Eat Bugs! EU Pressing member States to Promote Climate Friendly Insect Protein Diets

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t Breitbart; European taxpayer’s money is once again being spent on promoting ultra-processed food insect protein meat substitutes, to save the world from climate change.

Are Europeans ready for an insect-based diet?

By  Florence Schulz |  EURACTIV.de | translated by  Daniel Eck

While insect-based foods have so far been a niche product, they are viewed as a highly promising solution to the challenges facing the food industry. Although new EU regulations should pave the way for these products, European eating habits will have to change too. EURACTIV Germany reports.

Since the start of 2019, customers of the German supermarket chain Kaufland have had the choice between garlic and herb flavoured mealworms, or buffalo worms with hints of sour cream and onion.

And foods made from insects, such as chocolate bars, granola, pasta or burgers, are also appearing in other major supermarkets all over Europe.

“Customers who buy insect-based foods are primarily looking for a new eating experience. Our task is to translate this into products that fit our normal eating habits,” said Bastien Rabastens, founder of French company Jimini’s, which supplies Kaufland.

Rabastens’ biggest challenge is what the industry calls the “yuck factor”.

By 2030, every person will eat an average of 10% more meat than in 2015, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

The rising consumption of meat represents a massive environmental burden – not only because of the methane emissions coming from billions of animals but also because producing their animal feed requires a lot of land and water, which in turn would be lacking for the production of food for humans.

Read more: https://www.euractiv.com/section/agriculture-food/news/are-europeans-ready-for-an-insect-based-diet/

This persistent effort to put insanely processed insect protein on everyone’s plate, in the name of healthy eating and saving the planet, reminds me of the time pop tarts made it to the top of the health food chart. When your chain of food value logic leads to absurdity, sometimes it is worth pausing to ask how you got there.

94 thoughts on “Eat Bugs! EU Pressing member States to Promote Climate Friendly Insect Protein Diets

      • If we’re eating 10% more meat by 2030, let’s fervently hope we’re eating about 50% less carbs. That should make us beaucoup healthier, though not enough to come close to pre-agricultural man.

        It’s like this, folks: Eat anything the market provides. Bugs. Slugs. Pangolins if you can raise ’em. Kobe beef and Impossible Burgers made of Soylent Green. I don’t care. Doubt anyone else does, either, unless they’ve got something really groovy to sell you they’d prefer you buy.

        Where it goes off the rails is when busy-body do-gooders with absurd claims (Save the Planet!!!) try to ORDER you to eat this, not that. Then you may confidently expect we Deplorables will take the flintlock down from the mantelpiece and load with grapeshot, greased with tallow. Y’all GET that yet? GOOD! Now go eatcher bug-meal and don’t bother me!

        • No such thing as a pre-agricultural man.

          Man was eating only veggies as soon as God created him.

    • Serve only insects at EU cafeterias. Let us know how fast bureaucrats buy them.

  1. If I reflect the fact that in general people sicken at insects, maggots, mealworms and even fight them as good they can and are able, I have doubts the will like to eat them now, or to like them at least as an offered alternative.

  2. We get all steamed up about wet markets, eating pangolin bollocks and monkey brains but what then about eXposing ourselves to insect bourne viruses.
    If you really want to go there wake up and lick the windscreen

    • Feasts for the locust, famine for humans.
      We don’t called them plagues because they’re beneficial.

      • We need to develop a pheromone to attract the plague of locusts straight to the poultry farm and then the Africans feed these locusts to chickens, turkeys and other bug eating fowl. There are billions of locusts currently eating everything in sight.

        Pheromone traps for forestry are used to try and control bug infestations. For the Fir Bark Beetle when the trees get old, a pheromone to attract female adults to lay eggs is applied to a green Fir tree and then the tree is felled to lay flat on the ground which attracts even more Fir Beetles and then the dead tree is either burnt on site or shipped to a sawmill for processing before they hatch, getting rid of thousands of eggs per tree and future bugs. It seems to help to slow things down until a cold winter comes along and kills them off temporarily. But an old mature forest is the food supply, so is a hopeless situation in the scheme of things, except fire or harvesting. A mixed forest of different species and ages including conifers and deciduous trees also helps postpone this eventuality.

        Part of the problem, like the Pine Beetle, is that the old mature and dying Pine even aged monoculture forest actually creates the Beetle outbreak, just because the Pine forests are old and decadent and probably would have already been burnt off in a natural forest fire before we started putting fires out. It would be like planting your garden all to cabbage, and then wondering why you get a cabbage worm by mid summer.

        A plague of Locusts are the result of widespread rainfall and the dormant eggs all hatch at once. Now they blame this on climate change, but of course this is nothing new.

        “There can be as many as 80 million locusts in a swarm. Locust swarms devour every crop in their path. When food runs out, locusts turn cannibal.”

