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Podcast: are edible insects our food future?

In his Parisian restaurant, Chef Laurent Veyet creates gourmet dishes with a particularity: insects. A colorful dish reminiscent of a garden, garnished with mealworms and crickets, is part of his eco-friendly culinary vision for a sustainable food future.

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In a small, cozy restaurant nestled in the heart of the 2nd arrondissement of Paris, Lyon chef Laurent Veyet puts the finishing touch on one of his most popular dishes.

A few spoonfuls of apple hummus sit on a shortbread base surrounded by honey-roasted carrots and thyme-baked tomatoes. Garnished with edible flowers and a few sprigs of mesclun, the plate takes on the appearance of a small garden bursting with color.

To this, chef L.Veyet adds the centerpiece: a few dehydrated mealworms and whole crickets for crunch and taste. They also pair well with the ground crickets and cheese that form the base of the shortbread.

You would then be right to think that this is no ordinary restaurant. Indeed, nothing on Chef Veyet’s menu is made without the ingredient that has animated a large part of his culinary life: insects.

“There is a lot to do to be more eco-responsible. That’s what interests me and it’s more or less my specialty now. There are insects, but behind the insects, it is rather a way of cooking in a more intelligent and respectful way,” explains the chef.

For Laurent Veyet, cooking more respectfully, more intelligently, means taking up the challenge of feeding a global population projected at 9 billion people by 2050, without devastating the environment.

According to the FAO (the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), it is estimated that food production will need to increase by 70% to meet growing demand in the coming years. Given that livestock production is already responsible for around 14.5% of all human-generated greenhouse gases each year, meeting this demand will require a delicate balancing act in managing the system long-term food.

This is why food specialists, particularly in the West, are increasingly interested in alternative forms of protein such as insects.

“First of all, it is necessary to change our diet, quite simply because 70 to 80% of agricultural land is already used for livestock.

So, if the demand for meat increases, it is impossible to satisfy it with traditional breeding. So we must change. » says Arnold Van Huis, professor at Wageningen University (Netherlands) and co-author of a book on edible insects.

But why insects? Well, aside from their comprehensive nutritional profile – they are rich in protein, amino acids and essential fatty acids – edible insects could provide a viable way to address the environmental challenges of food production.

Consider this: Insect production requires much less water and land, emits fewer greenhouse gases, and has an impressive feed conversion rate, which is a key factor for sustainable agriculture.

It is partly for all these reasons that chef Laurent believes that the foods of the future are insects. And this, despite the reluctance that the Lyon chef had when he first tasted this “treat”.

“I remember very well the first time I tasted insects because I had a lot of trouble. In fact, it really disgusted me. I had a blockage,” he remembers.

For this last episode of La Surprise du Chef, we will discover how and why chef Laurent Veyet overcame this blockage to become one of the most fervent defenders of the consumption of insects in Europe.

We’ll also hear from experts and growers committed to bringing insects to the table and market in this region of the globe.

“Cooking with insects, for me, is above all a way of getting the message across to people, to be attentive to what we eat, because what we eat has an impact on our environment and our health,” declares L. Veyet.

” You have to dare. You have to be curious, you have to be open-minded.”

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Chef Laurent Veyet’s “Complete Garden” Recipe

Ingredients :

For the shortbread base:

  • Ground cricket powder
  • Finely grated cheese of your choice
  • For garnish
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Honey
  • Thyme
  • Humus
  • Whole dried mealworms
  • Whole dried crickets
  • Mesclun

Method :

  • Mix the ground crickets and cheese, then compact everything. Flatten and cut into a rectangular shape to obtain a sort of shortbread. Bake the shortbread in the oven for about 10 minutes.
  • Cut the carrots and place them on a baking sheet. Season and drizzle with a little honey. Sprinkle the tomatoes with a little thyme and place them on the baking sheet. Roast in the oven until cooked through.
  • Add a few spoonfuls of hummus to the shortbread, along with the carrots and thyme.
  • Garnish the dish with whole mealworms and whole dried crickets.
  • Garnish with a few sprigs of mesclun.
  • Serve.

The La Surprise du Chef podcast was funded by the European Journalism Center, through the Solutions Journalism Accelerator. This fund is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

William

I'm William from America, I'm a food lover, often discovering and making new recipes. I started my blog to share my love for food with others. My blog is filled with delicious recipes, cooking tips, and reviews about restaurants and products. I'm also an advocate for healthy eating and strive to create recipes that are easy to make and use fresh ingredients. Many of my recipes contain vegetables or grains as the main ingredients, with a few indulgences thrown in for good measure. I often experiment with new ingredients, adding international flavors and finding ways to make dishes healthier without compromising on flavour. I'm passionate about creating simple yet delicious recipes that are fun to make and can easily be replicated at home. I also love sharing my experiences eating out with others so they can get the best out of their dining experiences. In addition to cooking and writing, I'm also an avid traveler, often visiting new places to discover local delicacies and explore different flavors. I'm always looking for a new challenge – whether it's trying an exotic food or creating a new recipe using unusual ingredients. My blog is a reflection of my passion for food and I'm always looking for new ways to share it with the world. Join me on my culinary journey and let's explore delicious foods together!

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