In the last couple of months (read the whole of 2017) there has been one odd food trend after another putting a bad taste in my mouth. From the blinding unicorn trend to the absolutely squeamish things people were putting on their pizza and now this. Shockingly enough though, silkworm noodles aren’t going to be a trend that I make a large hue and cry about.
This is because of entrepreneur Matilda Ho. The managing director of Shanghai-based startup incubator Bits and Bites was at the TED conference in Vancouver on April 26 as part of a mission to promote sustainably-sourced food and healthful diets in a country of more than a billion people.
The startup is focused on making noodles from silkworm powder, which she described as a sustainable protein source that also happened to be a by-product of the textile industry.
“It is a fantastic ingredient,” Ho said, adding that silkworm noodles have passed her personal taste test. Bits and Bites are working with chefs and getting consumer feedback to refine the noodle recipe.
“Silkworm has a fishy taste, so we are trying to get it just right,” Ho said. Until now the startup still hasn’t been table to think up a funny, winning name (I mean, obviously, the stakes are high) for the silkworm recipe.
About 18 months ago Ho and her team went public with an online farmers market to connect China’s growing middle class with more healthy foods grown with environmental sustainability in mind (see, this is why I’m not dragging the silkworm noodles).
“We really have a sense of urgency,” Ho said, referring to a need to address troubling rates of obesity, diabetes and other lifestyle-related health woes.
The small pool of startups at Bits and Bites includes one devoted to drinkable salads and another focused on converting old cargo shipping containers into hydroponic gardens.
“Because we do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”
The woman speaks the truth. And you never know, it could taste good?