Insect Eating: EU Project Gets £2.5M in Grants

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By Karen Mae Cordon | September 6, 2011 1:44 PM EST

Experts have found out a new and healthier way to cope with emerging food shortages. The solution is said to be rich in protein,  calcium and other nutrients. Though this newly discovered food source sounds healthy and natural, people may be surprised to have insects on their plates.

Have you ever dreamt of ordering a mouthwatering dish topped with insects?

After Brussels experts recommended insects as vital sources of nutrition, expect to see bugs and other creepy crawlies on menus. Cricket casserole and scorpion soup are just among the few suggestions. And because of this study, the European Commission has offered a £2.65 million project in promoting insect eating,

Now the British government is asking its Food Standards Agency to investigate and to figure out ways to popularize insect eating (entomophagy). The government is indeed serious about the program. Eating insects can help in solving food shortages, it says, without compromising the nutritional requirements. Scorpions, grasshoppers, and crickets are rich in protein and calcium just like the usual red meat that we have on our plates.

 Research institutions are now conducting their research and investigations on insects being a novel source of proteins. The best proposal will receive a cash prize from the European Commission. The researchers should also provide quality and safety by knowing potential allergies and types of protein that can be obtained from a specific insect.

“We have already seen the introduction of eggplants, sushi, things people never ate here. I think it will start with ground-up insects in sauces and burgers.” said Professor Marcel Dicke of Wageningen University in Holland. Dicke is also applying for the said grant.

Should Australia Follow?

The Australian government should also start making their move about insects as alternatives to beef and other red meat. Though the country is known for its abundant and high quality red meat, Australians should not assume supply is unlimited.

When the proofs and evidences of insects’s nutritional benefits are shown, Australia might also start promoting insect eating to its citizens.

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