Study: Burgers made from insects is a sustainable – and appetizing -- alternative

Scientists believe they have successfully found an alternative to meat, but one ingredient might take away your appetite. 

“If you’ve ever seen those survivor shows you know that insects provide good protein,” said FOX 13’s Dave Osterberg. 

Natalie Rubio, a doctoral student and research assistant at Tufts University, came up with a way to create insect meat using just insect cells. 

Insect’s cells, not the whole insect, can be used to create muscle and fat to be used to make food. 

“So, we end up with muscle and fat tissue without the legs, the eyes and the crunchy bits,” explained Osterberg. 

In a study in Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, Rubio predicts that the consumers will be excited about the impact the new sustainable meat could have on the environment. 

“Instead of cells growing inside of animals and then slaughtering the animals to get meat, we recreate the conditions, outside of the animal, that cells need to grow into muscle and fat tissue, which is meat,” Rubio told NexusMedia. “We take small amounts of tissue — think sesame seed sized — from donor animals, in my case, insects, and isolate the cells within the pieces of tissue that are able to multiply to create more cells.”

Manufacturers of some drugs, vaccines and insecticides have already began using this process -- they expand the fat tissue and muscle. For burgers, the final product has a similar texture to real meat, like beef. 

“If it tastes exactly like what you’re used to and what you like to eat, why not?” Dave added. “Cheese makes everything taste good.”