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Increasingly popular insect snacks and meals

Insects for breakfast, lunch, dinner. To eat anywhere. Not only on planet earth but also in space where the astronaut Samantha Cristoforettinew commander of the International Space Station, landed on ICT Tac while munching on a blueberry cricket bass. “I will take you to the last frontier of food” he assures, exalting all the healthy and sustainable properties of this new food, just as Beppe Grillo did a few months ago by proposing insects in the elementary school canteen.

“Did you know that more than two billion people in the world eat insects? In many countries they have been eaten and fed by farm animals for centuries and some species are even considered delicacies,” says Astrosamantha. He adds: “If treated safely and with respect for their well-being, they can be a nutrient-rich and environmentally sustainable food source. In Europe, crickets, worms and grasshoppers are considered new foods that can be eaten, for example this blueberry bar. . it’s made with cricket flour. Why don’t you sometimes try bugs too? They are good for you and for the planet. ” Twitter: “According to the FAO, more than 2,000 species of insects are eaten by humans all over the planet. And even in space! My blueberry cereal bar here also contains cricket flour as a source of protein. “

Beppe Grillo’s recipe: “We use insects in school canteen menus”

by Luisa Mosello

Among the followers the debate is unleashed to the sound of protest comments. Some write: “A scammer for eating insects? I prefer pizza, thank you”. Or: “I prefer expensive milk protein. Crickets have nothing to do with food. Have we ever had the Snowpiercer?” It is always. “All my admiration destroyed in a minute. Animals eat what the digestive system is ready to digest. What a desire for us to eat what we shouldn’t!” And there are those who cry conspiracy and even question Samantha’s presence on the space station. However, even back on earth, the example of the astronaut is not isolated and is accompanied by examples of a high social level: the Prince of Denmark, present in New York a week ago for the Citizen Summit on Sustainabilityate a cookie made by the Estonian company BugBox topped with dried crickets that would require six times less feed than cattle. And it seems the prince enjoyed the snack.

Also in Italy just arrived the first biscuits made from cockroach flour, Tenebrio Molitor (the flour larva) dried into a 6% powder. The Vicenza-based company launched them in August Fucibo who had already made the first insect fries. They can be found in some supermarkets present mainly in Veneto and Lombardy. It is expected soon, by the end of the year, the arrival of a type of pasta based on this type of protein. “Insects are much more efficient than farm animals in transforming the food they take to transform it into proteins – affirms the Venetian society -. To be raised they need little space and little equipment. water, they reproduce quickly and their life cycle involves the emission of very few greenhouse gases.They fit easily into a circular economy system, where they act as real transformers of food waste in valuable new proteins. Insects also contain all essential nutrients, including complete proteins, lipids, iron and zinc. Protein is one of the nutrients that is exploding in demand.”

Against the “shortbread cookies of the beatles” the Italian Federation of Chefs was expelled and resolutely rejected them because the theme of sustainability for this type of product would be “used against our excellence. These foods are light years away from our culture and our gastronomic tradition”. Net opposition also by Gian Marco Centinaio, under-secretary for agricultural policies in the Draghi government and recently re-elected senator of the League. “At first it was the flour moth – he said a month and a half ago – the first to have had the OK from Brussels to end up on the plate a little over a year ago year. The European Commission now (last August, ed) recalls in a post that for a snack, as an ingredient among the insects authorized as European novel food there is also the house cricket and the migratory locust. To these we continue to prefer a plate of pasta or a glass of milk, produced by our farms and not in the laboratories of certain multinationals, or a slice of meat, real, not synthetic. In our countries and in other European countries, food is tradition, culture and identity”.

But the new frontiers are still advancing. The insects approved to date are three in number: the flour moth approved a year ago (Tenebrio molitor), the locust (Locusta migratoria) and the cricket (Acheta domesticus). Currently, nine other insects are being assessed by EFSA, the food authority which could give the green light to new menu variants. Meanwhile, something is moving on the plate, not literally: in July, in a show cooking at the Museo di Trento, there was a tasting of risotto with larvae and cappelletti with roasted crickets. The idea came from Davide Rizzolli, creator of Mini’s food which also offers recipes with insect meal for all (new) tastes.


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