Russia proposes ‘alternative meat’ made from fly larvae

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Russia proposes ‘alternative meat’ made from fly larvae

A senior Russian official has suggested that residents of his country may need to chow down on meat alternatives such as fly larvae and vegetable protein, as the country feels the pinch of sanctions over the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov, who is also minister of industry and trade, told onlookers at the Innofood exhibition in Sochi that he would “continue to experiment” with alternative meats.

Referencing a vegetable protein by the brand Efko, he said the final product was “very difficult to distinguish from natural meat.”

“To be honest, I couldn’t tell the difference,” he insisted.

While Russia is not currently experiencing food shortages, a report from the Council of the European Union on Aug. 19 estimated that the country’s GDP will drop by more than 11% in 2022, while inflation soars to 22%.

Sanctions have led to a decrease in meat in Russia.
Manturov said he would “continue to experiment” with alternative meats.
Sputnik via AP

Aside from more typical alternative sources like vegetables and aquafaba, Manturov was also impressed by those derived from black soldier fly larvae.

“It was a real surprise when a protein sourced from black soldier fly larvae is used, but here we are on the cutting edge of modern [practices],” he said. 

“We need to overcome that mental block and then even a black soldier fly larva will be to your taste. You need to make an effort.”

While the Russian government continues to blame the West for the global food crisis, the US has been quick to point out that the sanctions do not target food or agricultural products.

The Russian government continues to blame the West for the global food crisis.
The deputy prime minister said he couldn’t taste a difference between the larvae and real meat.
Getty Images/Science Photo Library

In May, Secretary of State Antony Blinken criticized Russia for “using food as a weapon” and blocking Ukrainian ports.

Speaking to the United Nations Security Council, Blinken warned that “the food supply for millions of Ukrainians and millions more around the world has quite literally been held hostage by the Russian military.”

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