        “New swarms are currently forming from Kenya to Iran, according to the the United Nations locust watch website.”

        “Locust Swarms, Some 3 Times the Size of New York City, Are Eating Their Way Across Two Continents”

    • Insect foods are primarily promoted by the same activists who promote veganism. The idea is that when people are presented only two alternatives, one being soy and the other being worms, and never putting meat/fish/eggs on the table, everyone would obviously choose soy, and thus the vegan utopia can be achieved.

  3. If people knew already how many bugs of various kinds are already in grain products, ground up in flour and baked in bread for e.g. they would probably be shocked too. It is on average about 2 pounds per year per person, just from accidental sources in rice and grains.

    But nothing to fear, since it is just all in the mind. I remember growing up on a grain farm, and we would just grind up our own whole wheat flour straight from the granary and are only fear then was hoping there wasn’t a few mice or their droppings in it. That still grosses me out thinking about that, but eating cooked mice/rats is done all the time in some cultures. Buddhists and Hindu’s are repulsed by anyone eating the arse end of a cow, otherwise known as Sirloin Steak. MMM…Good as far as I am concerned, but many think we meat eaters are sick. This is all in the mind. Animal protein is good, and we evolved eating this, including eating insects in our long evolution.

    People think eating them whole and live, like Survivor guy on the TV show does which is a little squirmy especially you still see its legs kicking, but ground up in flour, and made into tasty cookies or bread of some form is some of the highest protein you can get. And healthy. We should really get over this phobia, which is really what it is. No one is forcing us to eat this, like eating raw Sturgeon fish eggs (Caviar) or some Sushi (raw fish) mixed in with rice. To each their own.

    • Earthling2, you say “No one is forcing us to eat this,”
      That is the only part of your post I am not so sure about. It may not be a huge issue for the rich and beautiful Green people, but EU will most likely further increase the extra tax on pig and cow meat. This will leave the less fortunate to stick with the protein approved by Brussels/Luxembourg.

      Just had a wonderful mixed salad with chicken.
      Tomorrow I will see if there is an elg on my land. Elg burgers with lots of salad and souse is so great. Maybe I should airmail an elg-burger to Florence Schulz.

      • Carl, I would agree that mandating anything such as enforced bug eating against someone who wishes not to, should be their prerogative not to have to, and the same for taxing meat in an attempt to force more expensive solutions on the poor. All that is wrong, and why the EU is on a downward spiral to an authoritarian bureaucratic byzantium state.

        It appears to me that the EU is unravelling before our eyes, and maybe that is a good thing, given that the EU experiment is turning into a red tape disaster. The only upside to the EU, was not having as it was pre mid 20th century Europe in a constant state of war, which is a good thing, but hopefully other measures could substitute for that, such as basic Free Trade agreements, and military alliances like NATO. But Brexit was a shot over the bow of Brussels and they should wake up to their own demise. Other countries will be sure to follow getting out of the EU.

        • The EU was always going to succeed in the short term, economies of scale, and fail in the longer term with bureaucratic entrenchment and private firm amalgamation/closure. I have written about this “Smaller is Better”

          • Your Amazon book looks interesting and affordable, as does your brief into…

            “Small isolated foreign territories are still held principally by Great Britain, France, United States, and Denmark(who would want Greenland).”

            If the Soviet USSR had a best before date, what is your opinion on how long China has left under the current CPC dictatorship? China has a habit of throwing out Emperors and many a Dynasty. Is there a revolution brewing?

    • There’s a difference between accidental inclusion in flour and turning them into a staple in their own right. The amount if processing requires to make insect protein palatable for anything other than emergency sustenance is insane, and would normally be decried as unsustainable and unhealthy by the same people currently pushing the insect diet.

      • Say what? Do you have any evidence or link to prove your allegation that the “amount if processing requires to make insect protein palatable for anything other than emergency sustenance is insane”.

        I have a friend who is a cricket farmer, for selling into the pet food market here in NA. Very successful venture and they multiply like, well insects. He is now selling into the insect food market for humans, because of the nutrition factor which is still more a fringe niche enterprise here. But there is nothing unhealthy about, in fact all living primates still have working versions of the gene needed to produce a stomach enzyme that breaks down insect exoskeletons. It is best to be crushed into a flour for full digestion, just like eating raw wheat would be.

        Insects are part of the traditional diet of 2 billion people around the world, with 1,900 species considered both edible and a highly nutritious food source with healthy fats, protein, fiber, vitamins and essential minerals. Because it it is cheap and available, obviously. Certainly a good fit for the 3rd world protein requirements.

