Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Climate activists vegans rejoice; soon you will be able to legally supplement your greens, nuts and lentils with delicious insect protein.

Eat the Bugs: EU Approves Mealworms For Human Consumption to Save the Environment

13 Jan 2021

The European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) revealed the decision that the dried larva of the insect spcies Tenebrio molitor was safe for humans to eat in their journal on Wednesday, noting only that people with allergies to dust mites and crustaceans might experience a reaction to the new food. By the EFSA’s own reckoning, it is the first time bugs have been approved as a food in the European Union.

EFSA expert panel on nutrition member Dr Helle Knutsen was quoted by the body as saying among the investigations needed into new foods were “nutrition, toxicology, chemistry and microbiology to name a few.” The Guardian reported the remarks of EFSA scientific officer Ermolaos Ververis who said of the decision: “This first EFSA risk assessment of an insect as novel food can pave the way for the first EU-wide approval. Our risk evaluation is a decisive and necessary step in the regulation of novel foods by supporting policymakers in the EU in making science-based decisions and ensuring the safety of consumers.”

The idea of eating bugs as a meat substitute is one that has enjoyed a great deal of media attention in recent years, as the concept is pushed as an alternative to meat consumption by climate change campaigners agitating against traditional food. Indeed, mealworms are just one of the insects presently being considered by European regulators including locusts, crickets, and grasshoppers, all of which are expected to be authorised in time.

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There is no problem with people who want to eat bugs having their favourite food approved for consumption. What concerns me is the association of bug eating with the climate crusade. I worry that some people might eventually be forced to eat bugs against their will, if other sources of protein are priced out of their reach by carbon taxes.

via Watts Up With That?

January 14, 2021 at 04:09PM