SFA Approves 16 Species of Insects for Human Consumption; Includes Regulations as Well

Fancy some grasshopper seasoning on your steak? Cricket garnish with fried rice?

This could very much be the reality for Singapore’s cuisine, as the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) approved 16 insect species for sale as food today (8 July).

If you’re wondering if cockroaches are on the menu yet, sadly no, we’ll be missing out on those five-star meals for now.

The current list of 16 are:

  • House cricket
  • Banded cricket
  • Common cricket
  • Two-spotted cricket
  • African migratory locust
  • American desert locust
  • Grasshopper
  • Superworm
  • Mealworm
  • Lesser mealworm
  • Greater wax moth
  • Lesser wax moth
  • Silk moth/silkworm (pupa and larva only)
  • Whitegrub
  • Giant Rhino beetle grub
  • Western honey bee

I bet your mouth is watering already at the thought of eating all of them.

Image: Canva

SFA Includes Food Safety Regulations for Insects

The approval has been a long time coming, with the SFA having been working on regulations since at least 2022.

As for insects not on this list of 16, they will have to undergo evaluation by SFA to ensure they can be consumed safely by humans.

Before importation into Singapore, proof must be submitted that shows the insects are farmed in regulated establishments.

Imports also face the requirement of a submitted health certificate which guarantees the insects are not found in the wild.

Wild insects eat everything left and right, you see, so they could be health risks. That also means don’t go snatching beetles off of trees to make a quick buck.

These bugs meant for human consumption or animal feed must also not have been given manure and decomposing material as food, which could pass up the food chain to us.

So, the SFA has been ensuring they’re safe. Sounds good, right? Now eat this plate of bees.

Ah, right. We humans just go “ew” when we think of insects as food. We don’t want to just eat a fried grasshopper whole.

No problem, you can also just take insect-based products in things like protein bars or powder for your next workout. Nothing gets you gains like locusts, as they say.

Image: IPI Singapore

Companies selling pre-packaged food containing insects have to include it on the label, so you won’t be getting a silkworm surprise unless you’re one of those people who don’t read the packaging labels. I bet you eat bread one day past the expiry date too, you monster.

This may come as a surprise, but eating insects actually can be quite good for not just you, but the entire planet.

According to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), crickets need six times less feed than cows and twice less than pigs to produce the same amount of protein.

They also emit less greenhouse gases than traditional livestock, which means a lesser impact on climate change.

I’m sure everyone has felt the scorching heat in Singapore for the past few years. Is it really worse than eating a cricket croissant?

Image: SFA

Besides, even if you’re not eating it, the approval also includes insects as sustainable protein in animal feed.

You can also find out more by watching this video.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *