Even as a global pandemic envelopes Europe, the EU is remaining calm, cool and focused on the important issues. That’s why they’re about to pass legislation making it legal in Europe to eat bugs. Hakuna Matata.
The authorization of edible insects is being called a “breakthrough.” When the EU starts throwing around a word like “breakthrough,” there are a lot of things it could be. A miracle coronavirus vaccine? A life-saving drug? An actual trade deal with Britain? No, the breakthrough was that German, Italian, Spanish and other European folks would now be able to suck down their dinners with a side of flies. Finally.
Christophe Derrien, the secretary general of the International Platform of Insects for Food and Feed, said: “We reckon these authorizations will be a breakthrough for the sector so we are looking for those authorizations quite impatiently. They are taking the necessary time, they are very demanding on information, which is not bad.”
Why “quite impatiently?” Is there a pressing need for Europeans to eat crickets and grasshoppers as soon as possible? Maybe if there was a bug that functioned as a substitute for toilet paper, that would be a different story.
Still, it makes sense that these new authorizations would take time to push through and would demand a lot of info. For example, how many calories are in a worm? How much should a restaurant charge for an appetizer of locusts? Most importantly, does a grasshopper pair better with a nice cabernet or a sauvignon blanc?
It was slightly easier to do this research because several countries in Europe had actually already permitted edible insects (including the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Finland). In fact, about 500 tonnes of insect-based food is manufactured for human consumption every year. (Are there really that many people eating bugs? Or is that entire 500 tonnes sent directly to Bear Grylls so he can force it down the throats of unsuspecting hot celebrities for your viewing pleasure?)
Christophe Derrien also said: “We believe that insects for food is one solution for some of the biggest challenges we are facing on the planet.” Climate change? Political polarization? Coronavirus? What can’t be solved by eating a hamburger infused with crickets.
Ultimately, this will be seen as a big win for the EU. Ever since they lost Britain, the EU has been looking to really define itself. What does the European Union look like without the UK? And apparently, it looks like a continent full of people eating worm pasta.