So far, we know edible insects mainly from tasting booths, where, after a proper expert interpretation, the “most brave” decide to crush the crunchy and good-natured worm between their teeth. The market for this food commodity, which is already operating in our region, was supported by the European Union by withdrawing the first two applications for the inclusion of a certain type of insect in the list of approved foods. In June, mealworm larvae were dried.
Although the approval of European lawmakers alone does not mean anything revolutionary, the direction is clearly defined. A planet with a growing population needs more and more high-quality animal protein. At the same time, it is not only about feeding people living on poorer continents, but also striving for more sustainable agriculture and ensuring a healthy diet, including Europeans. While other emerging food alternatives, such as algae, microorganisms or artificial meat, face production limits, this is not the case with insects and this is a huge advantage.
- Also green for the Slovak market
in food today
What do these signals from the European Union mean in practice? How can it affect business in this sector and enrich our food system? The owner of the largest insect farm in the Czech Republic, Ivan Babuchek, provides an interesting look at this topic for Life magazine. Its plant in Jaromice nad Rokytnou produces 5.5 to six tons of insects per month, 20 to 25 percent of which are supplied to the food industry, and this share is still increasing. The inclusion of two insect species in the European Union’s list of foods approved for their activity is not important.
“As primary producers, we do not make food or insect products, we only produce and supply them for processing in live form. From a layman’s perspective, it is like a pig farm and a slaughterhouse. We are pursuing an amendment to the veterinary law in effect since January last year, which allows us to keep Insects for further processing – either in animal feed or in food. A farm wishing to produce insects for food must be registered with the State Veterinary Administration and comply with certain obligations.” Explains Ivan Babushek.
You can find more pictures of edible insect in the gallery
One locust has passed and the other has not
From the point of view of processors, this is also not a turning point, since the possibility of producing insects for food has been in Europe since 2015. “We knew it simply at the time. This won’t end until a decision has been made on all requests to include insects in the list of approved foods sent to EU soil. Six years later, things are finally starting to move and so far three cases have been resolved. Plus To the approval of the application for the inclusion of heat-treated mealworm and food locust for a French and Dutch company respectively, the fire locust was rejected because the applicant did not submit all the documents.In the approved cases, this is the final opinion that allows this type of insect to process and place products on it like others. who comply with the general conditions, Adds Ivan Babushek.
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