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Locust now on the Menu in the EU

Note: This article may contain commentary or the author's opinion.

If you think the landscape worldwide looks more like dystopian science fiction, you are certainly not wrong. When you thought things couldn’t get stranger, locusts have now been approved for human consumption in the European Union. 

People in the European Union will soon see insects being sold and marketed as “officially approved” food throughout Europe. The European Commission recently allowed specific insects to be sold as food and ingredients, including Locusts.

The EU gleefully shared the news that house crickets, yellow mealworms, and migratory locusts can now be used as a garnish or protein additive to your favorite recipes and can be used as food ingredients throughout the EU after the European Commission announced that they have now been categorized as “novel food.” The European Commission then proceeded to post a long thread of tweets on Twitter to convince people that eating these insects is “safe” because they contain high protein, fibers, and vitamins. They went as far as to advertise a cheerful child in Victoria, Australia, snacking on cricket corn chips (pictured above).

And, of course, here it is. They didn’t forget to include that eating insects are “good for the environment” because with the consumption of insects, there is less greenhouse gas emission, less use of water and arable lands, and less food waste overall when the population consumes crickets, worms, and locusts. 

Many Europeans don’t seem too happy about this decision. I wonder why? 

According to reports, the EU Commission added migratory locusts to the list back in November 2021, saying that locusts. They were high in protein with no safety concerns, though they could trigger reactions in people allergic to crustaceans, mites, and mollusks. Other insects on the approval list for human consumption were yellow mealworms and crickets. In February 2022, the EU added house crickets to the list of edibles. 

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The European Commission has said that these insects can be sold and marketed as snacks,  food additives, or ingredients, in either dried or frozen form with legs removed or powder form.

The Food Agriculture Organization in Europe has identified these insects as highly nutritious and healthy food sources high in fat, protein, vitamins, fiber, and minerals. They added that insects, consumed daily by millions of people on the planet, were identified under the EU’s new strategic farming methods as an alternative protein source that could help shift the EU toward more sustainable food. The EU has submitted a list of nine other insects for consideration. 

Once considered gross and outrageous, the trend toward bug consumption didn’t begin with the EU’s bizarre list of approved snacks and food additives. “Top Chef Masters” once featured tempura-fried crickets with sunchoke-carrot purée and blood-orange vinaigrette as their winning dish for one of their seasons, and grasshoppers started to become all the rage in LA amongst hipsters about a decade ago. But I guess what started as nouveau cuisine for the bold and adventurous will soon become necessary for us to survive as they push the narrative on the rest of the world’s population. No, thank you, I will stick to the vegetation I grow in my backyard if it comes to that. A locust is a locust, no matter how much salt, pepper, and spices you disguise it in. Perhaps it is time to watch Soylent Green again because I fear that is where we might be headed.