ROME — The vaunted Mediterranean diet and the French “bon gout” are getting some competition: The European Union's food safety agency says worms are safe to eat.

The Parma-based agency published a scientific opinion Wednesday on the safety of dried yellow mealworms and gave them a thumbs up. Researchers said the worms, either eaten whole or in powdered form, are a protein-rich snack or ingredient for other foods.

Allergic reactions may occur, especially depending on the type of feed given to the bugs, known officially as Tenebrio molitor larva. But overall “the panel concludes that the (novel food) is safe under the proposed uses and use levels.”

Thus, the European Union has now thrown its weight behind worms in much the same way the United Nations has. The U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization in 2013 championed edible bugs as a low-fat, high-protein food for people, pets and livestock that are good for the environment and help feed the hungry.

———

This version corrects the name of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thank you for reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.