EU Approves Use Of ‘Cricket Powder’ In Food, Pledges Funding For ‘Insect-Based Proteins’


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Laurel Duggan Social Issues and Culture Reporter
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The European Union approved cricket powder as a novel food to be added to bread, pasta, meat substitutes and various other foods, according to a Jan. 3 entry into the EU’s regulation database.

The European Food Safety Authority determined that partially defatted cricket powder is safe for human consumption when added to everyday food products at certain levels after the Vietnamese insect insect farming company, Cricket One Co., applied for approval in 2019, according to the EU, as previously reported by independent journalist Irina Slav. Replacing animal livestock with insects is one way to relieve environmental pressures, according to the EU, citing United Nations guidance in a frequently asked questions page.

Insect-based protein is a key research area for the EU funding program Under Horizon Europe, according to the same page.

Kyle Morgan, Grocery Manager at MOM's Organic Market in Washington, DC, holds bags of Mealworm Protein Powder and Whole Mealworms on April 12, 2017. (Photo by PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Kyle Morgan, Grocery Manager at MOM’s Organic Market in Washington, DC, holds bags of Mealworm Protein Powder and Whole Mealworms on April 12, 2017. (Photo by PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Cricket powder may make up to 3% of any of the foods listed by the EU, according to the regulatory page.

“According to the [Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations], insects as food emerge as an especially relevant issue in the twenty-first century due to the rising cost of animal protein, food insecurity, environmental pressures, population growth and increasing demand for protein among the middle classes,” the page reads. “Thus, alternative solutions to conventional livestock need to be found.” (RELATED: ‘It Has A Big Impact’: Davos Speaker Calls For ‘A Billion’ People To ‘Stop Eating Meat’)

“The environmental benefits of rearing insects for food are founded on the high feed conversion efficiency of insects, less greenhouse gas emissions, less use of water and arable lands, and the use of insect-based bioconversion as a marketable solution for reducing food waste,” it continues.

Manufacturers are authorized to add cricket powder to various grain products, baked goods, sauces, vegetable-based dishes, whey powder, meat substitutes, soups, beer-like beverages, chocolate confectionary, nuts and oilseeds, snacks other than chips and meat preparations, according to the EU.

A 2019 study conducted by a Polish veterinary medicine professor found that, among insects at insect farms, 80% had parasites and about 30% of those parasite cases were potentially pathogenic for humans. The EU regulation page mentions allergies as a potential health risk, but not parasites.

The EU and Cricket One Co. did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.

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