The European Union authorizes the placing on the market for human consumption of yellow mealworm,
good news for the planet.
It was already possible to feed fish in aquaculture farms and pets with proteins from insect larvae, such as the black soldier fly Hermetia illucens. The beetle Tenebrio molitor (or rather its larva) is the first insect to obtain the European green light for human consumption.
Insect-based foods, considered until now as ” niche products “, offer a promising solution to the sustainability challenges of the food industry. Insects are an alternative to the soya or small marine fish meal that our farms (pigs, poultry, fish) need, products with an immense ecological impact. The cultivation of soya is responsible for deforestation, pollution (pesticides) and the decline of biodiversity. Industrial fishing impacts the food chains of the ocean and marine predators no longer have access to these vital resources.
Population growth and improved living standards will continue to lead to considerable protein needs, with a maximum risk for global ecosystems that are already very fragile due to the intensification of water and land needs that generate ever more greenhouse gas emissions.
Insects fed with the co-products of plant agriculture create proteins, oils (alternatives to soybean or coconut oil) and agricultural fertilizer, with minimal resources and in a virtually “zero waste” model, nothing is lost ! A good school model of circular economy.
If properly implemented, this business model can help combat climate change, preserve marine resources and make the ocean more resilient. There is no doubt that these new measures by the European Union will stimulate this market, which is set to develop strongly, just like the algae market, another fast-growing sector.