Insects begin making inroads into Finnish diets
Insects seem set to become a larger part of Western diets after the critters were approved to be marketed for food use in Finland.
Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira has started preparing guidelines to ensure that Insects are safe for consumers. Once these guidelines are completed companies wishing to produce insect food will have to register as food business operators.
Evira’s guidelines will focus on the breeding and marketing of insects and should be completed by November. They are being written with insight from insect business operators and are designed for use by both food control authorities, insect breeders and companies producing insect food.
According to existing plans, only the use of farm-raised, whole insects will be authorised in Finland. Whole insects can also be chopped and ground, but no parts may be removed and no ingredients isolated or extracted from them. Evira will compile a list of species of insects suitable for use as food. The insect products available in the market at present as, for example, kitchen ornaments, may not be marketed as food, because their production has not been controlled in accordance with food legislation and it has not been possible to verify their safety.
These developments follow similar changes to wider European attitudes over recent years. In August Switzerland’s second-largest supermarket chain began selling insect burgers for human consumption following the revision of the country’s food safety laws. This came after Switzerland began to approve certain insects for human consumption. Belgium had taken similar steps in preceding years,
This is considered a change in the West because, although 2 billion people worldwide already include insects in their daily diet, both the United States and Europe have concerns when it comes to allowing the use of insects as food. But in America the public may be consuming more insect flesh than they imagine as FDA currently considers a percentage of insect fragments in food acceptable because they are an unavoidable defect.