Despite being a country defensive of its food traditions, the Italian government has approved Nutrinsect’s request to sell a flour made from crickets for human consumption.
Nutrinsect since 2020 has raised millions of crickets at the company’s plant in Montecassiano, but the resulting flour could only be used in pet food, according to The Guardian. Now it can be used in any number of food products.
However, the European Union in early 2023 approved the use of insect proteins – from crickets, locusts and darkling beetle larvae – for human consumption. The Italian government responded with a number of proposed regulations meant to keep insect protein out of such traditional dishes as pizza and pasta.
However, by the time the regulations became official at the end of last year, the government had relented, The Guardian reports, instead imposing labeling rules that state the product’s origin and the wording Acheta domesticus, Latin for house cricket.
Insect flours have high amounts of proteins and some vitamins and are seen as a sustainable way to nourish a growing world population.