3D-Printed Insect Cookies Will Save the World

April 23, 2013 | Julia Dawidowicz

When it comes to nutrition, us Westerners are a bunch of wusses. While 80% of the world’s population is happily munching on accessible, protein-rich insects, we lose our shit at the mere sight of a cockroach (live or robotic).  But might we reconsider if two of our favorite things — fatty comfort foods and 3D printing — were involved?

Portuguese designer Susana Soares and a team of food engineers created a 3D printer that makes biscuit-cookies… from insect flour. Once the bugs are finely pulverized, you can mix ’em with “Icing butter, cream cheese or water, gelling agent and flavouring to form the right consistency to go through the nozzle.” If it looks like food, and it tastes like food… Well, at least it’s no worse than all those little beasties you’ve unknowingly consumed at your favorite diner.

The installation, called “Insects au Gratin,” raises some interesting questions about our aesthetic and cultural ideas of what is “appetizing.” More importantly, it proposes a pretty feasible solution for that teensy little looming worldwide food crisis no one likes to talk about.

Deep-fried bee larvae, anyone?

“Insects au Gratin,” Susana Soares, April 23 – May 5, Wellcome Collection, London