        We really need to get over this phobia. You don’t have to eat it, but don’t tell me I can’t or shouldn’t. It isn’t mandated here or subsidized. We eat lobster and bottom feeders like clams, mussels and oysters, and while not an insect, are similar in many ways. And they call it a delicacy. So this is all in the mind of the beholder. Except there is nothing unhealthy about eating properly prepared insects, and is cheaper than animal protein. I am biased to Sirloin steak myself but have eaten insect burgers, and I didn’t even really know the difference, probably because of the onions and ketchup and bun. But personally, I would prefer a 100% beef burger just because I support ranching and eating animal protein is my heritage. And I can afford it. Many can’t, especially in the 3rd world.

        https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180124131711.htm

        • I suspect the third worlders are already eating insects. If you are starving you will eat anything. That doesn’t mean that the rest of the world needs to descend into eating starvation rations.

          • Often, what earlier was meal for the poor, oysters,
            slogs or frogs are now high priced delicacies.

        • I would never consider telling you or anyone else that you can’t or shouldn’t eat bugs. Just don’t try telling me I should or must.

          Cheers.

          • Absolutely 100% correct. Freedom has to include freedom of choice, without penalty or taxation to impede progress. Which is why a carbon tax is so deadly to an economy and mostly poor people who have to pay it out of a much lessor income.

      • My wife used to do insect cooking a few times a year for her job at a zoo. The insects were used as a flavoring ingredient and source of protein. The dishes she cooked tasted great and they were from fresh insects, some she raised herself. Chocolate Chirp cookies with cricket abdomens instead of pecans. The insects had a crunchy nutty flavor. And meal worm egg rolls deep fried. Barely knew the meal worms were in there and tasted great.

    • Do not ask if all the black specks in pepper are actually pepper.The FDA standards are eye-opening.

      • so buy whole pepper and than you know its pepper;-)
        fast shake in a seive to remove UFO

  4. Oh, great – now the PETOB* folks will be out in full force.

    *People for the Ethical Treatment Of Bugs

  5. I’ve got a feeling this is another “scientific” claim without much data to back it up. Proteins used by humans must be similar whether they come from cows or bugs. The production of that protein is going to take mostly the same processes using similar nutrients.

    Knowing that termites create a lot of methane, I bet commercial bugs will also. Pound for pound, will we really gain much?

  6. Edible bugs carry parasites which could infect the eaters. See 10.1371/journal.pone.0219303 I expect they carry viruses and bacteria as well.

  7. It takes a healthy ecosystem to support a wolf. Eating down the food chain is an admission of unwillingness to properly manage our environment.

  8. If the EU has money for this kind of nonsense, they should certainly have money to pay for their own defense.

  9. Well, if I climb a little and broaden to the phylum Arthropods (which includes the class insects), I surely like a lot prawns and lobsters. As an enthusiast of my mediterranean diet, those are a must if well cooked. A lot better than Hamburgers and Hotdogs. At least I know the nature and the phylum of what I’m really eating. Eric, have you ever wondering what you are really eating disguised as food? Probably a lot worst than insects (Sarc).

    • You might not know but most people is already eating insects in a daily basis, mostly Dactylopius coccus. Search for products that have cochineal insect based corants and you will not find that very amusing at all… By the way, I also like honey.

    • In Florida we call our lobsters, “bugs”, and I happily consume them. As for maggots , mealworms ,etc., I’ll pass. Some nice, starving European family can have my share of those.

  10. From the quoted Euractiv article:
    “Up to now, European law has forbidden the feeding of pigs, cows or chickens with protein from other farm animals, including insects. If the feeding ban were to be reversed, this could potentially open up a large market for insect producers.”

    It has been suggested that both Anthrax and Bubonic plague became pathogenic inside insect hosts
    https://academic.oup.com/femsle/article/263/1/1/597188
    But who cares.

    • Fleas on rats? Don’t eat fleas or rats…fleas are really insects. Some insects you don’t want to eat, like bees, because they have poisons within them. And they pollinate and make honey… Same as don’t eat some kinds of mushrooms because some are poisonous. But others are delicious and safe.

    • European law has forbidden the feeding of pigs, cows or chickens with protein from other farm animals, including insects. says:

      “European law has forbidden the feeding of pigs, cows or chickens with protein from other farm animals, including insects.”

      Good luck with that – pigs and chickens are omnivores.

  11. People in the USA eat Carmine on a daily basis lol )among other Insect originated products). And do not even dare to put lipstick in the post because the reddish ones are also based in Dactylopius coccus Carmine.

  12. I still say if the French had named grits something else that food would be haute cuisine today. But then they would want the international ‘grits’ center to be based in Paris.

  13. Let’s see…juicy Porterhouse Steak grilled to perfection vs a gross caterpillar filled with green goo.
    Steak for me, please!

  14. I am afraid my opinion of these Experts and U.N minions is now so low,I advocate for the bugs.
    Staking such useless powerhungry parasites out on an anthill springs to mind.
    Save the bugs,feed them UN staffers.And all other “Liberals Style” progressive thieves..
    This is the problem with studying the evil and stupid,you become what you resist.

