Mealworms are safe to eat, the European Food Safety Agency has ruled. This is the first time in Europe that insects have been approved for food, according to The Guardian.
Mealworms are the larval form of the large flour beetle, an insect from the order of coleoptera. As a food item, mealworms are high-protein foods that also contain fats and fiber. Maggot production is sustainable and does not leave a carbon footprint - the real food of the future, the transition to which will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, this production does not require large financial costs: mealworms are easy to grow, they are omnivorous. Production includes rinsing the larvae with water, immersion in boiling water, and dehydration.
Dried larvae taste like peanuts, the producers say. However, not everyone can eat the delicacy. Those who are allergic to shrimp and dust mites are more likely to have the same reaction to larvae.
While insect products are banned for sale in France, Germany, Italy and Spain and some other European countries. However, the number of companies producing such food is growing. Besides the French Micronutris, there are Protifarm in the Netherlands, Essento in Switzerland and Entogourmet in Spain. Other insects, including crickets and locusts, have been submitted to the Agency for food approval.
In Europe there is no tradition of eating insects, and the very idea of such food is perceived by the majority with disgust. However, sociologists believe that this is a matter of habit, and over time, Europeans can overcome their prejudice and become more tolerant of such treats. And then maggot products: chips, smoothies, cookies, pasta, hamburgers - will take their place on supermarket shelves throughout Europe.