Cornell Students Make Tofu Out of Mealworms

In Depth

In what is sure to be a widely-celebrated development in the heartland of America, we’ve now successfully achieved mealworm tofu. U-S-A! U-S-A!

A group of graduate students at Cornell University have managed to make a tofu substitute out of mealworms. They’re calling it “c-fu” because they’re smart enough to know that no one would go near it if they labeled it “wormy sponges.” OK, it’s actually because they originally used crickets (which apparently tasted terrible) instead of mealworms, but still.

This sounds like a great idea, to be honest. I’m on record on this subject: I would eat insects if they were ground up into some form where they were not readily recognizable as insects. They’re incredibly environmentally friendly, they pack a significant amount of protein (the same amount on a pound-for-pound basis as an egg, with far less cholesterol), there are literally billions upon billions of them — all of these are good things. The human race’s standing would be immeasurably improved if we ate more insects; I don’t dispute that.

This doesn’t change the fact those who get superior about others’ unwillingness to just chow down on a plate of whole roast beetles are still self-righteous jackasses, but I’m in favor of any scenario where the presence of creepy-crawlies is being hidden from my direct view, particularly in a form I like, such as tofu. People who think tofu is “gross” for other than textural reasons (which are totally valid) are dumb, since tofu has no taste of its own — it just tastes like whatever you flavored it with. If the students at Cornell were able to imbue it with the same lack of taste as tofu (allegedly they were: one tester described it as “like a really firm tofu”), I’m entirely on board with this.

Just don’t ever ask me to eat ground-up spiders.

Image via Eskymaks/Shutterstock.

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