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Eating insects Crickets and locusts on your dinner plate

New food laws in Switzerland will soon allow mealworms, crickets and locusts to be sold for consumption and served up in restaurants. (SRF/swissinfo.chexternal link)

Changes to the food security laws, bringing Switzerland into line with the European Union, are expected to come into effect in the first six months of 2016. One proviso is that the insects on our plates must not be disguised. Processed foods containing insects will probably not be allowed.

Up until now, mealworms, crickets and locusts could only be sold as pet food.

A United Nations report from 2013 assessing insects’ uses as food for humans may have influenced the Swiss government. The report advocated the exploitation of bugs as a major future food source.

Insects are part of the traditional diets of about two billion people, mostly in Africa, Asia and South America. Over 1,000 species of insects are known to be eaten in 80% of the world's nations. Studies show that insects contain fewer saturated fats than edible animal meat and comparatively more protein, and can be more sustainably produced than meat. 

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