Grubs up! Mealworms are on the menu – but are we ready for them?


The mealworm market is expected to boom after the EU ruled them safe to eat. Insects are a popular food in most countries, so can Europeans get over the yuck factor?

It’s a bit … well, mealy. Dry (because it’s been dried), a little crunchy, not strongly flavoured, neither pleasant nor unpleasant. Salt would probably help, or chilli, lime – something, anything, to spice it up a bit. And definitely a beer, if I was going to consume much more, to help wash it down.

I’m eating mealworms. Dried yellow mealworms, the larvae of the beetle Tenebrio molitor. Why? Because they are nutritious, made up mainly of protein, fat and fibre. Because there are potentially environmental and economic benefits, as they require less feed and produce less waste and carbon dioxide than other sources of animal protein. And because Efsa, the EU food safety agency, has just declared them safe to eat.

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