It’s like I always say: if God didn’t want us to eat bugs, then why’d he make ’em so dang toothsome? Fortunately, the European bug market just hit a major milestone. According to The Guardian, yellow mealworms just became the first insect to be found safe for human consumption by the EU food safety agency. Dinner is served!
The Guardian reports that the EU decision could result in a booming edible insect market, with mealworms wriggling up to supermarket shelves and kitchen pantries across Europe. Quick note that mealworms are currently sold in U.K., Dutch, Belgian, Danish, and Finnish supermarket, but the EU’s recent food safety classification will unlock a brave, buggy new world for countries like France, Germany, Italy, and Spain.
Why eat mealworms, you ask? First, “meal” is in the name, so. Certainly something to consider there. Eating bugs is also way more common than you might think—Forbes reports that more than 2.5 billion people regularly eat insects as part of their day-to-day diet. Mealworms are also nutritious little guys, providing roughly the same protein, vitamins, and minerals as a serving of fish or meat. Finally, harvesting bugs uses less land and produces far fewer greenhouse gas emissions than, say, slaughtering beef cattle. The Guardian cited Mario Mazzocchi, an economic statistician and professor at the University of Bologna, who said, “There are clear environmental and economic benefits if you substitute traditional sources of animal proteins with those that require less feed, produce less waste and result in fewer greenhouse gas emissions.”
Oh, and yellow mealworms are said to taste a lot like peanuts. Delish and nutrish. If you’re curious, they’re already available freeze-dried, canned, or live for human consumption in the United States. Crunch ’em, slurp ’em, sprinkle ’em over your morning bran flakes. The age of the worm is upon us.