Frequently Asked Questions
Generally, its taste is not very pronounced. A bit like tofu, it will take on the taste of the seasonings used to flavor our recipes. Some say that mealworm tastes nutty, especially when roasted. In flour, mealworm goes well with the taste of bananas, peanuts and oatmeal in cakes or cookies. It can also be used very well in savory dishes, particularly those with an Asian or Indian flavor.
When it is toasted, we fall for its crispy texture. Simply seasoned with salt and herbs, it will be a wonderful substitute for croutons on a salad and give rice crunch as if you had sprinkled it with toasted nuts. Integrated into meatballs, it will add a pleasant crunch to the bite. Fresh (not grilled), its texture will blend seamlessly with that of the meat. In powder, in a cake, its texture can be reminiscent of buckwheat flour.
According to a report by The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, edible insects represent a sustainable alternative to conventional meat. Global demand for animal protein is expected to double by 2050. Since meat production requires a lot of food, water and space in addition to generating significant amounts of greenhouse gases, there is an urgent need to find more sustainable sources of protein than those produced by livestock. conventional.
The nutritional values of insects like mealworm are significantly higher than beef, pork and chicken., including nine essential amino acids in addition to being an important source of fiber and vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc, calcium and B12. Dehydrated mealworms contain 58% protein, while a grilled beef patty would contain 45% protein on a dry basis. A smaller amount of mealworms is therefore sufficient to meet your protein needs.
But the most important thing to remember is that bugs aren’t just a great source of protein, they are delicious too!
If you have no food allergy, the chances of you having an allergic reaction to insects are minimal. However, if you are allergic to shellfish or dust mites, be careful. The medical literature shows that there can be cross allergies between crustaceans or mites and mealworms.
If you are a vegetarian for environmental reasons, insects can be an interesting food for you given their low ecological footprint and high nutritional value. On the other hand, insects are animals. If you refuse to include any animal product in your diet, insects may not be for you.
Be aware, however, that breeding and slaughtering insects are more ethical than those of mammals, poultry or fish, especially because even if they have a nervous system, it is said that insects do not feel pain since they do not have the necessary receptors (nociceptors).
Our mealworms eat the same thing as you! Well almost.
They are fed grain products and fruits and vegetables. For the sake of the circular economy, we collect fresh, hygienic and traceable agro-food by-products from our partners. Then we process them (freezing, heating, dehydrating, crushing) to make sure they are in an ideal form for feeding the mealworms. We work in partnership with several local food producers including the Blanc de Gris urban mushroom farm, Loop juices and the Harricana brewery. At the forefront of current practices in other farms, we minimize the use of cereals and feed directly from agricultural production so that more food is available for human consumption and we put a lot of effort into research and development to fight against food waste.
In comparison to traditional rearing for meat production, insects are extremely efficient at converting their food into protein and energy. With 10 kg of grain, you can produce up to 9 kg of insects but only 1 kg of beef. In addition, their rearing requires less space and consumes very little water.
For these reasons, the substitution of meat for insects in the diet represents a very interesting ecological potential. These ecological benefits have been confirmed by several scientific studies (life cycle analyzes) carried out in Europe and the United States. To produce 1 kg of beef, 2850 g of carbon dioxide and 114 g of methane will be emitted, while the same amount of mealworm generates 7.5 g of carbon dioxide and 0.1 g of methane.
Since our insects are produced in Quebec, with a low-carbon hydroelectric supply, and moreover they are fed from clean organic residues, TriCycle’s mealworms would be more ecological than other insects available on the market.
Insects have been eaten for centuries in several countries around the world, representing more than a quarter of the world’s population! Today, more than two thousand species of insects are recognized as edible for humans, although only a handful of them are known to us. Because they are very nutritious and tasty and have a low ecological footprint, several specialists are positioning them as a strong new food trend.
According to surveys of more than 1,500 Quebeckers and Canadians, more than half of us have already tasted insects, and 60% of those who have not yet would be willing to give it a try. The general public considers entomophagy to be a practice that is expected to grow over the years. After all, the functioning of ecosystems is highly dependent on the insects present throughout the food chain.
Drawing inspiration from nature to develop sustainable food systems thus appears to be much more than a passing fad, it is a sustainable way of supplying our societies!
In recent years, culinary trend specialists have observed a marked increase in consumer interest in including insects in their diet. Insects represent a unique opportunity to introduce new flavors to your customers.
Moreover, Quebec and Canadian consumers have not yet mastered the art of cooking with insects and therefore prefer to opt for processed or cooked products that contain them. Thanks to the culinary skills of the chefs, the public will discover the gastronomic pleasures of insects. They will then be eager to share their unique experience with loved ones and on social media, ensuring a flood of visibility and new customers!