet? Although they are still making their way into the western market, insects are a critical nutrition source of the future and its good news that we can still enjoy delicious waffles, even without traditional butter.