ITHACA, NY – Is there any better way to prove your commitment to sustainable living than wolfing down an insect-burger?

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Soon, you will be able to do just that thanks to C-fu Foods. The brainchild of Cornell food scientist Lee Cadesky and his business-school educated brother, Eli, C-fu foods calls itself “a new approach to protein that comes from a more sustainable source, insects.”

C-Fu chocolate mousse (photo courtesy: C-fu website)

The name C-Fu is something of a cross-language pun / portmanteau: Cricket Tofu was their first creation. People’s response: that’s crazy! C‘est fous, which means “that’s crazy,” in French.

According to the C-fu Foods website, the meat replacement can be used for anything from burgers to nuggets to chocolate mousse, or act as a substitute for eggs or butter. Fitness fans will be happy to hear you can also get it in powder form.

C-fu transforms edible insects — currently the “cattle” consist of mealworms, waxworms, superworms, crickets and black soldier fly larvae — into a functional, non-insectlike form. “It’s a general process, kind of like making cheese, only with bugs,” Cadesky told Cornell’s Ezra Magazine.

“There’s a reason we don’t eat bugs now,” Cadesky told the magazine. “No one wants to look at them, no one certainly wants to eat a whole bowlful of mealworms. We can sympathize with that.”

Of course, the other big question is: “how does it taste?” According to C-Fu’s site, “Every insect has its own unique flavor, texture, and color. Mealworms offer the most subtle flavors while providing a great nutritional profile, and with C-fu Foods meats and butters, it’s easy to incorporate sustainable proteins into your diet.”

The benefits of eating bugs

If that doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement, just consider the sustainability and high nutrition profiles of the bugs, and it gets a little easier to swallow.

C-fu estimates estimates that an area roughly the size of Rhode Island farming mealworms could produce enough food to feed two billion people, per The Daily Mail. This is due to the fact that insects can be farmed on a vertical plane, and a much easier to provide food for.

Nutritionally, they say that, pound-for-pound, C-fu is more protein-rich than eggs.

Currently, C-fu is only available to certain brands and chefs, but it seems to be only a matter of time before they’re in grocery stores.

What say you, readers? Would you be willing to try these culinary creations? Or are you already an insect connoisseur?

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Michael Smith

Michael Smith reports on politics and local news for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached via email at msmith@ithacavoice.com, by cell at (607) 229-0885, or via Google Voice at (518) 650-3639.