IKEA is more than a place for most Malaysians to get furniture. It’s also a place that many Malaysians would occasionally go to get some good food. If you don’t already know it, IKEA’s in-house restaurant serves some really good Danish fare and it’s always, ALWAYS, packed to the brim especially on weekends.
With a pretty decent menu to choose from you can get everything from beef ribs, chicken wings, salmon and of course, their signature meatballs. Yes, those meatballs are something even we would crave occasionally if we were willing to brave the human and vehicular traffic at IKEA.
While we’re all familiar with the beef meatballs regularly served at IKEA, can you imagine if they decided to use a different kind of meat for it? It seems that’s what we might be seeing in the future.
It seems that IKEA’s iconic meatballs are being redesigned as Crispy Bug Balls. You read that right, they’re getting a futuristic redesign to be edible balls made of mealworms, carrots, parsnips and beetroot. This experiment is being developed by IKEA’s innovation research lab Space 10 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
We’re pretty sure that you’ve heard of lab-grown meat and what IKEA is doing is somewhat similar. According to Space 10, co-founder, Simon Caspersen, insects generally contain more protein and are lower in fat, with 1,000 species being eaten in 80% of countries around the world (Malaysian sure isn’t one of them). So this project is to look at an alternative meat source as meat production impacts global warming.
IKEA isn’t just looking the Crispy Bug Balls only either. There’s also their Bug Burger which is made with beetroot, parsnip, potatoes and a dollop of mealworms, topped with blackcurrant and beetroot ketchup, and the Dogless Hotdog where the “dog” is replaced with baby carrots topped with seaweed and a bright green bun made from algae. The desserts are also not spared as they’ve made a microgreen ice cream by combining herbs such as basil and mint with fruit juices.
Pretty interesting research and experimentation, though exactly when or if they would actually serve these creations in their worldwide IKEA stores is another matter. Considering the trend, however, it might come sooner than you think. There are already restaurants around the world serving up insects in their menu as a sustainable alternative to livestock farming, including a ramen shop in Tokyo and a restaurant in Bangkok.
With food production struggling to keep up with demand and a growing world population, we might see a near future where insect-based food will become more common. And disgust aside, insects are a good alternative protein and can be a rich source of fat, protein, vitamins, fibre and minerals, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
So would you take a bite out of the Crispy Bug Ball if it ever makes its way to our local IKEA?
Source: The Star