EU spending millions to get people to eat insects

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Experts believe they have found a new way to solve food shortages which could also help save the environment – eating insects. After launching a...

Experts believe they have found a new way to solve food shortages which could also help save the environment – eating insects.

After launching a €3 million project to investigate the nutritional benefits of insects, the European Union (EU) is now asking national health watchdogs to conduct similar research into entomophagy as they believe insects are low in cholesterol.

There have been suggestions that ‘insect food’ would be more environmentally friendly than current food sources such as cattle, as they require less food and have lower greenhouse gas emissions.

It is now thought dishes such as locust soup or scorpion casserole could soon be on the menu in restaurants across Europe.

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One study has already found grasshoppers are a particularly good source of protein at the same time as being low in fat with ratio of 20 percent protein to just six percent fat.

It makes grasshoppers healthier that beef and red meat, which usually contains 24 percent protein but has a high fat content of 18 percent.

Aside from grasshoppers, experts believe crickets are high in calcium, bees have libido-boosting qualities and termites contain plenty of iron.

Professor Marcel Dicke is leading a research team from the Netherlands’ Wageningen University and is applying for the research grant.

He commented to the Sunday Times: “By 2020, you will be buying insects in supermarkets.

“We have already seen the introduction of eggplants, sushi, things people never ate here.

“I think it will start with ground-up insects in sauces and burgers; grinding them up will make them look more palatable,” he said.

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