Are Romanians ready to eat insects?

Are Romanians ready to eat insects?
Are Romanians ready to eat insects?

At a time when the topic of a looming food crisis and the search for alternative sources to meet the nutritional needs of the population is becoming more relevant in Europe and the world, an opposition party in Romania has taken steps to legislatively block the possibility for Romanians to start eating with beetles and worms in the future.

The opposition Alliance for the Unity of Romanians (AER) – a relatively new party that entered parliament for the first time after the December 2020 elections – submitted on September 14 a draft law to ban the use of insects in the production of food for the population, Agerpress reported. quotes BTA.

“At a time when humanity is subjected to terrible manipulations, diligent and increasingly aggressive, in order to normalize the use of insects and larvae in human food, we consider it absolutely necessary and extremely urgent to regulate the prohibition of the consumption of insects and worms, as both as independent foods and as food ingredients. Through this legislative proposal, we support the prohibition of their production, importation, advertising and sale, respectively banning access to funding for research on the introduction of the bugs into human food,” states a statement from the nationalist and an anti-establishment party that rose to prominence with a series of anti-mask-wearing and anti-vaccination demonstrations in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A number of media in the country have paid attention to this topic in recent months, after the European Commission approved the consumption of three types of insects – yellow mealworm, traveling grasshopper and house cricket.

“Be sustainable, think geopolitically, eat crickets!” wrote an ironic headline in Cotidianul earlier this year, reporting that on February 10 the EC had approved the marketing of a third insect as a food product, namely the domestic cricket.

“Given that two decades ago the EC went so far as to measure the curve of cucumbers and the tips of carrots in the single market – something for which it later apologized to European citizens – the information above seems amusing and nothing more.” commented on the publication.

“Will the EU oblige us to eat bugs or not? Rumors that stirred the spirits,” wrote the Ziare news site at the beginning of September. “Will Romanians eat grasshoppers, crickets and mealworms? Petre Daya: God, how far have we come”, is the title of an article in “Evenimentul Ziley”.

The media notes that there is increasing talk that the European Union will force its citizens to eat insects, and the hysteria has reached Romania.

The international press has been talking since 2015 about how the EU will oblige people to eat bugs, and famous public figures and even ministers have also fueled this theory with their statements. The whole scandal arose after the EU and the UN started talking about insects as an alternative source of protein, and that insect farms or hatcheries are better for the environment than animal farms, Ziare notes.

However, these rumors turn out to be false, as the EU only recommends the consumption of insects, but does not oblige anyone to eat them, Digi 24 TV points out in turn.

Last month, the PressOne website published a material under the title “Attention, the EU obliges us to eat bugs! The origin of a fake news”, in which it quoted a response from the European Commission sent to the Romanian media.

“The European Commission will not force citizens to eat insects (or anything else). The consumption of insects is possible, but never mandatory, as long as they are authorized as novel food products by the Commission,” the response states.

The subject of the consumption of insects was also commented on last month by the Minister of Agriculture, Petre Daya, who showed that he does not agree with the EU’s policy regarding nutrition in the 21st century, Mediafax reported.

“Don’t eat cricket meal! What do you want from crickets? Let them sing where they are! We eat what we have to eat. We eat sardines, we eat sausages, we eat hen’s eggs. You won’t replace a hen’s egg with a worm now. As an agronomist engineer, I usually fight the bugs, I don’t eat them. Let’s go back to our motherfucker,” urged the agriculture minister in a television interview in August.

The EC’s decisions to approve the use of three types of insects for food comes after the European Food Safety Authority declared in early 2021 that food containing insects is safe for humans to consume.

The Bloomberg agency commented in an extensive article last year that due to overpopulation and the growing demand for animal foods, agriculture will not be able to cope and “steak may become a luxury like champagne”.

At the same time, animal feed producers are under increasing pressure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with cattle and pig farming considered the biggest polluters. Drought, on the other hand, threatens to turn ever larger agricultural areas into a barren wasteland, the agency points out.

Against the background of these gloomy forecasts, the search for alternative sources of nutrients may prove life-saving in the future.

For the moment, however, this prospect seems too distant and unlikely for Romanians, who view the consumption of insects with skepticism, local media commented.

“There is no such thing. The saving solution for us is and remains the cultivation of the land, its fruits, as each one of us knows, by cultivating them and using them for food,” said Agriculture Minister Petre Daya in an interview with Romania TeVe.

“When you see a bug on your food, you remove it,” he added, summarizing the opinion of the majority of the country’s citizens on the issue of insect consumption.

The article is in bulgaria

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