Gourmet mealworm pâté? Some experts call it the food of the future

Click to play video: 'New high-protein pâté billing itself as food of the future. Are you ready for it?'
New high-protein pâté billing itself as food of the future. Are you ready for it?
WATCH: Insect proteins are being called super foods and while it may sound repulsive to some, more people are getting onboard and incorporating them into their diets. As Global’s Gloria Henriquez reports, experts say it is the food of the future – Aug 4, 2023

A new gourmet pâté is hitting the market.

Tenebrion Gourmand looks, spreads and tastes just like any other pâté on the shelves.

But it is the very first of its kind, featuring a unique main ingredient: mealworms.

“The idea was to approach entomophagy with a product where you don’t see the insect. You have all the benefits but you don’t see the insects,” says Marc Lacroix, ÉcoDélys’ Vice-President of engineering.

The insects used in Tenebrion Gourmand are raised at Canada’s biggest mealworm farm, growing 25 tonnes of these every year.

“They eat food waste and we produce them with that,” says Alexis Fortin, the co-founder of Tricycle.

Instead of being thrown out, brewery waste is sent to the farm, located in Montreal’s garment district.

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It feeds worms and helps them grow.

Some worms are sold as is. Some are ground and used in fertilizer or pet food.

Others are transformed into powder for smoothies or flour.

“For sure it’s special to eat insects but there are 2 billion people in the world who eat insects, in North-America it’s not something we’re used to do,” explains Fortin. “When you think about it, you eat lobster, shrimps that are kind of similar.”

Production requires substantially less water, land and feed than animal farming.

Experts say it’s one of the most effective ways to produce protein, calling it “the food of the future”.

“Of course the yuck factor is still out there, for sure,” admitted Sylvain Charlebois, Dalhousie University’s Director of the Agri-food Analytics. “More and more people are looking at bugs or insects as a source of protein – but as an ingredient embedded in products.”

Charlebois says animal proteins are becoming more expensive and prices more unpredictable as well.

“We saw that with chicken and the avian flu. With the production of insects, you can actually stabilize prices of inputs for quite a long time, so it really helps manufacturers better plan in advance, so there’s that incentive that can make this a mainstream source of protein,” Charlebois explains.

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For years, the United Nations has been calling on people to incorporate insects into their diets.

Officials say demand for nutritious food is growing, so is the need to reduce the carbon footprint produced by traditional farming.

That’s exactly the reason why Marc Lacroix and his business partners created Tenebrion Gourmand and the company ÉcoDélys.

There are 7 grams of protein in every serving of their pâté.

“You can compare that to a steak,” Lacroix says.

It provides healthy fat and it’s packed with Omega 3 acids.

It’s a nutritional powerhouse that Lacroix claims isn’t as hurtful to the environment or the animals involved.

“Because they [mealworms] have lower nervous systems, they can’t process pain,” Lacroix says.

So far, Tenebrion Gourmand has five flavours: natural, garlic, pink peppercorn, curry and fine herbs.

Every jar retails for $12 and will soon be available on their site, Amazon and health grocery stores.

Click to play video: 'Eco-friendly snacks made from insects'
Eco-friendly snacks made from insects

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