The United Nations says insects are “healthy and nutritious food sources”
Dry mealworms will soon be on the shelves of European supermarkets and restaurants.
The 27 EU countries on Tuesday approved a proposal to put Tenebrio molitor beetle larvae on the market as a “new food”.
This move came after the European Food Safety Agency issued a scientific opinion this year, and concluded that it is safe to eat the worm. Researchers say that these worms are eaten entirely or in powder form and are a component of high-protein snacks or other meals.
The committee said people who are allergic to shellfish and dust mites may develop allergic reactions.
Edible insects account for a small market, but EU officials say that feeding insects may have environmental benefits. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, insects are “a healthy and nutritious food with high levels of lipids, proteins, vitamins, fiber and minerals.”
After EU member states ratify on Tuesday, the EU will pass a regulation in the next few weeks authorizing mealworms to eat.