Twisted: Unserious food tastes seriously good.

Lidl launches insect burgers made from mealworm larvae

19/05/2023

Twisted: Unserious food tastes seriously good.

Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman

05m read

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Lidl has just made one of their boldest launches yet, and let’s just say it’s certainly not for the squeamish…

Yup, the budget supermarket has launched burgers made with soy and insects, which will sit as part of its ‘My Street Food’ range.

The burgers are just launching in Ireland at the moment, and are currently priced at around three euros (£2.60) for a pack of two. 

They have been labelled simply as “Insect Burgers” in store, and contain ingredients such as soya flour and “dried mealworm larvae.”

While there has not yet been any confirmation around the product becoming a permanent item for the brand, Lidl UK did confirm to Plant Based News that they have “no plans to stock the burgers.”

Upon hearing of the news, many Irish customers headed down to their local store to see whether in fact it was true, and they were surprised to find out that it was!

Posting to Twitter, a user that goes by the name ‘Concerned Citizen’ posted a photo of the item stacked up in the freezer aisle alongside the caption: “YOU WILL EAT BUGS. Lidl’s delicious looking Insect Burgers & Patties.

“Remember the conspiracists who got everything else right these last two years – well we’ve been warning you about this too,.”

This user is probably referring to the fact that back in 2020, the European Union approved three “edible” insects for human consumption which includes locusts and crickets, as well as mealworms. And if that wasn’t enough, there are also another eight creepy crawlies waiting for approval on the list.

edible insects vietnam

Eating bugs and insects is normal in many countries around the world (Credit: Alamy)

As per Total Telecom who cited a report by Barclays, the edible insect market is set to see “healthy growth over the coming decade, climbing to $6.3 billion by 2030.”

So there’s definitely a market for it, whether everyone approves yet or not. 

“The most scary part is that some are willing to pay for it,” wrote one unimpressedTwitter-goer, as another branded the entire concept “outrageous.

Here at Twisted, we actually did some digging into the world of edible insects not long ago, and it was pretty fascinating stuff.

lidl selling less meat

Lidl Ireland is the first supermarket to stock the burgers (Credit: Alamy)

Whilst it might sound unappetising to many, the consumption of insects can be traced back to the very beginnings of mankind, and there are even references to eating critters in the Old Testament and Ancient Greek scriptures.

It’s not just something that happened in the dark ages, either.

Bugs and insects have always been an integral part of cookery in some parts of Africa, Asia and South America, and two billion people around the globe are eating them as a regular part of their diets today.

Plus, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation has been pushing Western countries to follow suit since 2013, hailing critters an “under-utilised” resource, with huge potential when it comes to sustainability and nutritional value.

Whilst we’re a long way from seeing insects as the starring ingredient in one of Pret’s lunch-time meal deals, or stacked in our local grocery store, they have been slowly and tentatively creeping onto the food scene here in the UK for quite some time.

In fact, Lidl wouldn’t be the first supermarket to stock them. They’ve previously been housed in several supermarkets, including Sainsbury’s back in 2018, but ultimately didn’t remain on shelves.

Intrigued? You can read more about edible insects here. 

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