We all know that chefs around the world use different ingredients in their dishes, ingredients that no one would ever think of, they combine together to make luxurious dishes and serve them in the most famous restaurants, but the latest option of ingredients that the European Union came up with last week were insects, as it became permissible to eat larvae and house crickets, in addition to the two previously allowed species, yellow mealworm and migratory locust!
Thus, it has become legal in Europe to consume and sell foods that contain insects, and do not even be surprised if you find yourself sitting in a fancy German restaurant and they suggest that you have a dish whose main ingredient is cricket pasta.
The European Union added larvae in powdered, frozen, paste and dried form and house crickets as partially defatted powder to the lists of substances permitted for human consumption.
Justifying this decision, Tim Searchinger, technical director of the food program at the World Resources Institute, a US environmental research organization, said: “It’s such a huge challenge to deal with the rising demand for livestock products, we pretty much have to pursue every avenue of solution.
Given that the world population is expected to increase by 2 billion people in the next 30 years while meat production is more likely to double in the same period to meet the demand for it. This will have a significant environmental impact because raising livestock requires a lot of land – about 70% of the total used in agriculture – and releases up to 18% of greenhouse gas emissions. Most of the pollution from global warming is caused by food, specifically meat and dairy products. And it’s very gas
so, Europeans have found that insects may be a solution!
In Germany, For example, for example, about half of the population plans to eat less meat, so protein from insects can be a cheap alternative, especially in processed foods.
There is also a need for new sources of protein for animals, as the European Union imports about 14 million tons of soybeans each year to feed livestock such as pigs, cattle and chickens, in addition to what they need from agricultural land to grow some fodder. Also here, they found that consuming more insects may save the situation.
Between 35% and 60% of the insect’s dry weight is made up of protein.
The least protein-containing types have greater amounts than most vegan protein sources, but the rich ones have higher amounts compared to meat and eggs. It has been proven that insects are better than cattle at converting calories in their food into calories in their bodies. They also breed and gain weight quickly.
And as for numbers and statistics:
Three-quarters of European consumers are not ready to replace meat with insects and 13% haven’t decided, according to a 2020 report by the European Consumer Organization, a group funded in part by the European Union.
In Germany, 80% of people say they are disgusted with the idea of eating insects, according to a 2022 report by the German environment agency UBA.
A study published in December found that people were more willing to eat insects after they were told about their environmental benefits and their positive impact on global warming.
But what about people who have a fear of insects?
Also as a reason: If the insects feed on organic waste – as what some worm larvae and flies feed on – the process could effectively recycle some of the massive amounts of food wasted each year.
So are these reasons enough for you to add insects to your diet?
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