The ‘meat’ is made from pea protein and dried, powdered buffalo beetles. Due to the beetles’ high content of protein, iron, B12 and other vitamins, the meat has a similar nutritional profile to beef and pork.
Using a novel texturising process developed in partnership with the Danish Technological Institute, the buffalo beetle powder and pea protein achieve a meat-like consistency.
This process, coupled with the umami flavour of the insects, creates a product that differs from others on the market by being very similar to minced beef and pork.
Hey Planet has already launched its beetle patty in Copenhagen restaurant Sanchez, with several other pop-up events and workplace cafeterias offering the product in burgers, dumplings and tacos.
According to co-founder Malena Sigurgeirsdottir, restaurants and catering companies have been very open-minded when it came to the new product: “The meat constitutes a unique trinity that is unlike any other meat alternatives.
“A lot of people miss the flavour, nutrition and texture from meat, when they try to follow a more flexitarian diet – this meat solves all of this while doing minimal harm.”
Hey Planet’s also set out to produce an alternative to traditional meat that had a smaller impact on the environment.
3,165kg C02 saving
About 3,165kg of carbon dioxide is saved for every kilo of beef replaced with Hey Planet’s insect alternative, according to the company.
“We’re facing a global crisis and a lot of people want to contribute to a better climate,” Sigurgeirsdottir added. “If we start changing the way we eat we can save huge amounts of CO2.
“I think people are ready to start eating insects if it can help save the planet – and if it tastes good, of course.”
Founded by Sigurgeirsdottir and co-founder Jessica Buhl-Nielsen in 2016, Hey Planet sells a range of protein bars and crisp breads made with insects.
Meanwhile, cultured meat is attracting substantial financial, industry, and even celebrity, backing and media coverage, but can commercial production levels be achieved and how do insects compare as an alternative protein source?