The increasing use in cooking of flour made from crickets, grasshoppers and insect larvae is meeting fierce opposition in Italy, where the government wants to ban its use in pizzas and pasta and keep it separate on supermarket shelves.
Because of fears that insects will be associated with Italian cuisine, Health Minister Orazio Schillaci. Agriculture and Food Sovereignty Minister Francesco Lollobrigida and Made in Italy Minister Adolfo Urso called a press conference in Rome on Monday 27 March 2023 to announce four decrees aimed at a crackdown on insects in food.
"Today we have signed four decrees on four different types of insect meal, i.e. foods not traditionally found in the diet. One can eat whatever one deems most appropriate", but "as far as flour from cricket, migratory, mealworm and gila larvae is concerned, we believe there should be labeling that indicates in a precise and visible way which products come from these insects".
"The decrees provide for a label indicating the origin of the product, the risks when consumed and the amount of insect meal present, but we have also provided for special racks where they can be displayed in shops", so that "those who want crickets, grubs and grasshoppers can go there and those who don't - , as I imagine most Italians will - can stay away."
Francesco Lollobrigida,added : " with this measure, in full agreement with the regions, we guarantee that Italian citizens are aware of what they eat and make Italy a nation at the forefront in this field". Europe has allowed the trade in insect meal, but citizens need to know what they are eating, so we are providing certification so that those who want to consume it can do so, but those who don't can reject it." "It is fundamental that this flour is not confused with food made in Italy,"
All four insects are mentioned in the Italian decrees, which require all products containing them to be labelled in large letters and displayed separately from other foodstuffs.
"Those who want to eat these products can, but those who don't, and I think this will be most Italians, will be able to choose," Lollobrigida said.
The ministers' statements show that they are definitely not in favor of insects in Italian food and that they are only complying with EU directives to avoid being punished or fined by Ursula.
With these decrees, you can be assured : there will be no insects in your pasta, pizza and other Italian dishes ( unless you expressly choose to, but then it will be marked in big letters on the packaging ). However, you shall only buy products of certain origin from Italy.