This includes house crickets, caterpillars, and wheat worms

Insects seep into European food store shelves

New laws in the European Union allow more types of insects to be turned into food.


It is no longer strange for people to chew on horrible insects, and it seems that Western countries have to get used to accepting this trend, and food systems in most parts of Europe are expanding at a faster pace now, as the entry into force of new laws in the European Union starting from January 24 This means More types of insects can now be made into food, which means food lovers can eat food containing house crickets and forms of caterpillars including wheatworms and migratory locusts.

Although proponents of this approach say that insects will play an increasingly important role in sustainable food systems, the idea still divides many between curiosity and distaste.

The latest laws allow the freezing of domestic crickets, drying them and using them as a powder in food, and this means, for example, that the Vietnamese company "Cricket One" may market its defatted domestic crickets.

Scientists have already studied crickets after including them in the list of new foods.

All types of bread, bread rolls, biscuits, crackers, pasta, sauces, syrups, meat, milk substitutes, potato products or chocolate can contain cockroach powder, and at that time these products cannot be described as vegan.

And it varies from country to country, in Germany for example, you can only get a few products that contain small amounts of insects, such as energy bars or noodles.

Food chemist Armin Valet adds that mixing insect powder with biscuits or flour “still has a long way to go.”

Regarding whether we can eat insects without our knowledge, the concerned authorities answered that any products containing insects will be labeled in this matter.

On the other hand, the European Commission said: "It is the consumer who will decide whether or not he wants to eat insects."

The rules state that the list of ingredients must include, for example, “household cockroaches,” but Valet wants to see more explicit labeling, such as “biscuits containing insects” or “pasta containing insects.”

With regard to the nutritional value of insects, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) conducted a series of studies, and concluded that they have a high nutritional value and a source of healthy food, as they contain a large amount of fat, protein, vitamins, fiber and minerals.

It is noteworthy that more than 1900 types of insects are eaten around the world.

Insects contain similar protein as meat and turkey, although there is variation according to the type of insect, according to the German Consumer Union.

Eating insects is more sustainable than meat and chicken, according to the World Wildlife Fund, and compared to meat, insect production requires less agricultural land, or about half, compared to chicken.

Crickets need about one-twelfth the amount of food needed by cattle to produce the same amount of protein, according to the FAO, and raising insects results in fewer emissions.

In addition, a larger portion of any insect can be eaten compared to a cow, as the edible percentage in insects is 80%, which is much higher than the percentage in cattle, which is estimated at 40%.

• The World Food Organization concluded that insects have a high nutritional value, and contain a large amount of fat, protein, vitamins and fiber.

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