How to Make Bugs Easier to Swallow?

4 minute read

How Not to Eat Bugs

Imagine the Honey I Shrunk the Kids shrinking machine actually existed.

Would you eat this?

Me neither.

Maybe if it was covered with seasoning it’d be tolerable, but there are millions of more appetizing alternatives.  

So why would we ever be expected to want to eat this?

Let’s Be Real

Sure, in many other countries it’s normal to eat whole insects. So what?

In Scotland men wear skirts and we're not doing that either (even if it is more comfortable). 

Just because one culture does something doesn't mean it will ever become de rigueur in another. Culture is incredibly stubborn. 

This is particularly true when it comes to diet. We may try exotic ingredients once or twice as a novelty, but we’ll only make them mainstays in our diets if they are the “adjacent possible” - i.e. barely expanding the border of our comfort zone. 

We embraced quinoa because it was an easy swap from rice. The same with kale for lettuce. Chia, on the other hand, has no common substitute and that's why though you've likely bought products containing it you just as likely don't have raw seeds sitting in your kitchen cabinets for everyday use.

If a product isn’t an EXACT substitute for another we are accustomed to, it’s going to have a very tough time sticking.

So for Heilu we're working on making exact substitutes. 

Phase 1: The Basics

Heilu butter. Not exciting. That's the point.

Heilu butter. Not exciting. That's the point.

Food experts are currently helping us develop two exact substitute ingredients: a butter and a powder.

The butter is an exact substitute for coconut oil. Solid at room temperature, it is versatile, works great in high heat, and has the same nutritional benefits. The flavour is different, but in a good way. Heilu butter has a much more neutral, slightly buttery taste than coconut oil.

Heilu powder. 

Heilu powder. 

The powder is an exact substitute for all-in-one nutritional powders like those made by Vega. High in protein and micronutrients, it is a quick and easy way to fortify your meal or smoothie. Just like with whey or vegetable proteins, the raw taste is enhanced with natural flavours to enhance its versatility.  

But why make the substitution?

Because you want both a healthy body AND a healthy planet. If you don't care about giving Mother Nature a break, go ahead and stick with conventional nutrition products. 

Phase 2: Getting Fancy

To introduce Heilu to the mass market, our next phase is producing ready-to-eat foods.

And thanks to the wonders of food science and the amazing versatility of Heilu, the opportunities are limitless.

For inspiration, we need only look at what trailblazers are doing with other insects. There are bars, chips, and pastas on the market already. Our fellow Canadians at One Hop Kitchen have even made a Bolognese sauce than many cannot distinguish from traditional sauces with beef. Others in Europe have made mealworm burgers.

One Hop Kitchen Bolognese. Bugs keep getting into everything...

One Hop Kitchen Bolognese. Bugs keep getting into everything...

Whatever products we end up making, our objective is for them to be indistinguishable from what's in your kitchens right now. You won't have to make any sacrifices or changes to help the environment by eating Heilu. 

Eventually, Heilu will be everywhere and you won’t think twice about eating it. Then, and only then maybe you'll be ready to eat whole insects. 

And everyone will be wearing skirts. 

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