As of the 1st of May 2017 the Swiss Government has given the go ahead for mealworms, crickets and grasshoppers to be sold as human food in the commercial market.
The company Essento (hyperlink to page) has been gearing up for this for the past few years and will be supplying Coop, one of Switzerland’s largest supermarkets, with insect balls and insect burgers. Head of fresh foods at Coop Supermarket was quoted ‘By adding certain varieties of insects to the list of ingredients to certain processed foods, we are aiming to create a modern food industry… and create an offer that allows clients to discover a new world of flavours’. It seems as though insects are on their way to becoming a trendy, modern food source much like crayfish or sushi.
In fact, Switzerland isn’t the first European country to legalise insects. In 2014 a mealworm burger was released into stores in the Netherlands and in 2015 Belgium legalised 10 different insect species. In both France and the UK, one can find insect products on the market, however, they haven’t officially been legalised. The same is true for the US, where insect products aren’t officially recognised in the trade, but they are being sold on every platform ranging from online sales, to small grocery stores. This just indicates the dire need for the governments across the world to get involved to create legislation in an effort to create a controlled insect food trade.
Bringing this closer to home: if we could just take a quick second to think about this fact: Switzerland and various other EU countries, which are incredibly wealthy, modern and westernised countries, are currently introducing insects into their commercial food market. Surely they must be something worth trying? And surely if primarily Western country can introduce this incredibly new food source into the their main stream market (which is not typically a part of their diet), then South Africa, a country where many natives already consume insects, have no reason why they shouldn’t advocate this as a food source for humans as well?! And finally, if the Swiss, who are surrounded with fine dining and abnormally delicious chocolate want to eat insects, why aren’t you?
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