French Restaurant Serves Up Meals of the Future: Bugs

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A French chef prepares food with something surprising: insects. The European Union recently approved some species of insect as acceptable food. Insects provide a lot of nutrients and are an environmentally friendly food.

The food that Laurent Veyet prepares is not for the lack of courage. What he is preparing, however, may point to the future of feeding a growing world population.

One of his foods is a shrimp Salad with yellow Mealworms. It contains insects on a bed of vegetables Locusts coated in chocolate, a food usually meant for sweets.

The restaurant is located in Paris, among other places, with outdoor seating and lots of sunlight. Eaters willing to try something different will appreciate Veyet’s complex foods.

The Parisian chef spoke about the perfect food for beginners. He prepared a pasta from shredded mealworms, sweet potatoes, and young insects that were cooked on the stove. He said, “There are some really interesting ones Flavors. Not many people can say they don’t like that. “

A meal with mealworms and prepared by French chef Laurent Veyet

The European Food Safety Agency, EFSA, said in January that the mealworm is acceptable to humans. In May, EFSA approved the sale on the market.

The agency is considering more than 12 other applications for approval of other insect-based foods. These include crickets and grasshoppers, insects that are usually found in fields.

Mealworms and insects in general could be one sustainable Food source that produces low greenhouse gases for the future.

Soheil Ayari ate with his two daughters. He agreed to eat. He said, “I feel like I’m in a traditional restaurant.” He said only the idea behind what he was eating was different. He went on to say, “And to be honest, the taste is very similar (to traditional food).”

Ayari’s little daughter also tasted the food: “It’s environmentally friendly and good too.”

Veyet grows its mealworms on site. He feeds them boiled grains and vegetables. The mealworm might not look like something worth eating, but it actually is Larvae of the dark Beetle. These bugs are high in protein, fat, and other nutrients.

Fried mealworms prepared by French chef Laurent Veyet

Fried mealworms prepared by French chef Laurent Veyet

The mealworm can be used in many different meals. It can be cooked and eaten whole, or ground to make foods like bread.

Stefan De Keersmaecker is spokesperson for health and food safety at the European Commission. He said, “Insects are nutritious.” He also said that insects can help us switch to healthier and more sustainable food and nutrition.

There are two battles that Veyet must win. He has to win public opinion and learn to combine the taste of insects with other foods.

He said he had to find the right taste, as well as the right food combinations. He said it was very interesting and any cook would tell you the same thing.

I am Dan Friedell.

Yiming Woo reported the story for Reuters. Gregory Stachel adapted it for VOA Learning English. Susan Shand was the editor.

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Words in this story

shrimp – No. a large shrimp

Mealworm – No. the larva of a black beetle

grasshopper – No. a herbivorous insect with long legs used to jump

taste – No. the quality of something that can be tasted

sustainable – adj. usable without being completely used up or destroyed

larva – No. a very young form of an insect that looks like a worm

Beetle – No. a species of insect with wings that form a solid cover on its back when it is not flying