On the menu in Singapore: crickets, superworms and bees

A small “Fancy a lychee ball with spicy grilled crickets or some sushi with super worms (giant mealworms)?” request The Straits Times. Singapore industrialists were waiting “since a long time” The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) approved the approval of sixteen new species of edible insects on Tuesday, July 8, the city-state’s daily reported.

They had worked at “develop and invent new recipes and new products based on insects” since, in April 2023, the SFA “had promised that she would give the green light” by the end of 2023.

A nascent industry

In the meantime, “At least two industry players, Future Protein Solutions and Asia Insect Farm Solutions, both based in Singapore, have decided to shut down operations as the long wait has called into question the viability of their businesses.”

In a press releasethe SFA says “to authorize with immediate effect the importation of insects and insect products of species that have been assessed as being of low regulatory concern”, reports, on its site, American business media CNBC.

The sixteen species of authorized edible insects “cannot be harvested in the wild and must be raised in regulated workshops”. CNBC specifies that the European honey bee, mealworms, locusts, crickets and other wax worms can be used to “human consumption as well as feeding animals intended for human consumption”.

Some 2,100 edible species

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is calling for the development of large-scale insect farming to meet the planet’s needs and combat climate change. Entomophagy is a practice that already affects at least 2 billion people worldwide, according to the FAO.

Although more and more countries are adopting regulations on insectivorous feeding (this is the case of the European Union, which authorized mealworms as a foodstuff in 2021), in Singapore, however, “the consumption of insects remains a novelty”, precise CNN.

Some “2,100 species of edible insects” have been identified by science, which bring a number of “vitamins and minerals” And “are a high source of protein”, continues the American media. The edible insect is also good for the climate, “unlike cattle, which emit methane”.

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