Insect Fat as the New Dairy Substitute? Joaquin Phoenix Was Right, There’s No End to What’s Possible

While accepting his Academy Award for the film Joker, actor Joaquin Phoenix took the moment to passionately talk about his distaste for the human consumption of cow milk. He pointed out that it’s not humane, nor natural, for us to pump milk from a cow, drink it, and use it to make various other dairy products. While we applaud Mr. Phoenix for his impassioned speech, we just love dairy too much to give it up. Heck, give us a well-made Irish or French butter, slather it on a hockey puck, and we’d eat it.

But not everyone agrees. These are the people coming up with dairy alternatives, and the latest one might make you squeamish. That’s because it’s made from insect fat. Yes, insect fat. Wrap your head around that while not trying to think about a grasshopper’s gross legs rubbing together violently while you scarf down toast with insect butter.

Recently, smart people did a study at Ghent University in Belgium to see if people would enjoy pastries made using insect fat as a butter replacement. The study found that not only could the testers not taste the difference, but the use of insect fat is highly sustainable. They made cookies, a cake, and Belgian waffles with varying amounts of insect fat butter. The first was 100 percent real butter, the second was 25 percent insect butter, and the last was 50 percent insect butter. All in all, pretty much nobody noticed a difference.

Also, while many of us have problems ingesting lactose, insect fat-based butter is full of lauric acid, which is a heck of a lot easier to digest than regular milk and chock full of nutrition. So, maybe in the future, instead of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, we’ll be buying I Can’t Believe It’s Made From Fly Larvae. Sure, at first glance that doesn’t seem as appetizing, but we’ll get used to it, right?

Photo: Stuart Paton (Getty Images)

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