Insects could soon be adopted by European cuisine. What is certain, however, is that worms are now officially considered fit for consumption.
Fishworms, which are beetle larvae and not worms, are already used as a food ingredient for pets. Researchers say the “disgusting factor” will delay the species from climbing the European consumer lists.
Fishworms are the first insects to be approved for consumption by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
This paves the way for it to be used dried in curry, but also as flour for making cookies, pasta and bread.
Rich in protein, fat and fiber, beetle larvae are likely to be the first of many insects to appear on European dishes in the coming years.
EFSA food scientist Ermolaos Ververis said: “There is great interest in the scientific community, but also in the food industry in the field of edible insects.”
People in many parts of the world – including parts of Africa, Australia and New Zealand – have become accustomed to going to restaurants and enjoying insects and crickets burgers.
Once the European Commission has ratified the EFSA approval, such food will be available in Europe.
However, Giovanni Soggari, a sociologist at the University of Parmo, explains that our social and political experiences will delay the adoption of such habits.
EFSA said it had received 156 applications for “new food” safety assessments since 2018, covering everything from algae-derived foods to a range of insects.