      • so crucial for soil health and if thers no cows around?
        no beetles aurating n moving soil n nutrients
        bet they didnt even think about that.

        the REAL REASON for the EU push is the food makers
        why?
        because the profits for bugs are insane per unit produced and they eat?
        rubbish/food byproducts they cant even onsell to the supplement or otherindustries
        or its used BY those industries and then fed to bugs gaining 3x the value extracted.
        and then there isnt going to BE room for animals or plants as they need all the room for solar farms and wind turbines.
        the recent insanity of “grain free” foods espeialy forpets is actually harming them multiple cases of vets reporting Cardiomyopathy in young dogs FROM the processed PEAflour theyre putting in pet foods and cat foods tinned n dry as well.
        supercheap denatured tasteless colourless crap at 00001c or so rather than a cent or so for real grains.
        its all about profit.

  15. Ah the rewilding element of global warming environmentals rearing there very unpalatable fix for us all, let them eat bugs I will continue to eat meat be it red or white.

  16. And land productivity is increasing at a 2.5% per year. Far more than population is increasing, which allows us to eat steak (med-rare please) in quantity, while still allowing for more land to be left fallow for nature reserves. Just allow modern techniques in more places will allow even more food per acre and more calories per person of higher grade food like meats.

    Have China have more livestock and less nature foods and will have a much lower vector for diseases because we aren’t living with our food like Europeans used to 200 years ago. Was a big change for the west and will be a big change for China. And we won’t need to eat bugs…ever – well…only if you like to.

  17. If the EU bureaucrats saying to eat cockroaches and grubs.

    Isn’t that tantamount to advocating cannibalism ?

  18. Plant have more than enough protein, and are healthier too. Absolutely no need to invent a wheel.

  19. Heading the article with a photo of grilled Witchetty grubs will do quite a bit to put people off the idea of eating insects. Fried Grasshoppers are a better marketing option. Nevertheless, Australia stands ready to flood the World Market with Wichetty grubs at the slightest sign of general interest.

  20. Beyond Meat Burger ingredients:

    Water
    Pea protein isolate
    Expeller-pressed canola oil
    Refined coconut oil
    Cellulose from bamboo
    Methylcellulose
    Potato starch
    Natural flavor
    Maltodextrin
    Yeast extract
    Salt
    Sunflower oil
    Vegetable glycerin
    Dried yeast
    Gum arabic
    Citrus extract (to protect quality)
    Ascorbic acid (to maintain color)
    Beet juice extract (for color)
    Acetic acid
    Succinic acid
    Modified food starch
    Annatto (for color)

    Beef Burger ingredients:

    Beef

  21. I am all for this provided that EU officials are required to follow this diet completely themselves. After they have lived on insects for at least a year, then those tax stealing morons at the EU can tell the rest of us how to live. I suspect this is not going to go down well!

  22. This really bugs me, is their a secret sauce for locust, how do we know they’re Non Gmo?, do we need a grub rub for more palatability? or do you eat mashed slugs with a side of fly fries? For the bug converted please use a breath freshener to chase down the dung beetles. On the upside I think one large grub would fill me up and excess flab would soon be a fond memory.

  23. Yet another ‘we know what’s best for you’ crock of s**t from the EU.

    I am sure there are plenty of other geographies where similar nutters exist.

    I really do wonder how these ignorant ecofascists wonder that nature will replenish soil, when cows are no longer sh**ting their black gold in such great numbers?

  24. notice they still cant find a use for millipedes and earwigs;-)))
    making them palatable for chooks/anything at all really, (millipedes) would be a gamechanger

  25. It’s great. It should be used as swine feed. Bacon (with eggs) is the greatest meal on the planet.
    Now, if only we could keep the vegans occupied convincing them to hand pick the bugs…just sayin’.

  26. Show us the eastern EU country responses or non-responses to EU absurdities. We need that perspective here.

  27. I’m sure these are already the only thing on the menu in Brussels. They know what’s best for you, but I’m gonna bet that steak is better for them.

  28. We can talk about lab scale testing of bugs for food, but like “green energy,” the proponents never do the math. I cannot imagine the effort, cost and environmental impacts to scale up bug production to a level to reliably feed a population. To produce the needed calories, the processes would still require massive inputs of water, nutrients, energy, etc. The industrialized bug production system would end up facing the same criticisms as those leveled at meat production. Of course, it may allow us to shift some production from farms to city sewers, breeding grounds for (edible?) cockroaches and other critters. Need lunch? Just pop open a manhole cover and feast. Instead of farm-to-table, it would be sewer-to-table.

  29. I don’t see any problem here. I’m sure everyone has heard the old saying: “Insects is best.”

  30. No thanks. I’m allergic to crustaceans. I’d prefer the cow over the cricket, please.

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