One Finnish company is at the forefront of what it calls is a food revolution: bread made from insects.
Finnish bakery and food service company Fazer started rolling out loaves of bread this week with flour made from dried and crushed crickets, which the company says is the first insect-based bread of its kind available to consumers. The bread contains more protein than normal wheat bread, according to Fazer, with each loaf containing about 70 crickets.
“It offers consumers with a good protein source and also gives them an easy way to familiarize themselves with insect-based food,” Fazer’s head of innovation Juhani Sibakov said in a statement.
While eating insects — known as entomophagy — is common practice in parts of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, it’s begun gaining traction in Europe and the U.S., especially as concerns mount about climate change affecting food supplies and increasing global hunger. According to a 2013 report by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, the global food burden will reach 9 million people by 2030. Industrial livestock farming, including pigs and cows, produces large quantities greenhouse gases. Partaking of the 1,900 edible species of insects, which include ants, beetles, caterpillars, and even bees and wasps, could help.
“Mankind needs new and sustainable sources of nutrition,” Sibakov said.
More crawlers have found their way onto restaurant plates in the U.S. and Canada in recent years, while products like insect-enriched protein bars are now available on Amazon. Earlier this month, Finland became the fifth country in Europe to allow selling insects marketed as food items, joining the U.K., Austria, Belgium, Denmark, and the Netherlands.
Fazer said it began developing the bread last summer, but had to wait until it could legally market it in supermarkets.
“I don’t taste the difference,” Helsinki student Sara Koivisto told Reuters. “It tastes like bread.”