The much-vaunted Mediterranean diet and French gastronomy are getting some competition – the European Union’s food safety agency says worms are safe to eat.
The Parma-based agency published a scientific opinion on Wednesday on the safety of dried yellow mealworms and gave them the thumbs-up.
Researchers said the worms, either eaten whole or in powdered form, are a protein-rich snack or ingredient for other foods.
Today we published our first full safety evaluation of #InsectFood, within the framework of our work on #NovelFood applications. What are the main challenges of assessing #insects as food and will Europeans take to insect food? Stay tuned! https://t.co/dUYMwsxDEy
— EFSA (@EFSA_EU) January 13, 2021
Allergic reactions may occur, especially depending on the type of feed given to the bugs, known officially as Tenebrio molitor larva.
But overall “the panel concludes that the (novel food) is safe under the proposed uses and use levels”.
This means the EU has now thrown its weight behind worms in much the same way the United Nations has.
The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation in 2013 championed edible bugs as a low-fat, high-protein food for people, pets and livestock that are good for the environment and help feed the hungry.