The yellow worm will soon appear on European menus, in bars, smoothies and burgers, after the EU decided they were safe for human consumption. His first insect that will hit the supermarket in the EU is likely to approve others soon.
Alternative plant-based meat options are no longer hot products and offer great investment opportunitiesglobal investment increased from 25.4 million ($ 31 million) in 2016 to 1.1 billion ($ 1.3 billion) in 2020.
A sub-section of this is based on insects, for both human and animal consumption, but in the EU, development has stalled due to the ban on the sale of insects as food in most countries.
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) reported today that mealworms are safe for human consumption. It is an important moment for large companies producing insect-containing foods that have lobbied in the EU to allow the consumption of these products in all European countries are currently sold in the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Finland, because these countries interpret a 1997 law more permissible than other countries.
The 1997 law said that any food that had not been eaten before that year should be authorized as new food, but countries such as the UK decided that this law did not refer to animals used for food and therefore, they could to sell those products.
The UN has been trying to get people to eat more insects for a very long time, since it published its report, Edible insects, in 2013; many insiders believe that its only way to provide enough food for a growing population, insects are a great source of protein.
Flour worms provide the same protein, vitamins and minerals as fish or meat, while shrimp have the same protein content as lean ground beef, but less fat per gram. Insect harvesting usually uses much less land than cow pastures, with a lower greenhouse gas emissions.
Over 2.5 billion people regularly eat insects as part of their daily diet, but often people in western countries consider the idea as unhealthy.
New York Times reported that this is due to environmental factorsEurope does not have large insects, which are not worth hunting for food, unlike in the equatorial regions. For this reason, Europeans have never hunted or eaten them.
However, the yuk factor is slowly receding. Insects are made fresh by top chefs; of National Geographic even reported that some chefs are fighting invasive species in the US by cooking them to eat. Things like crudo ludfish (poisonous shellfish found in the waters around Louisiana) and kudzu pickle (a green vine brought from Japan in 1876, which can grow one foot a day in the southern US).
And the market has just started in the EU. The main players creating insect-based food for human consumption are Protifarm in the Netherlands, Micronutris in France (which led, Essento in Switzerland and Entogourmet in Spain).
A report by the Food and Agriculture Organization entitled How to feed the world in 2050 points out that a growing population and rising income means that there is now an increased demand for protein and plants, not only for human consumption but also for the fish, poultry, pigs and livestock that people eat.
Last October, nsect, a French worm company, completed $ 372 million in funding to build the world’s largest insect farm the company has now received more total investment than the entire global insect protein sector has gathered up so far ($ 425 million, some of which came from Robert Downey Jr.s FootPrint Coalition investment company). The 100,000 tonnes of worm meal they will produce each year will be used to supply wet pet food.
There are also many younger beginners on stage, for example, Exo cricket protein bars from New York, Jimini in France, Bugsolutely outside Bangkok and Insnack in Berlin.
And if it sounds distant, like winnow reported, twenty years ago European consumers had a particular “yuck” factor around the idea of eating raw fish and now sushi is everywhere.
The only people who may not get along with new products are those who suffer from shrimp and mite allergies; Guardian reported that they are likely to suffer a reaction to Tenebrio molitor larvae, whether eaten in powder form as part of a recipe or as a crunchy snack, possibly dipped in chocolate.
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