The EU imposes the use of cricket flour, which can even kill some consumers, according to fake news circulated in Romania. This resumes the false narrative that the EU will force its citizens to eat insects. In reality, Brussels has only approved the entry of a new cricket flour producer on the EU market, but the use of its products is not mandatory. Similarly, the purchase of products containing insect-based ingredients remains a consumer’s personal choice.
NEWS: “The European Union has authorized the entry into the market of a new food produced by Vietnam, which will be included in the composition of several food products in the EU. It is partially defatted house cricket powder, produced from the insect with the scientific name of Acheta domesticus. The flour will be used in the preparation of multigrain breads and rolls, crackers and breadsticks, cereal bars, bakery mixes (dry), biscuits and pasta-based products (dry and filled).”
NARRATIVES: 1. The “food reset”, which is part of the New World Order program, will force us to eat insects. 2. The world occult seeks to poison humanity and reduce the planet's population.
BACKGROUND: In a 2013 study , the UN Food and Agriculture Organization stated that insects can be an alternative source of protein and that insect farms are more environmentally friendly than those that raise animals. It didn't take long and voices were heard claiming that the said study and the intention of the European Commission to approve the marketing of insect-based foods in the community space, would be just a new stage in the evil plan of the world occult, to poison and reduce the population of the planet.
The theory obviously did not bypass Romania; it was taken up and amplified by various public figures, from politicians and journalists to influencers who know everything. So, with each new regulation of the European Commission in the food field, the topic of “food reset” and New Age diets is taken up and aggressively disseminated on sovereignist-conservative propaganda channels, more or less under the influence of Moscow.
The commercialization as food of the House Cricket (Acheta domesticus) was approved by the European Commission as early as February 10, 2022, following the approval, on November 12, 2021, of the commercialization of the Locust (Locusta migratoria) and, on February 8, 2022, of the Yellow Mealworm (Tenebrio molitor), all in frozen, dried and powdered form, but at that time the subject was not carefully covered by the sovereignist propaganda, busy with the “sanitary dictatorship” and to justify the Russian aggression in Ukraine. It came to the attention of the public opinion at the end of the summer of 2022, being brought up by the nationalist leader George Simion on the occasion of his wedding.
PURPOSE: To undermine the population’s trust in the European Union and to promote the sovereignist discourse
WHY THE NARRATIVES ARE FALSE: The use of insects as an alternative source of protein is not new, and insects are eaten regularly in many parts of the world. A recent study made a synthesis and showed that around 2,000 species of insects are eaten in more than 100 countries around the world! Edible insects, and especially crickets, are part of the traditional diet of several countries in Asia, such as China, Japan, Taiwan, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, but also in Equatorial Africa and even Mexico. Their consumption takes place in various forms and on various occasions. Their preparation usually includes frying or steaming for consumption as a main course or snack.
The home cricket is appreciated for its taste, aroma and texture. Also, the amount of nutrients, especially proteins, that these insects contain is considerable, a fact established by a series of studies and laboratory analyzes carried out over the past 20 years. They show that, for example, cricket flour contains between 50-70% proteins and essential amino acids and the fat content reaches 20%. Crickets are also a source of minerals such as copper, selenium, magnesium, zinc and vitamins. Without implying an exclusively insect-based diet, and by no means mandatory, increasing the share of insects in humanity's staple diet could help feed an ever-growing population.
Through its January 3rd 2023 decision, the European Commission does nothing more than approve the commercialization in the EU of insect-based products by a Vietnamese producer, whose file was analyzed and confronted with the results of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) over a period of 4 years (2018 – 2022). Moreover, EFSA, in a scientific opinion published as early as 2015 , stated that the use of insects as a source of food and fodder has important environmental and economic benefits and does not pose major food security threats. Insect farms can result in lower greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions than cattle or pig farms and greater efficiency in converting feed to protein, the report also found.
At the same time, EFSA concluded that as long as insects are fed with currently permitted feed, the chances of allergic reactions or toxic effects are similar to other currently sources of protein that are currently used. The cricket, being an arthropod, has many proteins similar to those of other insects, dust mites and crustaceans, as well as those of mollusks. That is why the European Commission has imposed the rule of labeling food products containing partially defatted powder of Acheta domesticus (house cricket) properly, in accordance with the European regulations.
The approval given by the European executive only concerns farmed crickets, not the wild ones, the risks of toxic contamination being in this case similar to the consumption of edible mushrooms from licensed farms versus those picked in the forest. In addition, contrary to popular opinion, food products containing insect-based ingredients have been part of Romanians’ diet for some time now, and cricket flour can be found on websites that sell so-called traditional products or dedicated to sports nutrition.
In conclusion, the consumption of insects, regardless of the form and method of cooking, remains a choice, the European Commission underlining this as clearly as possible in an official response sent to the PressOne publication in August 2022: “The European Commission will not force citizens to eat insects (or anything else). The consumption of insects is possible, never mandatory, as long as they are authorized as novel foods by the Commission”. As an example, the Belgian supermarket operator Delhaize (Mega Image in Romania) introduced a dish based on mealworms in its stores in Belgium in 2014, but it was not successful, and had to quickly withdraw the product from the shelves.