The EU Commission has approved the European migratory locust Locusta migratoria as a new food in the European Union, which will have significant economic and environmental implications in the future. This large, socially flying insect is considered nutritious and rich in protein and have been consumed by humans for centuries, especially in eastern countries. The locust can be found in powdered, dried or frozen form and can be used as a snack or as an ingredient in food.
The European Union has concluded that eating the migratory locust is safe for health, according to a report by the European Food Safety Authority. The locust is high in protein and low in fat. The term “novel food” refers to any food that has not been used for human consumption on a significant scale in the European Union before May 15, 1997. The approval as a food means that in the future national as well as international food companies may process the European migratory locust in their products. In this case, the insect will be included in the list of ingredients.
Global demand for insects as food is high
There are more than 1,900 edible insect species worldwide. Insects are rich in nutrients and protein and could be part of a sustainable diet, according to the EU Commission. In many countries, the small animals are already part of the regular menu.