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Insects for human consumption? A very present future.

Updated: Feb 17, 2022

Constant changes in lifestyle, the promotion and increase of physical activity, and longer life expectancy are just some of the factors driving consumers to actively search for new (and sustainable) sources of protein. In the midst of the (still) heated discussion between meat-eating and plant-based advocates, a new market appears: insects.

A growing number of scientific articles defend insects as rich sources of protein, iron, zinc and fiber, and their supplementation in the diet is seen as an important aid to increase physical performance (or to just have energy for day-to-day activities).

The Directorate General for Food and Veterinary (DGAV) announced in a statement last June, that seven species of insects have been approved for selling and human consumption in Portugal. According to the statement released, "the insects may be marketed/used, whole (not alive) and ground (e.g. flour). Parts or extracts of insects cannot be commercialized.”

The seven approved species include two species of cricket, two of larvae, two of grasshoppers, and one of beetle.

However, the DGAV draws attention to the risk of allergies associated with the consumption of these ingredients, being "important that consumers are clearly informed in the labeling and marketing, that a food contains insects and what species they are".

And you, are you willing to try?

This piece was written based on this document.

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