“Frog legs in worm meal”, it may become a new dish in European cuisine, after the EU decision to allow the consumption of mealworms in 27 member countries of the bloc.
According to the decision of the European Commission, this type of worm will be used as a source of protein, fat and fiber in cookies, pasta or baked goods. When dried, the worms are said to taste like peanuts.
The ultimate goal is to promote alternative and cleaner sources of protein to reduce meat consumption in the Old World.
There are clear environmental and economic benefits to replacing traditional sources of animal protein with those that require less food, produce less waste and generate less greenhouse gases, ”said University of Bologna professor Mario Mazzocchi.
Mealworms are usually farmed and fed with wheat flour or bran, although they are omnivorous. When harvesting, the larvae are thrown into boiling water for five minutes, and then dried in an oven, packed and sent for storage.
It should be noted that the use of mealworms is already quite popular in a number of countries around the world, especially in Asia.
Mealworm burger as main ingredient
The market for edible insects is expected to grow by about 26.5% compared to 2020 and will reach $ 4.63 billion by 2027, follows from report Meticulous Market Research. The growth of the market for edible insects is explained in the report by the growth of greenhouse gas emissions from livestock and poultry farming, the high nutritional value of insects, as well as the low impact of their entire life cycle on the environment and the low risk of disease transmission. Legal and psychological difficulties, as well as the likelihood of allergies, will become an obstacle to market growth, experts say.
After mealworms, 11 more insects are in the “queue” for approval by the European authorities, which are awaiting the Commission’s safety check.
Another reason for the growth of the market for edible insects, according to the company, is the need to meet the needs of the population in products, their production must be doubled.
Mealworms in a bowl
This will require sustainable production methods and food sources that are high in nutrients. “Edible insects can be a great solution because they satisfy human food needs and are highly nutritious. In addition, the use of insects for food has environmental benefits over conventional meat and other sources, ”the report says. Among such factors, the authors of the study name, in particular, a smaller volume of waste and the ability to recycle them.