Some things are just not cricket and many unexpected things are. As of the 2023 New Year, the EU has given permission to food processers to add insects (house crickets) to baked goods, pasta and other semi-finished food products “for the general public“. Despite the absence of published information concerning possible allergies and life threatening anaphylactic shock type reactions to eating crickets, the EU Commission say they have no specific labelling requirements concerning possible allergic reactions and none need to be listed thanks to EU Commission President Ursula VON DER LEYEN.
Allergies and Anaphylactic Shock
The large number of people who experience allergic reactions to crustaceans, molluscs and dust mites are also highly likely to experience allergic reactions or worse when consuming products with crickets added. It can also lead to the development of new allergic reactions to what is fed to the insects in food. However, the introduction of insects into the Irish and European food chain will contain no labels or allergy warnings as it is being introduced by stealth regardless of any possible allergic reactions or life threatening anaphylactic shock.
Hidden Insect Ingredients of Processed Foods
There is only a requirement for labelling if the product contains powdered “Acheta domesticus” commonly known as the house cricket which is susceptible to the cricket paralysis virus. This means that people have to find out for themselves if they are eating food containing contaminated “Acheta domesticus” or any other cricket which is ground into powder and added to food with no identification or warning label. People are expected to check the presence of crickets for themselves and whether they could be allergic to them. No tests have taken place to ascertain the safety of eating any other type of cricket or other insects. So much for food safety requirements.
The Poor Old House Cricket
The house cricket was a chirping inhabitant of old Irish hearths or fireplaces up until the 1960’s but alas is heard no more. It was eliminated from the cricket-breeding industries of Europe due to the appearance of the cricket paralysis virus which spread rapidly throughout Europe in 2002. The virus is extremely lethal to this and some other species of cricket. Eating crickets could cause a deadly viral species jump which would make Covid look like a minor inconvenience. The house cricket has since been replaced by the Jamaican field cricket, which appears to be resistant to the cricket paralysis virus but has many of the features of the house cricket. The house cricket is typically grey or brownish in colour, growing to 16–21 millimetres (0.63–0.83 in) in length and males and females are similar in appearance. You won’t see them or any other insects in food as they are ground into powder. Neither is there any requirement to inform you of theirs or any other creepy crawlies presence in what you are eating. The only solution is to stop eating processed foods as they could contain anything.
Responsibility for the Approval
The responsibility for the hidden, unlabelled addition of crickets to be followed with more insect species into the human food chain rests with European Commission President Ursula VON DER LEYEN. If you think you can easily avoid cricket contaminated foods, think again as it will be contained in the following products “for the general public” consumption which will soon be on sale in Ireland and throughout Europe with added crickets (Acheta domesticus):
- Multigrain bread
- Multigrain rolls
- Crackers and breadsticks
- Cereal bars
- Dry premixes for baked goods
- dry filled and unfilled pasta products
- processed potato products
- Dishes based on legumes and vegetables
- General pasta and whey powder products
- Meat analogues (vegetarian meat alternatives)
- Soups and soup concentrates, soup powder
- Cornmeal based snacks
- Beer-like beverages
- Chocolate products, nuts and oilseeds
- Snacks (except chips) and meat preparations
Check It Out for Yourself
While the addition of crickets to your food hasn’t been widely published, it isn’t hidden either. Everyone should read the EU log for themselves. Here is the source – Official Journal of the European Union, 01/04/2023