The U.N. might say insects are the food of the future, but the city of Milan is putting up some resistance. Officials there seized 110 pounds of insects from a popular restaurant this week out of concerns for public health.
According to The Local, the La Sidreria restaurant in Milan had announced a €30 “crunch” tasting menu with dishes like meatballs made with black rice and worms, bread with cheese and crickets, and an apple and mixed bug salad.
La Sidreria’s owner said he came up with the idea because insects are “the food of the future,” and are healthful and full of protein, vitamins, and essential amino acids for humans. He’s not the first to come up with the idea; chefs across the U.S. and Europe have been experimenting with insect menus for years. But while it is not illegal to serve insects in Europe, authorities can seize food products if they have concern for people’s health. The city of Milan apparently heard about La Sidreria’s plans, said “Ick,” and seized 110 pounds of bees, silkworms, wasps, scorpions, and larvae that had been bound for the table. The bugs had reportedly been purchased from an insect farm that breeds insects for animal feed.
“As with other animal foodstuffs, insects can be contaminated by microorganisms, parasites, chemical residues, notwithstanding the possibility of allergic reactions,” officials said in a statement.