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The EU is preparing to invest three million euros ($4 million) to research ‘the potential of insects as an alternative source of protein’ this year, The Daily Mail reports.The UN’s Food Standards Authority says of the research: “While insects have not traditionally been used for food in the UK or elsewhere in the European Union, it is estimated that about 2.5 billion people across the world have diets that routinely include insects.” It goes on to say that while many insects are considered pests, it wants to promote the edible species as a “highly sustainable source of nutrition.”
Some worms contain three times as much protein per ounce as beef, and four crickets have as much calcium as a glass of milk.
But will people willingly eat bugs?
“Food producers will probably get away with describing it as animal based proteins. Not many people will buy a locust burger,” Daniel Creedon, a chef who serves ants, locusts and bees in honey at the London Archipelago restaurant, told the Mail.
80 per cent of countries on Earth already eat insects, and more than 1,000 insect species are often eaten by human beings.
The expense and environmental damage of raising livestock means that insect-eating will be inevitable, and probably even widespread, by the end of this decade, some academics believe.