The European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) has approved mealworms for human consumption. This is the very first insect-based food to be approved although it does await endorsement from the European Commission.
Mealworms are high in protein and fibre and are in fact not ‘worms’ but larvae of the darkling beetle. It could soon become a main ingredient in smoothies, snacks, curries and other food products. The mealworms can also be ground down making it suitable for flour for the production of biscuits, pasta and even bread.
It is also relatively sustainable compared to meat products with their low-carbon emissions.
There are fears that European consumers may take to the idea of eating mealworms but other parts of the world have been eating insects for a very long time eg Central America and Africa.
It is being regarded as a major breakthrough by the International Platform of Insects for Food and Feed (IPIFF) who are hoping that this is the first of many approvals and will reassure consumers on the trustworthiness of this industry.
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