“As disturbing as they may seem or unfamiliar with our culture, insect flours and in general the products derived from them represent a potentially beneficial protein source with a very low environmental impact”. Their arrival in supermarkets and on plates “does not mean canceling our traditions overnight or distorting Italian tables in a forced or imposed way, but experiencing the changes as protagonists of the sector, governing evolutions so as not to risk having to suffer them , late, the consequences. Italian cuisine has always been able to integrate tradition and innovation”. So Edoardo Mocini, specialist in food science and researcher at the Sapienza Policlinico Umberto I University in Rome, commenting to Adnkronos Salute the rules for the sale of flours derived from insects, with separate shelves and labels in large letters.
The expert invites you to keep prejudices out of the plate. “Recipes that we perceive as eternally belonging to tradition, such as pasta alla carbonara, are relatively recent – recalls Mocini – Tradition wants it to be a recipe born after the war, in a time of great shortage of raw materials, in which the first time, with bacon, this dish is combined by applying ingenuity, and combining tradition and novelty in the use of raw materials.Although we understand that cricket flour does not have the same effect on us as bacon can have , the important thing is not to think only of ‘belly’, but to govern the phenomena – he underlines – with an open and above all scientific attitude”.
“The issue of changes in production in the agri-food sector is a complex issue that shouldn’t be trivialized or tackled in an ideological, but scientific way”, continues the dietician, author of the book ‘Fatti your dishes’ (Rizzoli).
“In the last 20 years, the world population has increased by 2 billion. It will grow almost as much in the next 20, reaching 10 billion in 2050. There is an issue linked to the sustainability of the production of protein sources – remarked Mocini – The idea that we can continue to producing and consuming food as we did until a century ago is ridiculous. And in fact this doesn’t already happen, technology has distorted the methods of production, transformation, transport, conservation”.
The point, therefore, “is not to change or not to change, but to tackle the issue in a scientific way, which does not mean indifferent to the needs of producers or to the cultural value of our traditions, but neither is it completely permeable to lobbying interests. It should not be taken as the only point of reference is a nostalgic and prejudicial attitude of tout court conservatism. Rather, we must try to understand what can be integrated and above all intercept the strategic sectors in which Italy could maintain its position of leader – the expert comments – in the sector of food production”.