EU: Yellow Mealworm is Safe to Eat

14 January, 2021

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The mealworm’s main components are protein, fat and fibre, and it is therefore seen as the solution to more sustainable farming practices and meeting humans' increasing food needs into the future. However, its mass adoption has been hindered in the EU by a lack of approval by the organisation’s Food Safety Agency. The yellow mealworm is currently banned for sale for consumption in France, Germany, Italy and Spain, among other European countries.

Mario Mazzocchi, an economic statistician and professor at the University of Bologna, 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. Lower costs and prices could enhance food security and new demand will open economic opportunities too, but these could also affect existing sectors.”

Eating the yellow mealworm may not be advisable for everyone, however, as those with prawn or dust mite allergies may have a reaction to the protein whether it be in powder form, like as a component of a baked product, or whole and eaten as an aperitif.

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