On January 1 of this year, a new food law came into force in the EU. This authorizes and facilitates the trade of some unusual foods in our kitchens such as insects, foods made with new techniques and fungi.
This new legislation is called “Novel Food” and includes a list of foods that until now could not be traded.
The Commissioner of Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis, said that these changes will make the process of entry of new foods to our market ” simpler, easier and faster .” In addition, he added that this ” will add to the variety already present in the EU market healthy, nutritious, traditional and innovative foods“.
Is it healthy to eat insects?
That there is a new European regulation that accepts the consumption of insects and fungi, does not mean that we can eat the crickets or the ants that we find in the park. Unless you’re The Last Survivor and you’re very hungry.
The authorization includes conditions for the use of the products and labeling. European legislation requires that products be safe for consumption and that they contain the appropriate labels so as not to confuse the consumer.
In many countries outside Europe they have normalized eating insects; we all come to the head the typical Thai market with crickets and fried cockroaches. For in some areas of the EU, food is already made from insects or added to them as a component. The United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Austria, Denmark and Finland allow trade in ants, cockroaches, worms and other vermin as nutritious food.
There is a flour made of crickets and, according to the director of innovation of Fazer, the flavor is quite similar to a wheat, but with a stronger nutritional component. This insect says that it contains five times more magnesium than meat, three times more iron than spinach, twice as much calcium as milk and fiber than rice and ten times more vitamin B12 than salmon.
Undoubtedly, a new business opportunity has just been inaugurated. Maybe right now we are a little reluctant to make a salad with grasshoppers or eat skewers of worms, but who knows in the future…
Why do not we see the entomophagy normal?
Today, in Asia and Africa more than 1,900 species are eaten, among which are beetles, caterpillars, ants, grasshoppers, lobsters, crickets, woodlice, cockroaches, bugs, dragonflies and flies. In case you did not know, the human being, in its beginnings, ate bugs and was a great nutritional source.
In Spain, the only bug we eat is the snail or the cabrilla and we do not see it as something natural. Is this the first step for us to put a cap of ants with our beer?