News - December 9, 2015

Mealworm burger on the menu

Text:
Rob Ramaker

Today was the first time that the cafeteria in Forum sold insect burgers. If the experiment succeeds, the mealworms will receive a permanent place on the menu.

‘I ordered a hundred pieces’, says Ron Nagtegaal, catering manager of Cormet. Approvingly he watches as students and staff stand in line during the break to get a burger, served with fries. Also the reactions are enthusiastic, Nagtegaal notices. Asian students often view the eating of insects to be more natural and other customers are curious. If it is up to Nagtegaal, the burger will appear on the menu. ‘If I can get a green light from the headquarters of Cormet’.

The burger contains 12 percent grinded mealworms, supplemented with lentils, black beans and spices. It was developed by the company Nochey together with Edith Polgar, master student in Food quality management at Wageningen University. He was also serving the burgers today in Forum. Moreover, the name Nochey was derived from ‘No Chemicals’, the company prides itself in using no artificial colourings and preservatives in their products.

I ordered a hundred pieces
Ron Nagtegaal, catering manager of Cormet.

For Nagtegaal the burger is more than an experiment with a new product. ‘I see it as corporate social responsibility’, he says. The production of insects costs less energy and water compared to for example beef. He expects that especially in Wageningen the message will catch on. Previously, together with the other caterers, Wageningen UR and GreenOffice he set up the Meatless Monday.