Ikea's "fast food of the future" includes worm balls, bug burgers and algae hot dogs
Space10 is Ikea's research hub and innovation lab, devoted to developing bold and sustainable new business models. The latest project to come out of the lab is a selection of five iconic fast food dishes, reinterpreted with unconventional, yet healthy and sustainable, ingredients.
The Space10 experiments incorporate modern unconventional ingredients such as spirulina or mealworms into classic dishes like hot dogs and burgers. The idea is to transform people's attitudes surrounding confronting ingredients that can be potentially healthier and more sustainable than what we currently eat.
Front and center, the star of the show is the Dogless Hotdog, a vegetarian twist on the American classic filled with herbs, onions, baby carrots, cucumber salad and a beet & berry ketchup. The starkly green bun is what truly takes this odd creation to a new level. It's made with a micro-algae called spirulina, which contains 50 times more iron than spinach as well as extraordinarily high levels of beta-carotene.
"Spirulina is astonishing to bake with," explains Simon Perez, the chef in residence at Space10. "It makes the dough look incredible, and you end up with a hotdog that contains zero meat but is packed with more protein than a regular 'dog'. It's fun, thought-provoking and better for people and the planet."
The Bug Burger is the team's spin on a classic hamburger with a patty made out of beetroot, parsnip, potato and mealworm. That last ingredient, the larval form of a darkling beetle, comprises about 20 percent of the total patty.
The Neatball takes the same elements used in the burger patties, with one version composed of a variety of root vegetables while another variation is made entirely with mealworms. Other experimental dishes from the group include a series of salads created with hydroponically grown greens and four different herb based ice creams, made with notably low levels of sugar.
There is no indication that these extraordinary recipes will actually move out of the lab and into an Ikea cafe. The whole enterprise seems valiantly conceptual at this stage, but Göran Nilsson, IKEA's Concept Innovation Manager does insist the whole point of Space10 is, "about exploring new ways to enable a better and more sustainable life for many people."
Source: Medium - Space10