Insects As Food – Europe Approves Three Types
After yellow mealworms were authorized by the European Food Safety Authority in June, two more types of insects have been given the green light for human consumption: the house cricket and the migratory locust.
Insects have been gaining popularity as food alternatives due to their lower environmental impact and more nutritious properties. They’re also a great replacement for meat protein, which is often high in saturated fat and omega-6 fatty acids, which can cause heart problems.
Insects are a rich source of vitamins and minerals, similar to meat, but without the environmental impact. They can be used to replace meat proteins in a variety of foods, including snacks and food ingredients.
Mealworms as Meat
European member states have approved mealworms as a new type of ’novel food,’ which provides regulation for them to be brought to the market. It’s a big step for insects-as-food pioneers.
Scientists are now looking at how to make mealworms taste more appetizing. A recent study found that researchers can create a “meat-like” flavouring using heat and sugar.
Mealworms are one of the world’s most widely eaten edible insects. They are considered a very healthy food, rich in essential amino acids and unsaturated fatty acids that boost health in several ways. In addition, they’re a source of vitamin B12 and iron. Mealworms can also help ease inflammation, lower cholesterol and improve heart rhythms.
Crickets as Crackers
Insects are also being pushed as a healthy alternative to meat. They’re a good source of protein and omega-3 fats, plus they have essential vitamins and minerals. They are also a good source of iron and vitamin B12, which can help prevent anemia and promote muscle growth. They also contain chitin and other fibres, which are said to aid gut health and boost immunity.
The European Union recently approved the sale of powdered house crickets as a type of food product. They can now be added to bread, cereal bars, biscuits, pasta, soups, pizza, corn flour-based snacks, “beer-like” beverages, alcoholic drink mixes, sauces, meat alternatives, meat products and chocolate confectionery.
The insects are bred at a low environmental cost, requiring less land and water than traditional mammal livestock. This saves valuable resources and helps reduce food production’s carbon footprint.
Grab some Grasshoppers
The European Commission has also approved grasshoppers (Locusta migratoria) as food, the second insect to receive approval after mealworms. The move is a major milestone for the nascent edible insect market and could help boost the popularity of bugs in Europe as a healthy alternative to meat and fish.
As a food, grasshoppers are a great alternative to meat protein. They are high in protein and amino acids but low in saturated fats and cholesterol. They also have a mild flavour that many people enjoy. In many places, deep-fried grasshoppers are eaten like popcorn, but the big market is processing them as a base protein for other food products.
As the world’s population surpasses 8 billion and 10 billion is said to be only a few years away, we will need to find better ways of feeding all these people. The luxury of eating meat at every meal will soon be just that – a luxury of the wealthy. For the rest of us, insects will soon be on the menu, and that’s all right with me!