Singapore has approved 16 insect species for human consumption; the country has really moved to the next level as far as sustainable food is concerned. Singapore Food Agency has approved three types of insects, crickets, grubs, moth larvae, and even honeybees, owing to the novelty of the insect farming business and its possible food application.

This decision also complements modern practice advocated by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), embracing insects as sources of protein, both human and livestock. In the course of introducing a new frontier in Singapore food culture, concern about the consumption of insects is explained in terms of nutritional value and environmental impacts.

The approved species cover various life stages: four types of adult crickets, two grasshoppers, a locust, and honeybee, and seven types of larvae, including mealworms, white grubs, giant rhino beetle grubs, and two species of moths. Regulations are clear on the consumption of both silkworm moths and silkworm larvae at different points in their development.

Despite the regulatory approval, Singapore’s House of Seafood is planning to launch 30 insect-based dishes, including sushi garnished with silkworms and crickets, salted egg crab with superworms, “Minty Meatball Mayhem” with worms, according to the Straits Times.

However, Singapore permits the importation of insect products, such as insect oil, pasta containing insects, chocolate containing not more than 20 percent insects, and pickled larvae and grubs for food purposes. This approach also includes species not yet commercially exploited insects, such as European honey bees and Grub of giant rhino beetles, which also show the company’s future-oriented thinking in developing sustainable foods.

Singapore should be applauded for its inclusive list, said Professor Blackburn, a food science specialist at the University of York, because including insects can increase the market for novel foodstuffs and diversity. The development points to Singapore’s focus on enhancing food security and sustainability in the diet sector, thus stressing the role of innovation.

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