There’s a lot of people who really want humans to eat more insects- including a Vanderbilt University professor and officials within the European Union.
Amanda Little, a professor at the Nashville, Tennessee-based university, claims that food authorities in the United States need to follow the footsteps of the European Union and make insects a staple part of peoples’ diets.
“Humans have been consuming edible insects -from crickets and grasshoppers to fire ants and termites- since before the dawn of civilization, and 80% of the world’s population throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America, continues to eat bugs today,” Little wrote in Bloomberg.
Despite pointing out that much of the third world engages in insect-eating, the professor touted the adoption of insects by the EU as something of an advancement and a way to help save the planet.
“[EU] approval confers a kind of dignity to the lowly, protein-rich microbeasts that we foolishly dismiss as pests, and delivers a clear signal that the insect proteins industry is poised for significant growth,” Little wrote. “Above all, it paves the way for an alternative protein source that should play a critical role in feeding a hotter, more populous world.”
One group, however, seems to stand in the way- Americans.
“U.S. consumers have been slow on the uptake, even as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved insects for human consumption years ago,” Little wrote. “A niche market has emerged with snack foods such as Chirp Chips and Exo protein bars. And when the FDA approved insects for pet foods earlier this year, brands including Purina began sourcing bugs for their products.”
Despite the resistance, Little has hope that Americans will get on board the insect nutrition train.
“The environmental benefits of insect proteins both for human and animal consumption are astounding,” she wrote.“Black soldier fly larvae, in particular, hold promise.”
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