On a Saturday afternoon after a long week of hard work, a scoop of ice cream may be what you need. Where else is the most affordable and convenient place to get it except the local store next door? But would you consider eating it once you realize it contains bug “milk?” How about skipping the mint chocolate chip and instead opt for …Ladybug strawberry? This is the concept South Africa has brought on board in a small town in Cape Town.
Everyone wants a scoop of ice cream.
With a master’s degree in food science, Leah Bessa has gained knowledge of using insects as an alternative food source. She then developed insect-based dairy products through a start-up company she founded, Gourmet Grubb. She intends to use ice cream as a mode to familiarize the world with the possibilities of eating insects. With a brand worthy of your organic supermarket and a website, she aims to change people’s perspective of insects as creepy and incorporate them into delicious food no one can resist.
This luxury ice cream uses a magic ingredient, Entomilk. This is the company’s top ingredient apart from honey and flavoring such as chai spices, peanut butter, and cocoa. Mixing of the black soldier fly larvae makes the Entomilk. “These insects undergo rearing, then cleaning and sterilization before use,” Bessa explained.
The milk is five times higher in protein compared to other dairy products. Entomilk is lactose-free and comprises many minerals like Zinc, Calcium, and Iron therefore, very high in nutrients. According to Bessa, Entomilk has a slight touch of an earthy tone. The milk gives the ice cream a quality creamy taste.
Others couldn’t get over the “queasy” factor therefore it was assured than no insect part will pop out of your ice cream during consumption. This ice cream is made similarly like other renowned ice creams the only difference is that instead of using dairy products it uses a “milk” developed from insects. The company uses honey during processing to sweeten the cream and the other ingredients such as flavors. Just to answer the question with preciseness the ice cream taste delicious due to its natural ingredients.
Bessa, founder of the company decided to venture into the food industry due to increased pressure on animal welfare and environmental concerns. The company recognizes that Entomilk is more energy and water efficient to process compared to dairy milk.
Insects are also efficient as they only require little food, water, and space to rear. In addition, they produce very little/ no greenhouse gasses compared to most livestock. Insects can also be reared indoors therefore; they can be kept in urban areas in a controlled environment. This reduces the cost of transportation from the farm to the market place. This venture has a low risk of being affected by external climate patterns, therefore, it thrives easily.
“The black soldier fly larvae have the ability to consume a wide range of organic matter,” said Bessa. The company, for instance, uses the spent grain that is leftover from brewing beer to feed the larvae.
The future of food.
Presently, the Gourmet Grubb’s Ice cream sold only in South Africa. However, by 2024 the universal edible insect market anticipates growth. The Gourmet Grubb has recently included insect dishes such as chickpeas black larvae croquettes, Mopani worm hummus alongside ice cream. Mopani worm powder, for instance, prepares very tasty polenta fries.
“We need to find alternatives that will be able to sustain the rising population and create a sustainable and environmentally friendly farming system,” added Bessa.
Entomilk can make a huge difference in the future by reducing the pressure of dairy products. Achievement of this will only happen if embraced and consumed on a macro scale. Gourmet Grubb is not the only insect- ice cream shop in the world. Stores in Australia, London, Sydney tried this idea before as a pop-up. However, if people already accept cockroach milk, can insect- ice cream be far much left behind?
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