This is not the future we were promised.
Researchers at Ghent University in Belgium studied whether or not taste testers could tell the difference between food items made with traditional butter and ones that used insect fat. To achieve this, they made three versions of each item: one with regular butter, one made with a quarter of the butter replaced with insect fat, and a version where half the butter was replaced.
According to the results of the study, taste testers could not tell the difference between regular cake and cake with a quarter of insect fat (made from the larvae of black soldier flies). They also served taste testers waffles, and they could not tell the difference between any of the three versions.
In their published results, researcher Daylan Tzompa-Sosa explained, “The ecological footprint of an insect is much smaller compared to animal-based food sources. Besides, we can grow insects in large quantities in Europe, which also reduces the footprint of transport. After all, palm fat is often imported from outside of Europe.”
Aside from the ecological benefits, Tzompa-Sosa explained that insect fat may be healthier for humans.
“Insect fat is a different type of fat than butter,” he said. “Insect fat contains lauric acid, which provides positive nutritional attributes since it is more digestible than butter. Moreover, lauric acid has an antibacterial, antimicrobial and antimycotic effect. This means that it is able, for example, to eliminate harmless various viruses, bacteria or even fungi in the body, allowing it to have a positive effect on health.”