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Grasshopper dish in Italian cuisine

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Millions of grasshoppers are harvested in a factory near the Alps in northern Italy. These changs are prepared to be eaten, not for display. There’s a process that gets them onto restaurant menus and into home kitchens. Now they are also followed. Adult grasshoppers are kept moist. It is boiled in water, dried and pounded before being made into a dish. It has been cultivated in the Himalayas near the Alps for a long time. It is the largest grasshopper farm in Italy. The grasshoppers produced here are used for daily consumption. Farm operator Ivan Albano says grasshoppers are not only used in pasta, bread, packages, chocolate and energy bars, but also in sports drinks.

Asians have been eating ants, grasshoppers, various kinds of insects for thousands of years. For Italian, this is becoming a new story. Only last year, the European Union approved the inclusion of such insects in human food. Some European countries have already accepted it, but in Italy it is strongly opposed. According to a survey conducted by Yugabh, a website that understands public opinion around the world, Italians are resisting such things. Perhaps understanding the mood of the people, the government is also taking steps to ban such insects in pasta and pizza.

Eating insects is to disable our agriculture and our culture.” The minister responded, many Italian manufacturers have already started introducing insects on their menus to sell their pizzas, pastas and snacks. “What we are doing here is very sustainable,” says producer Ivan, “It takes 12 liters of water to make one kilogram of grasshopper dust.” It takes thousands of liters of water to produce this amount of protein. It is expensive to cultivate other protein sources. For example, as it costs to produce milk and meat, scientists believe that grasshoppers can be obtained at a much lower cost for the same amount of protein source. They say that it can also relieve environmental problems to some extent.

Asians have been eating ants, grasshoppers, various kinds of insects for thousands of years. For Italian, this is becoming a new story. Only last year, the European Union approved the inclusion of such insects in human food.

At a restaurant near Turin, Italy, Chef Simone Lodo adds 15 percent grasshopper powder to the thousand-year-old khanki pasta seasoning, but it produces a very strong odor. Those who prefer to stay away from its smell immediately rejected it, but curious taste buds responded that it was a delicious dish. It is not just a matter of taste, now grasshopper powder contains essential elements like vitamins, fiber, salts, amino acids and it has also been sold as a super food.

Ivan, a restaurant owner, claims that a khanki is high in iron and magnesium. “Chandeliers using grasshopper dust are very expensive,” says Evan, “the dust is a luxury product. A kilo is very expensive to produce. It’s cheaper if you cook it with used pasta. It is eight times more expensive than regular pasta from the supermarket. On the other hand, Claudio Loretti, who has been trading beef and chicken meat for four generations, says that such expensive products are not working now. In his opinion, those who have money should eat, but social acceptance is also an issue. In Italy, the number of people living over 100 years is increasing. Many people believe that the role of khanki, which is eaten in the Mediterranean region, is more important in this.

Italians have been eating meat for hundreds of years. It is an authentic fact, meat is also healthy,” says Claudio. He believes that the entry of insects into the khanki will endanger the Italian food tradition and that the khanki will not be holy. There has been no study on the effects of eating insects on our body. So eating it is harmful for health. I am completely against it, you should not eat it either,” he says. What did he protest? The worm industry has grown rapidly throughout Europe. In particular, even the European Union has called it edible, but the extremist party Brothers of Italy is saying that eating insects is madness.

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has declared Italy as a ‘food super power’ and has created the Ministry of Made in Italy to maintain its tradition. But as a sarcasm, she recently said in a statement, “In the supermarket, insect products have come for our service. This confluence of flour, flour, and larvae will not only be good, but also delicious.

Not only in Italy, but also in Poland during the elections in March, worm infestation became a big issue. They accused each other of promoting the culture of eating insects in the country. On the other hand, Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands have welcomed the entry of Kira in Khanki. Austrians are turning dried insects into a tasty dish called aperitivo. Belgians are putting mealworms into energy shakes and chocolate bars. They’ve even started putting it in burgers and soups. “There’s actually a lot of misinformation about eating insects,” says Daniel Sconamiglio, owner of a grasshopper restaurant. I have received many hateful posts, heard criticism. I know that food tradition is very sacred for many people but they are not ready to embrace good things and change their eating habits.

So, he is hopeful that this habit will gradually change. He is confident that the curious will play a major role in changing the food and later the grasshoppers will climb into the kitchen. Especially in the context that the world’s population has risen above 8 billion, some people have taken it positively to be included in the list of such alternative foods amid the suspicion that everyone could not be fed. Now people have to increase the current production by 70 percent. Some argue that such alternative foods and environmentally friendly insect proteins will help meet population demand.

Also, the possibility of widespread commercialization of such insect food is very low. But with the approval of the European Union, it is expected that this area will increase and its price will also decrease. There are many examples of khankis that were once eaten by sakhinis now becoming commoners’ khankis. An example is Ivan himself. Many restaurants are offering him grasshopper dust. Even if the demand does not increase, it will have zero impact on the environment. It is also showing the way to one-level solution to the world’s food crisis,” he says. (BBC)

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